The Trump Winery in Virginia is now claiming that the business and the property are not affiliated with the Trump Organization or President Donald Trump. The company says the only Trump linked to the business is Eric Trump.
According to a report from The Huffington Post, the Trump Winery website says on its “legal” page that it is a registered trade name of Eric Trump Wine Manufacturing LLC. It also states that the business is not affiliated with the Trump Organization, Donald J. Trump, or any of its affiliates.
The change comes ahead of Trump Vineyard Estates in Charlottesville, Virginia, which sought permission from the Department of Labor to hire temporary workers under the H-2A visa program. The program allows U.S. businesses to hire non-citizen workers only if there are no other Americans able or willing to do the job. The positions were paying $12.25 per hour.
Despite the wording on the page, Trump Vineyard Estates, including the winery, is part of the Trump Organization’s real estate portfolio. Trump Vineyard Estates filed the request with the Labor Department for winery workers.
An article from Buzzfeed insists that the president owns the winery as well as the vineyard that surrounds it. A report from The Hill states that Eric Trump has maintained ownership of the winery since 2012, when his father gave it to him.
The request is looking for 23 seasonal employees, and specifies that workers will be working outdoors in weather “as cold as 10 degrees” and will spend a significant amount of time bending.
It is still unclear whether Donald Trump or the Trump Organization have divested from the winery, but during his campaign, he tweeted a link to an article with the title: Trump Talks Politics at His Virginia Winery.
During the 2017 riots in Charlottesville, Trump also stated that he was very familiar with the area because he owned a winery there.
The Trump Winery features a tasting room and hotel. The business also hosts events on the winery grounds.
Over the last 15 years, Trump businesses have employed more than 1,200 foreign workers. Since 2010, only 17 out of 300 American applicants were hired to work at the Mar-a-Lago golf resort. During that time, the golf resort has secured more than 500 H-2B visas for seasonal foreign workers.
The story follows other wine-related headlines from iwawine.com, which recently designed a wine cellar for Alpha Omega Winery, and Zinfandel Lane Vineyard, which is located in St. Helena and is owned by Nancy Pelosi. Pelosi has also applied for and hosted foreign workers for her vineyard, but she has not denied ownership of the company.
Trump has criticized Pelosi for taking a stand against his proposed border wall. He says she is trying to appeal to her wine country donors for their “grape picking” needs.
While Trump has been relatively silent on the issue, the president earlier in the year promised farmers at a conference that he would make it easier for immigrants to come into the country to work for them.