Saturday, August 19, 2017

Is There Anything Trump Won't Lie About? Trump Winery Is Not The Biggest Winery And He Doesn't Own It Anyway


The Bird is a restaurant in Northwest DC, in the Shaw neighborhood a nd, according to the Washingtonian's Jessica Sidman, they were so excited a couple weeks ago when Señor Trumpanzee fired The Mooch that the began a new policy: offering discounted drinks whenever Trumpanzee offs one of his co-conspirators-- happy hour cocktails, beers, and wines for $4. Same deal yesterday when Trumpanzee kicked out notorious meth manufacturer and neo-Nazi Steve Bannon. What about the Trump Winery in Charlottesville? Wondering if they offer discounted wine when the owner offs a Nazi? They don't-- and Trump was lying about the winery anyway. Here's a disclaimer they added a year or so ago at the bottom of their official website:

In case you don't know what I'm talking about here, remember back to the fateful press conference when the Baboon-in-Chief gratuitously ended a press conference by claiming that he owns Charlottesville's Trump Winery, claiming it one of the largest wineries, not just in Virginia but anywhere in the country? Our poor delusional fake president! PolitiFact smelled a rat when he first started making the claim at election rallies and over a year ago rated Trump's claims another lie.
"It’s the largest winery on the East Coast," Trump said.

The Republican frontrunner added that he owns the winery "100 percent." Trump did purchase the 1,300-acre vineyard in 2011 where the winery is based and turned over the management to his son, Eric.

A legal disclaimer on the winery website says the GOP presidential candidate doesn’t own the winery. The venture is a limited liability corporation, and its owners are not a matter of public record.

That point aside, let’s move to the focus of this Truth-O-Meter: Is the winery really the largest on the East Coast, as Trump claimed? We emailed his campaign three times seeking backup for the statement but didn’t hear back. So we began our own investigation.

First, we contacted the Virginia Wine Board, a panel created by the Virginia General Assembly to promote state wineries and vineyards. Annette Boyd, the board’s director, said Trump Winery has planted 200 acres of vines. By that measure, called "acres under vine," Boyd said Trump Winery has the largest vineyard in Virginia.

The Trump Winery website, citing the same 200-acre figure, also says it’s the largest vineyard in the state. It additionally claims that it’s the largest "vinifera vineyard" on the East Coast, referring to a species of grape.

But the website never goes as far as Donald Trump did in making an unconditional claim that the winery is the largest on the East Coast. He’s made that statement a number of times.

Several wine industry analysts told us that when calculating a winery’s size, the best measure is not the acreage of vines that have been planted-- it’s the volume of wine produced. By that standard, wine experts told us there’s no way Trump Winery is the biggest on the East Coast.

"That’s not correct," Michael Kaiser, spokesman for the National Association of American Wineries, told us about Trump’s claim.

In fact, by that measure Trump Winery is not even the largest in Virginia. The Trump Winery produces about 36,000 cases of wine each year, according to Boyd. The top producers in the state are the Williamsburg Winery and Chateau Morrisette in Floyd County-- each making about 60,000 cases a year, Boyd said. Barboursville Winery in Orange County, meanwhile, makes about 37,000 cases a year, Boyd said.

It’s not hard to find wineries along the East Coast that make even more. Duplin Winery in Rose Hill, N.C., produces about 390,000 cases of sweet wine a year, Dave Fussell Jr., Duplin’s president, told us in an email.

Duplin, on its website, claims to be the "largest winery in the South." Its grapes come from more than 1,000 acres, the vast majority from farmers who grow them off-site.

The Biltmore Winery in Asheville, N.C., says on its website that it produces about 150,000 cases of wine a year.

Lastly, we wondered whether there are wineries on the East Coast that have more grapes than Trump Winery’s 200 acres of vines. The answer is yes.

The Wagner Vineyards Estate Winery in the Finger Lakes region of New York says it cultivates 250 acres of grapes (and makes 50,000 cases of wine a year). The vineyard manager at Pindar Vineyards on New York’s Long Island said in a November 2015 interview that its vineyard has more than 300 acres of grapes. Pindar says it makes 70,000 cases of wine a year.

Our ruling

Trump said that Trump Winery is the "largest winery on the East Coast." It’s not, regardless of whether you measure it by acreage of vines or the production of wine.

We rate Trump’s statement False. offered a Fake wine news alert this week. "The winery that bears Donald Trump’s name," they reported, "which is located in Charlottesville, Virginia, has long denied having anything to do with the current president of the United States... Fake winery news aside, Trump has an unethical habit of mixing his personal business with policy matters. Whether entertaining heads of state at the restaurants inside his D.C. hotel, hosting foreign dignitaries at his properties, or plugging his businesses during official statements Trump has more conflicts of interest than hairs on his head."

Yesterday, Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) introduced a resolution in the House that Paul Ryan is likely to bury and prevent from ever coming to a vote. The resolution calls for Señor Trumpanzee President Donald Trump to get a psychiatric examination to determine if he should be removed from office. The resolution reads, in part, "President Donald J. Trump has exhibited an alarming pattern of behavior and speech causing concern that a mental disorder may have rendered him unfit and unable to fulfill his Constitutional duties" [and urges Pence and the Trumpanzee Cabinet to] "quickly secure the services of medical and psychiatric professionals to examine the President… to determine whether the President suffers from mental disorder or other injury that impairs his abilities and prevents him from discharging his constitutional duties."

She speculated that either Trump "has early stage dementia" or that "the stress of office aggravated a mental illness crippling impulse control."

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