Final Verdict (as of today, 8/3/11): There's no "there" there at Oasis Winery, at least not today, and at least not for Virginia's wine country travelers. We set out on a seemingly simple quest to respond to a question from a reader: Is Oasis Winery open? That led us down the winding road below, and our decision to go check it out for ourselves. Ultimately, a couple of days before our scheduled visit, we checked with the Oasis representative to make sure we were still on. The appointment, which had been scheduled for July 16, was canceled, due to the Salahis being called out of town. Shortly thereafter, we read that the Salahis were called to appear in court in Loudoun County on July 18. They were being sued by a customer of their Virginia Wine Country Tours business for taking her money, not delivering the tour, and not returning the money. A second suit in Arlington County was brought by another customer a few days later. Though the Oasis website says that the winery is open daily for tastings, we haven't been able to find any evidence that's true. Once the dust settles out there and the numerous court cases come to a close - or another owner comes into the picture - we'll take another look, but for now, we believe it's dead, Jim. (For background on the issues bedeviling Oasis over the last couple of years, take a look at this Washington Post article.) UPDATE (6/13/11): We've gotten a lot of conflicting information over the last 24 hours about Oasis (see the comments on this post), so thought it would be best to head out to the winery and check it out ourselves before re-listing Oasis in the Virginia Wine in My Pocket iPhone app. We requested an appointment for a tour and tasting, per the instructions the winery provided, below, and been told we are welcome to come out in several weeks. We'll finalize a date later this week, and report back to you on what we find. Winery? No winery? TV show? Twilight zone? Cover us...we're going in...Original Post: (6/12/11) We get a lot of inquiries about Oasis Winery, mostly from those who remember it as one of the original party spots for weekend wine warriors in the D.C. area. Snagging a spot on the big sunny deck was about as good a way to spend the day as any, way back when.
Sadly, Oasis closed several years ago, and neighbors and friends watched the vineyards grow over with weeds as the owners tussled in court. (For the complete story, Google "Tareq Salahi".)
Now there appears to be life coming back into the old place, but accurate/consistent details are hard to come by. The winery is booking weddings and events, and tastings are available by appointment. For more info about events, or to book a tasting, email (only) to: email@example.com (tastings), or firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com.
Here’s what we learned from the winery’s publicist, as of June 2011:
Who is making the wine now at Oasis? Owner/Winemaker Tareq Salahi What grapes are being used in Oasis’ wines? Oasis-owned or Oasis-leased – 100% Virginia. Premium varietals will only be estate grown effective 2014, and Oasis will no longer purchase grapes outside of Oasis. What wines are currently being produced/offered at Oasis? Chardonnay, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, plus two styles of sparkling wine: Rose Brut, and Celebration Brut Cuvee D’Or.
Further, we learned that “visitors in 2011 & 2012 should be advised that filming has commenced for a new Reality Television Show which will be ongoing through early spring next year and their visit may be included if they visit the winery and filming is happening at the same time. Guests may also request that they not be filmed for any private party booked at Oasis.”
When we pressed for details on the new show, we were told that “it will be a West Coast & East Coast highlights of what the Salahis do in Hollywood, including the everyday drama within the Virginia wine industry, Oasis Winery and customary events/happenings at Oasis and within the county including the conflicting county laws vs. state laws and how that affects wineries financially to remain viable. It will also highlight the personal side of the Salahis. The official announcement is expected by end of this year by the network.”
We’ll report more as we learn more.Oasis Winery 14141 Hume Road, Hume, VA 540-635-9933