The SOMM Journal

August / September 2017

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Page 102 of 148

102 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2017 { cellar view } NESTLED WITHIN EXCLUSIVE Bel-Air—a literal stone's throw from the famous Getty Center and L.A.'s infamous 405 Freeway—sits the Moraga Estate. A luxury winery estab- lished in the heart of Tinseltown may sound farfetched or only plausible in a movie script. In a way, the Moraga Estate does have a true Hollywood story. The land currently occupied by vineyards used to see the footfalls of celebrities and livestock alike when owned by Victor Fleming in the early part of the 20th century. If the name doesn't ring a bell, the movies The Wizard of Oz or Gone with the Wind should—both were directed by Fleming. The property was purchased in 1959 by Northrop Grumman CEO Tom Jones, who had the foresight to plant grapes on the former horse ranch as early as 1985. With the soil structure bearing a strong similarity to the compositions found in Bordeaux, Jones produced the first Moraga Red in 1989. In 2013, the land once again changed ownership when it was purchased by media mogul Rupert Murdoch, under the stipulation that the winemaking operation stay intact. Soon after, veteran vintner Scott Rich was brought onboard to help make Moraga as well-known as its owner. For the wine itself, Moraga produces a red blend as well as perhaps the best Sauvignon Blanc in America. While the grapes have been grown for several decades on slopes that take full advantage of the staff-nicknamed "Santa Monica Bay Breeze," produc - tion of the wine has only been on-site since 2005, the 2009 vintage being the first to use water-bent barrels. Moraga Estate wines are currently available in a select few states, but Moraga Markers MORAGA ESTATE PRODUCES BORDEAUX BLENDS IN THE HEART OF BEL-AIR by Ryan Ford PHOTO: OLIVERA MARKOVIC Moraga makes perhaps the best Sauvignon Blanc in America.

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