Trump wine sales double in Virginia

Posted at 4:28 PM, Feb 17, 2017
MIAMI BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 22:  Trump winery on display at Farm To Table Brunch presented by Whole Foods Market hosted by Geoffrey Zakarian, Julie Frans & Friends during the 2015 Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by FOOD & WINE at The Palms Hotel & Spa on February 22, 2015 in Miami Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Dylan Rives/Getty Images for SOBEWFF)

(Photo by Dylan Rives/Getty Images for SOBEWFF)

RICHMOND, Va. — While some stores like Nordstrom, TJ Maxx, and Sears have announced plans to eliminate or minimize the sale of products related to President Donald Trump, the Virginia ABC has no such plans.

Virginia ABC sells six wines from Trump Winery in Charlottesville.

Trump wines available on the Virginia ABC website range from a $13.79 bottle of Trump Winery Chardonnay made with “100 percent estate-grown grapes from the coolest terroirs in our vineyard,” to a $26.29 bottle of Trump SP Blanc De Blanc.

Spokespeople for the national retail stores said the reason for the pullback was based on declining sales of Trump-related brands, CBS 6 reported.

In contrast, sales of Trump wine more than doubled from 2015 to 2016, according to Virginia ABC spokesperson Valerie Hubbard.

“Trump wine is the number five wine brand sold in Virginia ABC stores [in terms of dollars],” she said.

Virginia ABC sold 7,837 bottles of Trump wine in 2016, compared to 3,318 bottles of Trump wine in 2015.

Only wines made at Barboursville, Horton, Prince Michel, and Williamsburg Winery earned more sales dollars in 2016, according to Virginia ABC.

All those wineries sold many more bottles than Trump Winery at Virginia ABC stories.

Barboursville, for example, sold more than 50,000 bottles of wine at Virginia ABC stores that year. It sold nearly 45,000 bottles the year before.

Virginia ABC sold 13,131 cases of Virginia wine in Fiscal Year 2016, compared to 12,241 cases sold in the previous Fiscal Year, according to Virginia ABC. Virginia wine makes up just 0.3 percent of Virginia ABC sales. With 1,448,850 cases sold, Vodka makes up 30.9 percent.

Virginia ABC stores have sold Trump wine since 2011, when Donald Trump bought the winery from Patricia Kluge.

Since the 2016 election, his winery and other businesses have come under scrutiny as questions have been raised as to whether he has properly distanced himself from his business interests while serving as president. That, combined with the passion his election has stirred has prompted some people to protest stores that sell Trump brand products.

The Washington Post reported the Prince William County National Organization for Women planned to protest Wegmans in Northern Virginia over its refusal to remove Trump wine from its shelves.

“Certainly if Wegmans is carrying Trump wines, I personally will not shop there,” Terry O’Neill, president of the National Organization for Women, told the Washington Post.

In response a Wegmans spokesperson told the Washington Post the upstate New York-based grocer, with one store in Midlothian and one in Short Pump, has sold wine from that winery when it was still Kluge owned.

“Individual shoppers who feel strongly about an issue can demonstrate their convictions by refusing to buy a product,” Wegmans spokesperson Jo Natale told the Post. “When enough people do the same, and sales of a product drop precipitously, we stop selling that product in favor of one that’s in greater demand.”

Virginia ABC has a similar business philosophy when it comes to discontinuing products.

“We have received one query regarding our sale of Trump Winery products,” Hubbard said. “We only carry Virginia wines in our stores and follow a specific listing and delisting process for these and all products we sell. Delisting is the process by which poorly performing products are removed from the Virginia ABC system.

“Currently, Trump Winery products meet the listing criteria and are not scheduled for delisting or removal from our sales inventory.”

The CNN wire contributed to this report.