Rupert Murdoch, Jerry Hall, Mick Jagger celebrate Moraga Bel Air’s 30th anniversary
(Frank Micelotta / Moraga Bel Air)
Rupert Murdoch and Mick Jagger are part of one big, extended family. At Sunday’s 30th-anniversary gathering for the media tycoon’s Moraga Bel Air winery in Bel-Air, the Rolling Stones frontman, fresh from performing at the Rose Bowl, enjoyed a barbecue lunch with two of his children, James and Elizabeth Jagger, and their mom, Jerry Hall, who is now married to Murdoch.
Murdoch, casually dressed in a navy polo shirt, mingled with guests as a mariachi band performed. Murdoch bought Moraga Bel Air in 2013 and turned it into his West Coast home.
“We are so grateful for the hard work and passion the Moraga team puts into making this special wine,” Murdoch said. “It’s our true pleasure to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Moraga with our family and friends. It’s a wonderful day. I love the mariachis. So festive.”
Added Hall: “We love being a part of the wine community. My love of Moraga has inspired me to take a course on viticulture and enology.”
Guests at the affair included Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, owner and executive chairman of the Los Angeles Times, and his wife, Michele Chan Soon-Shiong; Lachlan Murdoch, co-chairman of News Corp. and executive chairman and chief executive officer of Fox, and his wife, Sarah; Bob Iger, chairman and chief executive officer of the Walt Disney Co.; and actor Harvey Keitel.
Fox executives in attendance were Eric Shanks, chief executive of Fox Sports; Mike Biard, president of distribution and operations for Fox; and Jack Abernethy, who oversees Fox Television Stations.
Other luminaries in the executive ranks were Peter Rice, a former top Murdoch lieutenant who is now Walt Disney Television chairman and co-chairman of Disney Media Networks (he joined Disney in March with the transfer of assets from Fox to Disney); Ron Meyer, vice chairman of NBCUniversal; and producer Brian Grazer.
Researcher and author Tracey Wilen and her husband were part of Sunday’s festivities. They are members of Moraga’s Cielo Club.
“As Bay Area Silicon Valley transplant[s], we were surprised to find a vineyard in Los Angeles that produced quality wine on such a beautiful property,” Wilen said. “We have been invited to events hosted by Mr. and Mrs. Murdoch, who are extremely gracious hosts and enjoy the world of wine and wine making. Rupert is walking wisdom. He is an avid reader, has a wealth of advice and is very easy to talk to. Jerry is gracious, super smart and has immersed herself into Moraga’s vineyard.”
Public relations executive Nicole Muj, another guest at the event, said she was fascinated by who was in attendance at the party.
“It was so interesting today to see and meet the leaders in entertainment, politics and publishing worlds, celebrating the summer season in a nonpartisan venue,” Muj said. “What a special event to celebrate the winery family and our beautiful planet.”
Events producer Steven Petrarca created a California-casual look for the vineyard garden party. “We don’t have [a lot of] wineries in L.A., so we are stealing a little of the Napa Valley vibe,” Petrarca said. “We also wanted the casualness of a backyard barbecue, so we tried to merge the two together.”
The Murdochs wanted a buffet, so guests could get their own plates and walk around and chat among themselves. “They liked the idea of leaving the vineyard in its natural state, letting people enjoy the California-casual space,” Petrarca said.
An assortment of organic garden roses was staged in vintage terracotta pots. “These flowers were selected from various local growers, along with herbs and lavender that are growing at the winery,” Petrarca said.
Scott Rich, winemaker and manager at Moraga Bel Air, selected red and white vintage wines for the lunch. “To be able to make wine for 30 years is a milestone for us,” Rich said. “This party is a lovely excuse to invite people who had never been here to see what we do. It’s a very special day for us as we very rarely have guests on property.”
The gathering was catered by Culver City-based Maple Block Meats Co., overseen by co-owner and executive chef Daniel Weinstock, who, for the occasion, roasted a 120-pound pig for 18 hours on-site on cinder blocks. The menu also included a house-made pickle bar, brisket, free-range chicken, macaroni and cheese, heirloom tomato salad and peach cobbler.