Last week, we decided to visit Trump Winery in Charlottesville for the first time. We had done a tasting at a wine festival about 5 years ago shortly after Donald Trump purchased it from Patricia Kluge’s bankrupt estate. We didn’t care for any of the varieties they offered. We saw a news story a year or so later regarding their new French vintner’s intentions of improving the quality. Recently, we had a few friends say they had visited the winery and enjoyed the selection. We felt it was time to give them another try.
The weather was gorgeous, especially for February. With temps in the upper 60’s, we enjoyed our drive past Monticello and Ash Lawn as we wound our way through the back roads of Albemarle County to the estate. Because it was so warm, they had the patio tasting room open as well as the lovely one inside.
The $15 fee including a tasting of 5 varietals as well as a souvenir wine glass. We were pleasantly surprised by how much we enjoyed each one. We rated each of the following a 4 out of 5.
Sparkling Blanc de Blanc 2010 – a champagne-style Chardonnay, which is bright and crisp.
Viognier 2015 – Virginia’s signature grape. This one is similar to a Riesling.
Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 – This is my husband’s favorite wine. The Trump version is blended with 25% Merlot, which made it smoother than a traditional Cab Sauv and easier on the palate.
New World Reserve 2014 – A lovely complex, well-rounded blend of Merlot, Cab Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec.
We finished off with the most amazing dessert wine we have ever tried. I think the best way to describe their signature fortified Chardonnay, Cru, is a white port. “Cru is created by blending Chardonnay juice with grape brandy in lieu of a traditional fermentation. This fortified wine is then aged for over a year in American bourbon barrels.” No matter how it is done, the end results are phenomenal!
We then enjoyed a glass of wine with their diverse cheese tray ($20) while relaxing on the patio. All the cheeses and fruit spreads were excellent. Our overall favorite was the espresso encrusted cheese.
The expansive views certainly add to the experience. Even in late winter, they were impressive.
We can’t wait to visit again in the summer and try out the Adirondack chairs!