Trump Buys Kluge Estate Winery

Donald Trump has purchased Kluge Estate Winery at auction, Lisa Provence reports for The Hook. The 64-year-old New York billionaire and current presidential candidate bought the estate for $7.3M. Trump now owns a bit more than a square mile of Albemarle farmland about five miles south of town. Another 100+ acre chunk was bought by northern Virginia developer Sal Cangiano, who “thought it would be fun” to run a winery—he has a checkered history in acquiring historic rural properties in Virginia.

Trump’s bound to throw around some contributions to local organizations (I’d put money on him giving money to The Paramount) in an effort to get a little local respect, and while generally celebrities are welcomed to town with open arms, I think things will go poorly for this abrasive birther. This will end badly.

14 Responses to “Trump Buys Kluge Estate Winery”


  • My father and his firm worked for Trump in NY on a project or two. Years later, bills still haven’t been paid, and perhaps as a result he has nothing nice to say about the man, referring to him as the cheapest bastard on the face of the earth. Maybe his fixation on Kluge’s land is a product of his inability to find anyone left willing to work for him in NY?

  • Waldo has the right of it in summation – “this will end badly”. About the only reason Trump is still afloat and Kluge is not is his amazing talent for using worthless real estate to bankroll a lifestyle that would make the Aga Khan blush.

  • >while generally celebrities are welcomed to town with open arms, I think things will go much more poorly for this abrasive birther.

    I dunno, I’m starting to think this town will go for pretty much anybody with enough money. And he’s on TV! a famous person is in Charlottesville? (Does he wanna buy a pavilion?)

    Secondarily: the discussion over the the phrase “New Jersey Style” in that Sal Cangiano link is nothing short of amazing.

  • Let us remember, too, that Trump inherited his money. His father was worth something like $200M in ~1950, IIRC, which is $1,800M in today’s dollars. It’s not like he’s some kind of business genius. It’s one thing to become worth $2B based on nothing. It’s quite another to become worth $2B based on $1.8B.

  • If all he does is own it and go out to visit it now and then and turn around and sell it in a few years, no problem.

    What will turn into a whole awful drama is if Trump tries to do something that involves becoming a pain in the ass. Building a convention center and demanding a wider road and support services. Carving it up into 1 acre lots to build a housing development on, with all of the attendant requires for water, sewage, roads, schools, and other demands on our tax money.

    This isn’t New York City, and people on either end of the political spectrum in Albemarle County won’t go for his style of big government oligarchy.

  • 7.8 Million seems cheap, very cheap. And why don’t we call him what he really is: a jackass (did you see him on TV?).

  • If all he does is own it and go out to visit it now and then and turn around and sell it in a few years, no problem.

    Oh, sure, no doubt. That’d be great. I don’t know nearly enough about Trump to know if he has many such small side businesses, but here’s hoping that’s so.

    What I have learned about Trump is that he’s made a lot of money on the government’s—our—dollar. And that’s where I start to worry about all the scenarios that you describe. Let’s not pretend that Trump gives a damn about Albemarle County, Virginia wine, or any of us.

  • With two hyenas like these throwing money around, Albemarle government integrity will be tested as never before. This isn’t Joisey and it isn’t NOVA. Either they are in for a shock, or we are.

    Pollyannas will do their usual thing and anticipate a radical transformation to good neighbors, and be wrong as always.

    The Donald could buy a good name here by taking over Halsey’s hotel and building us a landmark. Blind us with daring enterprise.

    The last presidential candidate to own land in Albemarle county was the 1976 Libertarian Party candidate, Roger McBride of Esmont. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_MacBride

  • I predict he will propose to build something, the community and supervisors will say no- he will call them idiots and that will be it.

    My nightmare is he moves his Apprentice show down here for a couple of episodes and gives Charlottesville a tawdy sheen that we’ll never wash off. And just as we think he done with us, he buys the hotel downtown from Halsey and actually finishes it. That would leave many here quite conflicted

  • The bank chose today to put Albemarle House back on the market, now at $16M or about 1/8 of what Kluge originally thought it worth. While I wouldn’t expect too much detail in an internet listing, noticeably absent from the info provided is that Trump apparently hold a first right of refusal on the house, acquired when he bought, or contracted to buy, an adjacent parcel.

  • There’s something coming on the horizon that citizens should be aware of before it’s too late. I predict that the next development wave in the rural areas of Albemarle County is going to consist of resorts and time shares. Already there have been purchases by some big name folks of large properties near Monticello. Hmm… what else is next to Monticello? Our new state park…

    I suspect that’s exactly the sort of thing that’s being discussed in this deal with Trump.

  • Large amounts of rural land have been purchased recently, but the roads will deter much ability to develop the land to be a suitable resort destination. The road from Michie Tavern to essentially Ash Lawn and beyond can’t really handle the traffic it gets now. Unless there is significant upgrades to the road, I don’t see how resort traffic can navigate those crooked roads. I don’t see Monticello encouraging VDOT to widen and straighten any of it. Additionally, much of that area has been designated “historic” which has generally been code in the past for no development.

  • A lesson from history.

    A few decades ago Gerry Fisher was Board of Supervisors chair and the lawyer for the Piedmont Environmental Council, Tim Lindstrom, was on the Board.

    A wealthy widow newcomer, Blanka Rosensteil, heir to the Shenley fortune, had bought 1000 acres and the gorgeous anti-bellum Barnes mansion in the Red Hill area. The property was located around 2 to 3 miles west of Rt. 29 south on route 708.

    Blanka lived in the house for a few years, and then developed plans to create a world class health spa for the rich and super rich on her property. The idea was that hollywood stars and other hollowheads could go there to de-toxify in private.

    The zoning was (still is) rural agricultural, so she needed a rezoning to permit it. The Supervisors turned her down. Stated reason: Rt. 708 was a narrow rural road that could not handle the truck traffic a facility like that requires for daily supplies.

    Blanka gave up and created a large lot sub-division for the rich and nearly rich, as was her right under the zoning law. And she spends her time at another home in Florida from which she runs the Chopin Foundation of the United States http://www.chopin.org/ to honor her polish countryman.

    If anything, the Albemarle supervisors of today are more against rural development than they were in the Fisher-Lindstrom era. And VDHT has far less money now than it had then to acquire R-O-W and widen a rural road.

    “The art of the deal” first requires the start of a deal, which every developer knows is meeting the zoning requirements, and that seems unlikely in the extreme.

  • As you said though, there’s nothing to stop someone from creating a “subdivision”, and the way that timeshares and resorts are created now there’s a pretty fine line there. The question is whether when someone asks to create a golf course for use by their “neighborhood” whether the BOS permits it or not.

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