Trump to Mark Opening of Trump Vineyard
Billionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump will fete the opening of Trump Vineyard Estates in Albemarle County on Tuesday with a reception including his son Eric Trump, Gov. Bob McDonnell, first lady Maureen McDonnell and Patricia Kluge.
Trump’s organization purchased Kluge Estate Winery and Vineyard in April for more than $6 million and next week will celebrate the revamped operation with an invitation-only affair.
The reality TV star who recently flirted with a run for the Republican presidential nomination bought most of the picturesque grounds and facilities through auction after the bank foreclosed on the former owners, William Moses and Kluge.
Good luck to them! He’s obviously got enough money to throw at the project; I only hope that they can maintain the quality the winery was known for.
South African Wineries Deny Accusations of Worker Misery
A disturbing report from the international organization Human Rights Watch has accused South Africa’s fruit farms and grape growers of subjecting their agricultural workers to inhuman conditions. But members of the wine industry are calling the report a smear job, pointing out that the organization investigated less than 1% of the nation’s grape farms. They’re fighting back against what they say is an attempt to hurt export sales.
The report details workers living in dilapidated housing. One 40-year-old farm worker said he and his family had been living in a pig stall for 10 years. The report also said workers were made to spray pesticides without proper safety equipment, that they had little access to toilets or drinking water while working and that farm owners prevented unionization.
I can’t say this report comes as a huge surprise!
1% is obviously a very small sampling, however South Africa needs to do everything it can to keep its image clean in the eyes of the consumer. There is so much potential in laying in wait in South African wine; but with reports like this surfacing, people are going to very quickly divert their attention to other up-and-coming countries/regions.
Wineries’ Vegan Awakening
If you’re of the vegan persuasion, then you’ll be happy to know that Blackenbrook Wines, in Tasman Bay near Nelson (New Zealand), will be printing "vegan wine" on all its white wines from the 2011 vintage.
The demand for vegan wines is on the increase, says Duncan Gillespie of Wellington’s Regional Wines & Spirits.
"As well as requests for vegan wine there’s been a trend towards people with allergies looking at how their wine is made and whether it is produced sustainably."
Expect to see this as a big trend over the next few years! It’s one of those dirty little secrets lurking deep within the wine industry, that very few people know even about. Fining is the process that through the use of milk, egg whites or fish products, gets your wine all nice and clean and stable before it’s bottled.
I’m all about consumers being given all the relevant information regarding a product that they’re about to consume; however, I would maintain that even the smallest amount of info can sometimes be a bad thing! People already flip-out over the “Contains Sulfites” labeling that all wines receive. I can only imagine what they will say over “Contains Fish Products”.
N.C. Wine Industry Impact Tops $1 Billion
North Carolina’s wine industry has grown to have a more than $1 billion economic impact statewide, according to figures recently released by the governor’s office.
The North Carolina wine and grape industry generated an impact of $1.28 billion on the state’s economy in 2009, an increase of 58 percent since 2005. The industry supports 7,600 jobs across the state, adding 1,900 jobs since 2005, according to the governor’s office.
"This growing industry is a significant economic engine for North Carolina, helping to preserve farmland and bring revenue to our rural communities," Perdue said.
I can’t say I’ve had the opportunity to taste many wines coming out of North Carolina; but if they’re anything like what I was recently sampling on my wine trip to Virginia, they should have a successful future ahead of them. The number of wineries in North Carolina has doubled since 2005 and grown five-fold in the last decade, and it ranks ninth in wine and grape production in the United States.
A Grape Heist in Germany
Earlier this month, Weingut von Winning, in Germany’s Pfalz region, was the first victim to it when thieves drove a mechanical harvester into the producer’s Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir) vineyards under the cover of night and yanked 5,500 pounds of grapes to make their own Kleptenbeerenauslese ("stolen select berry harvest"), or KBA, cuvée. The harvest henchmen, who are thought to be members of the industry themselves since they had, you know, a harvester, pulled an estimated $137,000 worth of the red grape. Von Winning’s Stephen Attman, who has hosted the president of Germany and other luminaries for wine tastings, told a local news agency that the crime would be solved eventually, when "somewhere a super wine is produced by a winemaker who is otherwise not known for such high quality." Is that toasty oak barrels Unfiltered smells, or did someone just get burned?
Stealing another mans grapes!?!? I always worry that someone will see me eating 2 or 3 grapes straight off the vine when I’m on a winery tour! But driving into a vineyard with your own harvester!?!? That takes balls!!!