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Posted: Monday, November 30 2009. 11:05

White House Gatecrasher a Wine Producer

Tareq Salahi who with his wife Michaele has been in the news over gate crashing into White House Tuesday at a state dinner for the Indian Prime Minister as well as on the Indian society scene in July this year has been UC Davies alumnus and is a part-owner of a prestigious Virginia winery though he is locked up in a legal battle with his parents.

photo: courtesy virginiawinetime.com

University of California, Davis officials have confirmed that according to records Salahi began his studies at the campus in 1987 and received a bachelor's degree from the College of Agriculture and Environmental Science in 1994. The spokesman for UC Davis Pat Bailey said Salahi had an "individual major," meaning he designed his own course of study in enology and management.

He also quoted professor emeritus Ann Noble saying Salahi was a "delightful person," but one who was more interested in campus social life than academics. She had the impression Salahi was reared in a strict family and that he had enjoyed a new-found freedom at UC Davis. But she said he was not a prankster. “He has sent me some wine," she said, "and the wine was fine."

Salahi has since taken over operation of the family's Oasis Winery in Virginia, and the winery's Web site reportedly boasts of his UC Davis credentials.

Tareq and his mother Corinne have been locked in a family feud for the ownership of the Hume winery in Virginia. .The two have been in a long-running dispute over control of the award winning winery that has since fallen into Chapter 11 bankruptcy. U.S. Secret Service agents were at Oasis Winery last week looking for Tareq and Michaele Salahi to question them about their uninvited appearance at the State Dinner.

However, according to the winery spokesman Salahis do not live there since 2006. They have listed Oasis Winery as their home address on their driver’s license but actually reside in a house in Linden in Fauquier County, near Washington DC. The agents spoke with Corinne Salahi, Tareq’s mother, before leaving.

Tareq and Corinne have a running feud for ownership of the Hume Virginia winery and have competing websites. Corinne controls http://oasiswines.net  where she claims it is owned by her and her husband Dirgham. The winery claims their Oasis Brut ($69- wine-searcher.com) is among the world’s top 10 sparkling wines and champagnes. It also claims to make a Grand Reserve Rose sparkler that is aged for 15 years and is made by Methode Champenoise ($125) .The winery is located on 108 acres prime property and produces  Chardonnay, Riesling, Merlot, Meritage (Bordeaux Blend), Blush and sparkling wines.

Tareq’s website http://www.oasiswine.com lists only French and Italian wines in its portfolio, Virginia Public Access Project records show that Virginia Governor Tim Kaine's inaugural committee bought $25,000 worth of Oasis wine for an event held the night before his inauguration in 2006 as governor of Virginia.

       

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