Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park selling Trump wine at park, National Park Service does not object to it

Posted at 12:44 PM, Jan 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-11 12:46:54-05

Bottles from Trump Winery have been on sale at a gift shop in Shenandoah National Park, located about two hours from Washington, D.C.

Ethics watchdogs have slammed President Donald Trump for apparent conflicts of interest, particularly opportunities to make money from his public position. But the park and store management say that’s not the case here.

The store is in the national park but is managed by a private company, as many are, said National Park Service spokesman Jeremy Barnum.

“The concessioner has been selling wine from the distributor of this particular winery in Virginia for years,” Barnum said. The park service decides what types of products the shops may sell, but “does not specify what brands of these products should be sold.”

The company managing the store, Delaware North Companies, says it supports “local and regional producers and farmers by offering their products in our retail stores.”

“At Shenandoah National Park we offer wines from several different Virginia vintners,” spokeswoman Victoria Hong said. “This was only at Shenandoah, where it is a local product, and not at any other parks. The National Park Service did not request or require us to carry it.”

Hong said the Shenandoah shops have in the past carried wines from Kluge Estate, which Trump bought in 2011 and rebranded.

Federal records show Delaware North operates facilities at national parks from the Grand Canyon to Yosemite. The company won a 10-year contract in 2013 to manage retail shops, restaurants, lodging, horseback riding, and shower and laundry facilities at Shenandoah.

The Trump Winery offering at Shenandoah came to light when an environmental trade publication, E&E News, was tipped off by an employee at the Center for Biological Diversity, a non-profit that has protested and sued the Trump administration over its handling of the environment.

The president has made more than 80 visits to Trump-branded properties in his 10 months as president, and oversees the government agency that is leasing the property for his Washington, D.C. hotel. He also has overseas properties and business relationships, complicating his role as diplomat-in-chief.

Trump winery is run by his son Eric.

He visited his Virginia winery in the early days of his presidential campaign, and boasted about the size and quality of the wine. Trump has said he drinks wine only when attending church services.