While raging wildfires swept through Northern California’s Napa and Sonoma Counties this week, destroying some of the country’s most prominent and productive vineyards, President Trump did not visit the state to console domestic winemakers there. Instead he was in the Oval Office pitching the red, white, and sparkling wines of his own Virginia vineyard.
In a tweet posted Wednesday morning the president wrote: “Devastated to hear about out-of-control fires in CA wine country — HORRIBLE! Everyone at Trump Winery in fire-free Virginia sends warmest condolences.”
He then went on to post: “Great opportunity for serious wine lovers to sample our medal-winning Chardonnays, Pinot Noirs, and Blanc de Blancs…not just great wines, but patriotic wines for true Americans!”
Vincent Coppelli, president of the California Winegrowers Association, whose family has been involved in the Golden State’s viticulture for more than 80 years, was incensed by Mr. Trump’s blatant opportunism.
“It’s frankly shocking and outrageous that the president would use the tragic misfortune of California’s winegrowers to promote his own vineyard. I’m convinced this is not only his scheme to capitalize on a disaster befalling the important California wine industry, but also a way to get back at a blue state that humiliated him in the last election.”
A spokesman for Trump Winery said that nothing has changed in the vineyard’s advertising or promotions since the California fires began, except for a small sticker that now appears on every bottle. It reads: “Trump Winery guarantees that no charred grapes were used in the making of this wine.”
Asked about President Trump’s seeming indifference to the plight of California winegrowers as catastrophic wildfires spread virtually unchecked across thousands of acres of valuable grapevines, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and, “Nothing could be further from the truth when it comes to the president’s concern for California’s wine industry. In fact, just today he ordered that a case of his award-winning reserve wines be shipped to every vineyard owner and manager across the state. If that’s not a gesture of unselfish support, generosity, and goodwill, I don’t know what is.”
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