If I had a spare $29.5 million or so lying around, I’d definitely be in the market for the Moraga Vineyards estate in Bel Air, which is now up for sale. You know those rows of vines you see across the 405 as you ride the tram up to the Getty Museum? That’s it.
According to the winery’s website, Moraga is the first commercial winery to be bonded in the city of Los Angeles since Prohibition ended in 1933.
I was there once, and it really is Shangri-La, the vineyards as meticulously groomed as the romantic Provençal-style garden. I remember an outdoor dining room under the shade of a huge old tree, bees and lavender, sunshine and blue blue sky above. Not to mention the sprawling 7,500-square-foot Mediterranean-style house and guest house. Take a look around. You can go on a virtual tour of the property.
The 16-acre estate was purchased by then Northrup CEO Tom Jones and his wife, Ruth, in 1959 when it was still a horse ranch built by director Victor Fleming ("Gone with the Wind" and "The Wizard of Oz"). When Jones learned that Moraga Canyon had deep gravel soil, he was intrigued enough to try growing some Bordeaux varietals on his land — Cabernet, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc.