Rupert Murdoch defends his wine-making endeavors in interview

Rupert Murdorch and his wines (credit: Eva Rinaldi and Moraga Wines)

Rupert Murdoch may have made a name for himself as a media mogul, but he is also fast-becoming a well-known name in the winemaking biz. After buying his own small winery in Bel Air called Moraga Estates for $28.8 million in 2013, he has been producing pricey wares. His red wines can command as much as $175 a bottle and whites as much as $110. Those eager to have a try need only to head to buzzy LA spots like Nobu Malibu and Wolfgang’s Steakhouse, where they are currently served.

Bloomberg recently did a Q&A with the publishing titan about his love of vino making, which at times seemed more like a negging session than a friendly fact finding mission.

“It’s almost a parody of a rich person, to have a vineyard in Bel Air,” Bloomberg’s Joel Stein zings Murdoch. Unfazed, Murdoch explains his is a modest (but perfect) vineyard.

He also seems unfazed by Stein suggesting this endeavor is merely a vanity project. “As a businessman, it obviously can’t make sense to grow wine in Bel Air, can it?” goads Bloomberg’s Joel Stein. Murdoch, straightly replies, “I think we can get there. The land is what kills you. The taxes.” He adds that wine expert Jacob Rothschild, upon sampling Murdoch’s nectar said it was “a serious wine,” which pleased him greatly.

Because Murdoch only produces a small amount of the good stuff — 10,000 bottles — Stein wonders aloud if Murdoch should just keep it himself while entertaining and to hand out as gifts.

Murdoch replies, “I don’t entertain that much—10,000 is a lot of bottles. Me and my wife can never drink that much. She likes the white.”

Stein prefers a dessert wine that Murdoch used to make and suggests he do so again, but Murdoch explains it is wildly expensive to make, uses too many grapes and is pure calories.

Stein ends his Q&A sesh by asking Murdoch if he hasn’t brought his wine offerings to many restaurants because it’s a pain to carry or because it is embarrassing to bring his own wine.

To which Murdoch answers, clearly adept at dealing with thirsty interviewers, “I’m a bit modest, that’s all. Also, I work so hard I don’t go out that much.” [Bloomberg]