US wine mogul who donated $398,000 to President Donald Trump owns several New Zealand wines

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The billionaire owner of a variety of New Zealand's best-known wines is a mogul who's helping bankroll US President Donald Trump's 2020 election campaign, a top wine commentator claims.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports Bill Foley donated US$255,600 (NZ$398,063) to Trump between 2016 and 2020.

Foley owns Foley Family Wines, which has a number of New Zealand brands to its name - including Te Kairanga, Mt Difficulty, Vavasour, Russian Jack, Roaring Meg and Boatshed Bay.

But Foley's wasn't the highest donation to Trump from a California winery executive or vintner over this period, the Chronicle reports. Tom Barrack from Happy Canyon Vineway gave US$360,000 (NZ$560,574).

Executive director of the American Association of Wine Economists Karl Storchmann tweeted a list of winemakers and asked whether them contributing to Trump's campaign would impact consumers' decisions to buy these brands.

"I happily never support anybody on this list already. The US wine industry overwhelmingly is not actually about wine but rather the idea of it," one wrote.

"At least now I know which wineries not to buy from," another said.

David Cormack, who co-manages Wellington PR company Draper Cormack, told Stuff Foley's donations to Trump could put Kiwis off its products.

"Many New Zealanders would be deeply disappointed if they learned that some of their favourite so-called Kiwi brands were owned by a Trump-supporting American," he said.

But others didn't mind who winemakers politically supported.

"I really don't give a shit if they support Trump or donate to Republicans. I'm drinking wine because I love it and it tastes good not for political purposes," a user tweeted.

Foley Wines NZ has been contacted for comment.

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