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Sunday 9 June 2024

Would you like to a taste one of Rupert Murdoch's wines?

Rupert Murdoch is best-known for publishing newspapers that consistently deny climate change and actively promote right-wing politicians.

But he also wants to be known for making world-class wines in an unlikely location.

Australian-born US media mogul Murdoch hosted his fifth wedding at his California vineyard earlier this month.

The Moraga estate in Bel Air, the only vineyard located in the city of Los Angeles, is a venue Murdoch believes can produce "world-class" wines, the drinks business reported.

I once worked for Rupert, and had a 30-second interaction with him when he looked over my shoulder as I was typing in the Daily Telegraph newsroom in Sydney. 

He stood there for a minute or two, said "carry on" and then proceeded on to more important matters of trying to ensure some lunatic was elected somewhere around the world.

Moraga Vineyards is around 300 metres in elevation in the Santa Monica Mountains in the Los Angeles community of Bel Air.

It is where Murdoch, now 93, married biologist Elena Zhukova last weekend.

Murdoch purchased Moraga in 2013 for US $22.3 million, and the estate includes 14 acres of vineyards on top of the Benedict Canyon fault. It also houses a high-tech on-site winery.  

Although challenged by the severe weather conditions often found in LA, including wild fires in 2017, Murdoch wants the vineyard to be “a big part of his legacy”, that organ of accuracy The Daily Mail reported.

Moraga was originally a horse ranch, owned by the director of Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz, Victor Fleming. But in 1980, its then-owner Tom Jones, the CEO of defence and aerospace technology firm Northrop Grumman, decided to plant vines.

The Moraga website quotes Murdoch as saying: "Moraga is 'not Napa or Bordeaux' but that it deserves “ a place at the table with the rest of the world’s top wines”.

As part of the drive to make people more aware of the vineyard, it occasionally offers tastings at $US 150 per head. Moraga currently makes around 500 cases of a red wine blend, which retails at US$ 140 and a Sauvignon Blanc at $US $92. 

Rupert has not yet sent a bottle for review.

For details of the project see

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