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Oasis Winery, reality show redux

New landscaping at Oasis
New landscaping at Oasis (photo provided by Oasis)
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 appWe 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: info@oasiswine.com (tastings), or specialevents@oasiswine.com, or weddings@oasiswine.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  

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Comments

Hey guys - I'm going to ask that we limit the discussion here to Oasis Winery, and whether (or not) it's going to again become part of Virginia's wine country. I realize that there is a connection between the wine tours and the Salahis and Oasis Winery, and certainly there is concerning information presented here, but I'm sure there are other places to share information about that. Thanks a lot.

Seems they are continuing their BS campaign. Their Twitter account tweeted:
@Oasiswine Oasis Winery
Save the Date - Sept 24 - more info coming soon food & wine lovers! @nytimesfood @Foodnetwork @SAVEURMAG 20 Aug

Please send spies!

Awe, but check out their Official Oasis Wine website. Salahis are STILL offering/taking wedding reservations for 2012 for $1900...no refund. Pulling the same scam as their Wine Country Tour. Say adios to your money if you are dumb enough to book a wedding on a business that is bankrupt and the contents to be auctioned off in September. Neat trick! Blatantly flaunting their scam on the internet.

Nancy: Understood. However, I would not put it past that couple to generate "inquiries" from "various people". They utilize any number of fake names and identities. Then, in response to your inquiry, you got some bogus response from their so-called "publicsist." Do not be fooled by these people.

Check this out. It is from the financing for the real estate for Oasis Vineyards: http://tinyurl.com/OasisLien From page 8 of the lien against the winery: "in the event that Tareq Salahi, or any agent, designee or affiliate of Tareq Salahi, is appointed or assumes any role as officer, director or manager of Oasis, the Salahi Partnership or the business conducted by Oasis and/or the Salahi Partnership generally known as the Oasis Vineyard or the Oasis Winery, the Lender reserves the right to accelerate the Maturity Date of this note."

There is a hearing this Tuesday working out a lien to clear the path for the liquidation sale.

Shoot me an email. I can give you all of the essential phone numbers etc. They are saying several weeks because they need to plan a day and wait to see if they can get away with it without the federal courts finding out. Dont be a dupe!!

Hi MD LAW. The Trip Advisor comments are pretty damning, that's for sure.

Just one point of clarification: the Salahis did not contact us to be included in the app. We are responding to inquiries we've received from various people about the status of Oasis' tasting room and winemaking operation.

Nancy: I understand your concern; however, in order to appreciate the brazeness of the Salahi "publicist" in feeding you absolutely false information, one must understand the depth of apparent deception, and how all of these shell businesses overlap and go back to Tareq Salahi, whom, according to what you were told, is the "Owner/Winemaker" of Oasis. A rational and reasonable person would read what you received and posted and assume there must at least be some truth in it. Sorry, no.

Virginia Wine Tourism, Inc. in addition to Tareq Salahi's home phone number, show an address at Oasis Vineyard, which he has had nothing to do with for years.

Tareq Salahi has never owned Oasis Vineyard, Inc. It was owned by his parents, now his mother, and is in Chapter 7 Liquidation Bankruptcy with absolute auction coming soon. And if one examines the Virgina Wine Tours website, you will see Oasis displayed prominently in photos, "events", and even on the vehicles that company purportedly owns [which it does not]. Some might say this has nothing to do with Oasis. I disagree. It has everything to do with it.

The winery assets will be auctioned off by the Trustee in Bankruptcy, and it is only a matter of time before the real property is sold.

Someone will eventually buy the property, either in a forced sale or through foreclosure, and might eventually try to resurrect the vineyard. I don't have a crystal ball, but I sort of doubt it would ever be re-opened under the Oasis name, since that name, quite unfortunately, has been forever tarnished.

And this will be my last post. Thank you for your attention to this matter.

A new sign has gone up at Oasis today. It repeats the claim that oasis is one of the top 10 wineries in the world! That doesn't hold water even if you define "world" as northern Fauquier county. The most prominent message is that you can have your wedding, rehearsal dinner or event at oasis. So where's the wine?
It is a sad day for the credibility of VA wine that this large yellow sign now messages folks visiting quality wine makers like Rappahanock, Desert Rose and Linden! The drama continues. At least it's not an electronic sign showing Michaela's new video "Bump". But who knows how it might morhp once the sun goes down.
Let me know if you want a picture of the new signage.

And if one has morbid curiosity about the Salahis' lives of deception, visit Salahientertainment.com, which will re-direct you to a Facebook page devoted exclusively to bringing them to justice. And if you do, be sure to click on the "discussions" tab and review the "Salami Business Model". It's all there, folks.

Hi Kurt - the idea of the hard working Virginia wine industry being pulled into a heavily edited reality tv show certainly does give one pause (assuming that's what you're referring to...).

I suppose the popular notion of all publicity being good publicity is worth a moment's consideration, and we've heard tales from plenty of winery owners about the rat's nest of regulation and paperwork they must contend with to bring their product to market, so I'm guessing there's humor and outrage - the genre's lynchpins - to be found here.

Wondering what others think about this?

Nancy:

Unfortunately, I believe you have been snookered. But don’t feel bad about that, because Tareq & Michaele Salahi have been snookering sophisticated and intelligent people for years.

First, Oasiswine.com is not the official site of Oasis Vineyards. It is a bogus page created by Tareq to compete with his parents’ [father now deceased] legitimate web page, Oasiswines.net.

Second, I would love to know the name of the Salahi “publicist” you dealt with. Let’s see, they use all sorts of made up names, such as Skye Melton, Clifford Lee, Kevin Bradley, David Mortz and Roger Stern, just to name a few.

Third, Oasis Vineyard, Inc. was placed into Chapter 7 Liquidation Bankruptcy some years ago and all assets, such as equipment, product and name are to be sold/auctioned to partially satisfy creditors. The Oasis name belongs to the Bankruptcy Trustee, not Mr. Salahi. Mr. Salahi’s competing business, Oasis Enterprises, Inc. also is in Chapter 7 Liquidation Bankruptcy with little hope of recovery of anything for the many creditors. Mr. Salahi’s enterprise, which some have referred to as a ‘goat rodeo’ of “America’s Polo Cup, Inc.” also is in Chapter 7 Liquidation Bankruptcy with little hope of recovery of anything for its many creditors. And his charity, “Journey For the Cure Foundation”, is under investigation by both state and federal authorities.

Fourth, the home on the property is owned by Mr. Salahi’s mother. All of the other real property, including the fields and vines, are owned by the Salahi Family Partnership, of which Mr. Salahi only holds a 5% interest. And the existing mortgage on that property is, or at least was a few months ago, in default. Chances are, I tend to suspect, that will go to a foreclosure auction as well.

So, I think what you were told by the “publicist” was all BS, not like that is anything new from Mr. Tareq Salahi. I would not fret about a Salahi/Oasis “reality show” painting the VA wine industry in a bad light, because I suspect it’s all just made-up BS in the first instance.

Well, hello to you, MD LAW! This would certainly not be the first time I've been snookered in my life ;-)

This all started as a service to our readers, as we attempt to respond to an innocent question about why we didn't include Oasis in our iPhone app travel guide to Virginia wine country. So, presumably, tours and tastings are available by appointment - at least according to someone who identifies herself as Oasis' publicist.

I think this calls for a visit.

Hi Lizette, and welcome to the moshpit

Sounds like you bring some firsthand knowledge to the discussion. Is this a personal or professional interest (or disinterest) for you?

Per the information I was given by the Oasis publicist (noted in the blog post), I have requested a private tour and tasting. If we’re going to include this in Virginia Wine in My Pocket, I need to check it out. I’ve asked permission to bring an additional wine blogger (or two).

(By now, commenters may be thinking…”Is Nancy really THAT naive?” To which I reply, “I own a domain name (for an as-yet undeveloped site) called IAmPollyanna.com. I kid you not.”)

By the way, for the unititiated and naiive, "Virginia Wine Country Tours" is another scam run by the Salahis:

http://www.virginiawinetour.com/

some may say, "A scam? That seems a bit harsh and over-the-top."

Natural reaction. Totally understandable.

So, please, don't take my word for it, just check out the reviews from their many stiffed customers:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g57839-d1119645-Reviews-Vir...

Here's just a sample: "Beware--they cancelled after they took my money!", "unprofessional", "rip-off", "horrible", "you will be scammed", "worst company", "this company scams you", and it goes on and on and on.

You just can't make this stuff up.

Maybe now Tareq/Michelle regret they contacted you in the first place, insisting to be included on your app. [And believe me, it was not some "publicsist"-- what a bunch of hooey.]

As long as there is one more sucker out there to give them a 'non-refundable deposit", and as long as they can continue to con, they will get away with it.

And that's just plain wrong.

Thanks for setting things straight MD Law. It was probably the Salahi's themselves that were asking why Oasis was not included on your Iphone app, Rick and Nancy. Addendum to MD Law's information. There is no network filming Salahi's for a reality tv series. Salahi's are filming themselves hoping to sell their BS as a reality tv show. No one is allowed on Oasis Winery property without the permission of the bankruptcy trustee, so this announcment of filming is Salahi empty nonsense! By the way, Salahis claim they are negotiating a concert at the winery with Andrea Bocelli. Bocelli's agents deny this and have demanded Salahis remove this from their website.

Hi Suzanne, and thanks for weighing in. That's quite a Facebook page you've got there, by the way ;-)

Can you share any more detail on your comment "The Salahis do not own nor run a winery"? The winery's publicist (who asked to remain nameless, though you will likely reach her if you email the winery, as I did) referred to Tareq Salahi as the "owner/winemaker" at Oasis.

Thanks for any additional info you can share.

In 2009 Corrine Salahi refinanced the real estate that Oasis Winery sits on through a private party. The note is currently in default. If you need any further proof that Tareq Salahi has nothing to do with the winery you need to look no further than the note which stipulates: "in the event that Tareq Salahi, or any agent, designee or affiliate of Tareq Salahi, is appointed or assumes any role as officer, director or manager of Oasis, The Salahi Partnership or the business conducted by Oasis and/or the Salahi Partnership generally known as the Oasis vineyard or the Oaiss Winery, the Lender reserves the right to accelerate the Maturity Date of this Note."

We visted the original Oasis vineyard last year. We were in the vicinity (before your app) and wanted to drive by and see what was up. They were open on the weekends, but it was sad to drive in and see the withered vineyards and the poor condition of what had been a great place in our memories. One lady was running the tastings, but there were only a couple left to taste and of course, not the good ones. Pre-Michaela, Tariq and his father Dirgham made a lot of very good wine. Both were early promoters of Virginia wine and deserved a lot of praise. For those of us who remember the 90s-03 or so, Oasis was one of the top vineyards in Virginia. How things change.

WhyteWine's comment does provide some historical perspective and, in a sense, is actually very telling.

He/she mentions the glory years at Oasis of the 90's to 2003. Curiously, that ending date was about the time that Mr. Tareq Salahi's parents entrusted him, in restrospect quite regrettably some might say, with the "management" of the vineyard and winery. After a couple of years, he and his wife, Michelle {I believe that is her legal name, not "Michaele"], according to my understanding, were fired by his parents and kicked out of their apartment on the property based upon, as I also understand it, what some might opine as his somewhat questionable "management" of that business.

Thereafter, civil litigation ensued between Mr. Salahi and his parents, as well as criminal charges flying back and forth. [As I recall, according to a 2009 Montgomery County, MD police report, Mr. Tareq Salahi at that time had been involved in something like 42 requests for police involvement. By the way, that same police report concluded Mr. Tareq Salahi had filed an unfounded report and fabricated documents to support his claim with that agency.]

In about 2010, facing mounting debt largely incurred under Tareq's prior "management", his parents apparently had no alternative but to put the winery into Chapter 7 Liquidation Bankruptcy.

Just like wine turning to vinegar in a barrel, this sordid tale sounds like an American success story turned to unfortunate tragedy. Of course, Tareq and Michelle Salahi like to always describe it as a "Falcon Crest" story, apparently thinking that makes them seem important or special or somehow entitled. After all, Michelle has said that Tareq comes from "tremendous wealth". Really? I don't think so.

It is hardly a "Falcon Crest" saga. It's more like like a bizarre conbination of "Operation Repo", "Cops" and "Trailer Boys".

Just my opinions.

Google them and read the countless stories pertaining to lies, cons, bankruptcies, unpaid credit card debt, lawsuits, etc. Although not directly involved, I take it very personally and belong to a group of people dedicated to exposing Salahis and to minimize the damage they have done. As long as they can pull off their BS tour, Salahis can continue to hurt people. We do what we can to limit the damage they cause.

Hm. Just imagine if they tried to be famous for doing something of quality and substance? If you get a blogger invite to Oasis be sure to let us know how it is. Even if by some bizarre happenstance we got invited, my partner wouldn't let me and my big mouth go. She's smart that way :)

I have to imagine that no one else in the industry is going to touch them, or their show, with a ten foot pole.

So I guess that means you guys won't be making an appearance on the alleged show? I sure was looking forward to that ;-)

I don't expect that Oasis will be inviting wine bloggers through anytime soon, but one never knows. I'll be sure to let you know.

The Salahi's act as their own PR agents so you were probably speaking to one of them using a false name. They have gone off the deep end at this point and are totally delusional about their prospects and the future of Oasis Winery. Keep in mind that if you enter the property without the permission of the US bankruptcy trustee, you are trespassing even if you are in the company of Michelle or Tareq. Your visit will only serve to further their delusions and harass Tereq's 65 year old mother who lost her husband about six months ago and is now seeing his dream slip through her fingers due to her ungrateful entitled son. Do you really want to feed their delusions? Think about it. A drive by should tell you all you need to know about the state of Oasis winery. Then forget about it until after it is sold by the bankruptcy court.

I had to laugh at "Google Tareq Salahi." The only way you could get any more hair-curling results is if someone said "Google Santorum."

What a PR disaster for VA wine. The obvious assumption from those outside the world of VA wine is going to be that these meat sacks whose only purpose in life is chasing "celebrity" are at the forefront of the industry. My guess is that other wineries will band together to try and find a way to slip in unnoticed and mount rocket engines under Oasis so they can fire the Salahis into the sun.

Things like this make me want to shoot my tv and move to the woods.

G.E. Guy: meat sacks?

Here is another match for your bonfire...this is the footer text that accompanied the email I received from the publicist. I'm wondering who the antagonist(s) might be in this drama? Who would sign the necessary release forms? No govvie employee, certainly, and I can't see other wineries getting involved?

"A Private Winery, home to filming Top Hit TV Shows for NBC, Bravo TV & more new Reality Television Shows in development.
See the Salahis & Oasis Winery on TV Shows airing on NBC, Bravo or VIACOM/MTV Networks in your local North American markets; International countries are primarily aired on FoxTel & Star in South America, Mexico, Australia & Asia. Check your local listings for times.
Oasis Winery is now OPEN by appointment only and available for Weddings & Special Events
New Television Show featuring Oasis is now in development to be announced early 2012"

I just checked the docket for the bankruptcy court and the last entry shows that the liquidation sale was approved by the court and can be held anytime after June 12, 2011. As usual, what the Salahis say and reality don't jive.