Despite Some Fire Damage, Rupert Murdoch's Moraga Winery in Bel Air Is Back in Business
On Wednesday, the News Corp. chairman's vineyard property was directly in the path of the Skirball fire in Bel Air. And while there was some damage to the property, his residence was ultimately spared.
Rupert Murdoch's Moraga Estate vineyard has lived to see another day.
"We are open for business," read a statement that was released Friday just days after the Skirball fire breached Murdoch's property line, damaging some of the wine and the vines. Murdoch's residence on the 13-acre estate was not damaged.
On Wednesday, the area surrounding the vineyard, which is just northeast of the Getty Center, was evacuated by the L.A. Fire Department. LAFD ordered evacuations along the east side of the 405 freeway from just north of Westwood up toward the Sepulveda Pass, which included the Moraga Vineyards.
Murdoch purchased the winery and estate in 2013 for $28.8 million.
Here is the full statement released by Moraga Vineyards winemaker Scott Rich:
"We are beyond grateful for the efforts of all firefighters who saved lives and property. Some of them have shared with us what it was like and how hard they were working to stop the flames. They have been amazing. Most importantly, no one at the vineyard was hurt. We did lose some wine and there was a very minor damage to the vines but we don't know the full extent just yet. In my experience vineyards can act as a firebreak so that may have helped us. Our ability to produce wine hasn't been affected at all and we are very much open for business. Mr. Murdoch's residence wasn't damaged. Harvest was completed in mid-October and the vines are dormant so they won't be affected by the smoke. Our thoughts are with our neighbors and everyone else being impacted by California fires at this time."