Murdoch closes $28.8m winery deal29th August, 2013 by Lucy Shaw
News Corp tycoon Rupert Murdoch has completed his purchase of Moraga Vineyards in Los Angeles for a reported $28.8m.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the deal for the Bel Air winery was completed on Tuesday through Newport Beach-based luxury real estate agent Surterre Properties.
The five-hectare property, built by Gone With the Wind and The Wizard of Oz director Victor Fleming in the 1930s, includes a 2,300-square-foot winery that produces about 1,500 cases a year.
Also included in the sale was $4m worth of Moraga back vintages and a 7,500-square-foot house with three bedrooms, four bathrooms and maid’s quarters.
Murdoch went into contract on the property in April, announcing the news via Twitter in May.
“About to celebrate buying beautiful small vineyard right in LA. Great wine, Moraga, owned by great Angelino, Tom Jones,” he tweeted.
Murdoch had to wait for approval of his application for a California liquor license before being able to seal the deal.
Located in the hills above Bel Air, Moraga currently produces a red blend made predominantly from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot with small amounts of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot that spends up to 22 months in new French oak.
It has also produced Moraga White, made from Sauvignon Blanc, since 1998.
The 82-year-old plans to carry on the work of his predecessors and continue making wine. Moraga produced its first commercial vintage in 1989.
“He’s excited about learning the wine-making business,” Jim Kline of Surterre Properties told the WSJ.
Murdoch is currently going through a divorce from his wife of fourteen years, Wendi Deng.
Forbes magazine estimates Murdoch is worth in the region of US$11.2 billion.