At Tuesday's news conference at Trump Tower, the president was asked about the weekend's violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. Shortly after saying that some "very fine people" marched with the white supremacists and neo-Nazis and reiterating his much-criticized position that both white supremacists and the counter-protesters who turned up to oppose them were somehow equivalently "bad" or violent," the president took a question about his plans to visit Charlottesville. His response?
"Does anyone know I own a house in Charlottesville...it is the winery...I own actually one of the largest wineries in the United States."
Asked if he plans to go to Charlottesville following last weekend's violence, Pres. Trump says he owns winery there https://t.co/JWgPb30f7H pic.twitter.com/MyJtFrHuKJAugust 15, 2017
Let's break that down.
Trump was referring to Trump Winery, which he took over after the Kluge family, which previously owned and ran it, defaulted on bank loans. The saga of how he acquired it is fascinating (and you can read all about it here) and there's an attractive inn on the property today (above). But his claim about owning it? That's false according to the winery itself, whose website has the following disclaimer:
And as for the statement about it being one of the largest wineries in the United States, that's also not true. In fact, it's not even one the largest wineries on the East Coast.
Politifact found multiple wineries that are larger in terms of acreage and production. Trump Winery has 210 acres of vines planted and makes about 36,000 cases of wine per year. But the Finger Lakes' Wagner Vineyards Estate Winery cultivates 250 acres of grapes and produces 50,000 cases of wine per year, Pindar Vineyards on Long Island's North Fork has more than 300 acres of vines.
The largest winery in the world, though, is E. & J. Gallo, which has more than 23,000 acres of vineyards in California.
Sam Dangremond is a Contributing Digital Editor at Town & Country, where he covers men's style, cocktails, travel, and the social scene.
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