Bel Air’s Moraga Estate is currently in the middle of its 28th straight wine grape harvest. Already having brought in its Sauvignon Blanc grapes the first week of September, Moraga Estate began picking its red wine grapes last week and will continue to harvest through this month and October.
The fourteen-acre estate located on Moraga Drive in Bel Air was founded in 1989 and released its first vintage in 1992. Surrounded on all sides by the mansions of Bel Air, Moraga Estate cultivates six acres of wine grapes including Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Its annual production, sold largely to a club, mailing list and local restaurants, is approximately 1,000 cases. Since purchasing the vineyard and winery in 2013, proprietor Rupert Murdoch has chosen not to institute any changes to the grapegrowing and winemaking regimes.
2016 Bel Air Wine Grape Harvest High in Quality, Lower in Yield
“The Sauvignon Blanc came in looking spectacular in quality, but slightly below normal in yield when we picked it early this year,” said Scott Rich, Moraga’s winemaker. “It looks like the same for the red grapes, which we began picking last week and will continue to harvest through the middle of October when the Cabernet Sauvignon is harvested.”
The wines of Moraga Estate have long been acclaimed by wine critics including numerous 90+ point scores from the Wine Spectator, which recently described its current release 2012 Moraga Red as “Firm and vibrant, with chewy tannins and a mix of dark berry, cedary oak, mocha and mineral notes, ending with tobacco leaf and spicy accents.” Wine Critic and writer James Suckling declared that Moraga Estate is “one of the best producers of red in California.”
“We fully understand that many residents of Southern California are surprised when they learn that a working vineyard, winery and underground aging caves are located in the middle of Bel Air and producing some of California’s most highly acclaimed wines,” noted Scott. “That’s OK with us though since we love the idea of being discovered all over again.”
More information about Moraga Estate is available at www.moragavineyards.com