Moraga Estate

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Moraga Estate is an American estate, vineyard and winery in Bel Air, Los Angeles, California. As of 2013, it was owned by media mogul Rupert Murdoch.


The estate included a 7,500-square-foot, nine-fireplace Mediterranean Revival–style mansion and guest house, a Provençal-style garden, and sixteen acres of vineyards.[1][2][3][4][5]


It was located in Moraga Canyon in the Santa Monica Mountains, in the hilly part of the upscale neighborhood of Bel Air in Los Angeles, California.[1][2][6][3][4][7] Moraga Canyon was already home to wild grapes, as noted by Fr. Juan Crespí (1721–1782) in his diary during the expedition of Gaspar de Portolà (1716–1784) in August 1769.[1] It was five miles from the Pacific Ocean, and 600 to 900 feet in elevation.[2] It could be seen from Interstate 405 and from the J. Paul Getty Museum.[2][6]


It was owned by film director Victor Fleming (1889-1949), who used it as a horse ranch in the 1930s and 1940s.[1][2][3] Frequent guests to Fleming's estate were Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Ingmar Bergman and Spencer Tracy.[2]

In 1959, it was purchased by Thomas V. Jones, who served as Chief Executive of the Northrop Corporation for thirty years, and his wife Ruth.[1][2][3][4][5][7] They turned the estate into a vineyard, by planting a terraced vineyard in 1978.[1][2][7][5] In 1986, they purchased additional adjacent land to expand the vineyard.[4] In 2005, new winery facilities were built on site.[6]

In 2013, it was purchased by Rupert Murdoch, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the News Corporation, after he saw an advertisement in a newspaper he owns, The Wall Street Journal.[2][5][8][9]


Under the brand Moraga Vineyards, it grew the following varietals of Bordeaux wine: Cabernet, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon blanc.[1][2][6][3][4] It is grown on naturally deep gravel soil and annual rainfall of 24 inches.[1][2] The first wine, the Moraga Red Table Wine, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, was made by winemaker Tony Soter in 1989 and sold in 1992.[1][3][7] The first Moraga White Table Wine was produced in 1998 and released in 2000.[1] The current winemaker is Scott Rich.[6]

The wines were served at the Bel Air Bar and Grill, Bel-Air Country Club, The Beverly Hills Hotel, Patina, Spago, and Morton's The Steakhouse.[2] They have received good reviews from wine critics Jancis Robinson and Robert M. Parker, Jr..[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Official website: History Archived 2013-05-08 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Meg James, Rupert Murdoch buys Moraga Vineyards estate in Bel Air, Los Angeles Times, May 10, 2013
  3. ^ a b c d e f S. Irene Virbila, Moraga Vineyards in Bel Air for sale, Los Angeles Times, February 08, 2013
  4. ^ a b c d e Dan Berger, Moraga Vineyards: Appellation Controlee Bel Air, The Los Angeles Times, January 09, 1992
  5. ^ a b c d Tim Fish, Media Mogul Rupert Murdoch Buys Moraga Vineyards, Wine Spectator, May 13, 2013
  6. ^ a b c d e f Corie Brown, Finally, a winery in Bel-Air, Los Angeles Times, September 28, 2005
  7. ^ a b c d Charles Lewis Sullivan, A Companion to California Wine: An Encyclopedia of Wine and Winemaking from the Mission Period to the Present, Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 1998, p. 224 [1]
  8. ^ Will Colvin, Rupert Murdoch Has Just Bought A Vineyard Archived 2013-06-18 at the Wayback Machine., Business Insider Australia, May 11, 2013
  9. ^ Rupert Murdoch Confirms Plans to Purchase Bel Air Vineyard, The Hollywood Reporter, May 10, 2013

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Coordinates: 34°05′04″N 118°28′08″W / 34.084346°N 118.468925°W / 34.084346; -118.468925