Will Donald Trump Rescue a Virginia Winery?

Plus, Annika Sorenstam returns to television—as a wine lover, and Burgundy’s Labouré-Roi aims to plant 100,000 more trees
Feb 24, 2011

• A surprise new character steps onto the stage in the ongoing Kluge Estate Winery and Vineyard foreclosure saga. Kluge, sited in Virginia’s Charlottesville wine country, was first planted in 1999 by millionairess Patricia Kluge, who once landed the biggest divorce settlement in history ($1.6 million a week) from ex-husband John Kluge. She immediately poured some $50 million into the winery, snapped up the aid of Michel Rolland and tried to sell a Virginia Cabernet-based blend at $75 a bottle, an ambitious business plan. But now the foreclosed facility, as well as the vineyards and manor on the property, may have found a complementarily ambitious new owner: Donald Trump. Trump recently purchased a golf course in Virginia (Trump National Golf Club now, obviously), so a vineyard will expand his holdings nicely. Though it’s unclear if Kluge would remain involved in the business—Trump is perhaps best known for firing people who lose even fake money—Unfiltered hopes to soon see a Trump Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Cuvée The Donald.

Julia. Rachael. Nigella. Annika? Golf legend-turned-vintner Annika Sorenstam—to this point still more familiar for her prowess on the putting green than with green harvesting—is trading her golf cleats for the television screen in a new food-and-wine-themed show, cheekily titled Golf à la Carte, loosely based on the book of the same name by one of the show’s executive producers, D.G. Stern. In the show, which will debut this fall, Sorenstam will visit golf resorts around the world, film cooking segments with famous chefs and offer wine recommendations. She won't need any handicaps in the kitchen though: In an interview with Wine Spectator, she confessed she had spent time cooking professionally at a Florida country club during her off season. Between PBS’ reality competition The Winemakers and actor Stanley Tucci’s upcoming Vine Talk talk show, Unfiltered is happy to see Sorenstam joining the wave of wine programming coming to the small screen.

• Trees aren’t just for barrel staves at one well-regarded Burgundy house. Since 2008, Labouré-Roi has been donating money to Planète Urgence, a Paris-based non-profit organization that supports agricultural education and training in third-world nations and promotes reforestation projects around the world. With the proceeds from its Beaujolais sales over the past three years, Labouré-Roi has facilitated the planting of more than 65,000 trees, and now the company is upping the ante: Beginning with the 2009 vintage, for every bottle of Labouré-Roi’s Bourgogne Rouge and Blanc “Maximum” label sold, one tree will be planted through the Planète Urgence program, with the goal of planting 100,000 new trees each year.

Environment Sports Golf France Burgundy Unfiltered

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