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Murdoch moves into winemaking business

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch, chairman of NewsCorp and 21st Century Fox, is moving into the business of winemaking, with the purchase of a $29 million (€22 million) property in the Californian suburb of Bel Air in the US.

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch, chairman of NewsCorp and 21st Century Fox, is moving into the business of winemaking, with the purchase of a $29 million (€22 million) property in the Californian suburb of Bel Air in the US.

The 13-acre property, Moraga Vineyards, produces about 1,500 cases of wine a year and includes staff quarters, a tasting room and wine cave. The sale includes $4 million of wine inventory.

According to The Wall Street Journal, which is part of the NewsCorp stable, Murdoch became aware of the vineyard from a story in the paper.

He went into contract on the property in April and announced the news in May via a tweet, describing the property as a "beautiful small vineyard right in LA".

The sale has only just been finalised this week due to the long approval process required to obtain a liquor license for commercial wine-tastings at the property.

According to the Wine Spectator, the winery’s red wines, produced from cabernet sauvignon/merlot blends, often receive “outstanding” scores in their rankings. The winery’s white wine is produced from sauvignon blanc grapes.

Listing agent Jim Kline said Murdoch was “excited” to learn the winemaking business.

Tom Jones, an aeronautical engineer and former chief executive of Northrop Corporation, and his wife, Ruth, were the property’s previous owners, and had lived there since 1959. They began running it as a commercial winery in 1989.

Hollywood director Victor Fleming, known for Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz, was the previous owner and built the property’s three-bedroom home in the 1930s.

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