Moraga Bel Air Vineyard
Location: Bel Air, CA
The Moraga vineyard is viewed as a total ecosystem, rather than a grape monoculture. Areas of native vegetation and the extensive gardens serve as insectaries for beneficial insects. A permanent cover crop of native grasses and wildflowers is maintained in order to prevent erosion and improve overall soil health. Surrounding the vineyard, a handcrafted stone wall enhances the sense of place. This Bordeaux-style vineyard in the heart of Bel Air is legendary as it is one of the first new commercial vineyards since Prohibition ended in the city of Los Angeles.
Winemaker Paul Warson
Paul Warson grew up in Los Angeles, and attended UC Davis where he eventually studied Fermentation Science. Before his final year he worked at a sparkling winery in Carneros when he decided he would spend his career doing what he did for his summer vacation. Upon completion of his degree, he was invited back to see, “the other side of things.”
Feeling he needed a change of perspective, Paul traveled to Australia, where he lived and worked for six months. With the change in varietals, climate, and overall attitude to winemaking, Paul discovered a different approach to the craft he studied and trained in for so long. Desiring to seek outside perspectives to winemaking, when Paul returned to California, he worked at Chateau Potelle, back when it was owned by both Jean-Noel and Marketta Fourmeaux and sat atop Mount Veeder. It was here Paul integrated his schooling, his experience from Australia, along with what he learned from the owners: that with each wine that is created, the winemaker has an intimate commitment to both the wine and the consumer, to craft wines that are distinctive and true to their place.
After working an additional nine years in Napa Valley, a conversation with Bill Foley of Foley Family Wines brought Paul to Firestone Vineyard, in the Santa Ynez Valley, where he was winemaker and General Manager for nine years. By this time, estate vineyards had become Paul’s specialty, and he was able to elevate all of the tiers for each winery within the company.
Paul came to Moraga Vineyards in May of 2021. It is his intention to fulfill the Murdoch’s commitment to the estate and to continue to produce wine of the highest quality
In addition to Moraga Bel Air, Paul also has his own brand Warson Wine Company, making wine from the Santa Ynez Valley and Los Angeles County.