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Free Lance-Star reporter Chelyen Davis covers Virginia government.

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Trump, McDonnell to open winery

It sounds like you’ll be able to buy Trump Wine soon.

Back in April,  The Donald announced he was buying old friend Patricia Kluge’s winery outside Charlottesville. Now he and Gov. Bob McDonnell will be on hand to open Trump Vineyard Estates next week.

Trump, his son Eric Trump (the Trump Winery president), McDonnell and McDonnell’s wife, and Kluge — billed as vice president of operations of Trump Winery — will all be at a private event next Tuesday.

Trump paid about $6 million for the winery in April. At the time, he expressed interest in continuing to make wine, and keeping Kluge and her husband on board. A bank had foreclosed on the vineyard after Kluge ran into financial difficulties.

McDonnell has promoted Virginia wines in trips abroad, including a trade trip in Asia this past spring. As a result of that trip, Barboursville winery is planning to export wines to China (it already exports to the United Kingdom).

Earlier this year, McDonnell said Virginia wine sales were up 11 percent over the previous year. Virginia has nearly 200 farm wineries and the industry employs more than 3,000 people. As a state, it has the fifth-largest number of wineries in the country.

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