Murdoch moves into wine trade

14 May, 2013

Australian media tycoon Rupert Murdoch has bought a 6.5ha vineyard in Bel Air, California, for a fee believed to be in the region of £19 million. 

The estate produces Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Sauvignon Blanc. 

Murdoch, whose media empire includes The Sun, The Times, Twentieth Century Fox and HarperCollins, read about Moraga Vineyards and winery in one of his newspapers, The Wall Street Journal. 

He bought the estate from Thomas Jones, former chief executive of security firm Northrop, for an undisclosed fee. The property, which comes with a house, was listed at £19.25 million. 

Jones and his wife Ruth took it on in 1959 after buying it from Victor Fleming, director of Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz.

His representatives have declined to comment on the purchase, but Murdoch tweeted: “About to celebrate buying beautiful small vineyard right in LA. Great wine, Moraga, owned by great Angelino, Tom Jones. Time cover,1961!” 

Jim Kline, the estate agent who handled the sale, said: “I think he’s very interested in learning the wine business and carrying on Moraga the way that it has been. I think it’s something that intrigues him. And it’s a spectacular property.”




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Talking terroir

When Bordeaux was in fashion, it seemed almost logical that we should fetishise winemakers. Here were people responsible for brilliant acts of blending, across large estates and multiple grape varieties, including superstars such as cabernet sauvignon and merlot. These days, fashion has moved on and pinot noir is ascendant. As a result, the star of the winemaker has fallen and we find ourselves following a new star in the sky: terroir.

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