White House party crashers return to limelight days before winery equipment gets sold off
By Preston Knight -- firstname.lastname@example.org
FRONT ROYAL -- A court-ordered auction of equipment and wine from Oasis, the Hume winery of noted White House party crashers Tareq and Michaele Salahi, is scheduled to occur Sunday.
As an outcome of Oasis Vineyards Inc.'s 2008 filing for bankruptcy in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, the liquidation of assets through the sale was to take place at the discretion of auctioneer N.T. Arrington, according to an April filing.
Online bidding for the wide variety of personal property has begun, and the live auction is set for noon Sunday at the vineyard, at 14141 Hume Road.
The Salahis, who own a house on Scenic Overlook Drive west of Linden, garnered national attention after making it past the Secret Service without an invitation for a dinner party that President Obama held in honor of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in November 2009. Mrs. Salahi later starred in Bravo TV's "Real Housewives of D.C."
The couple was back in the limelight Wednesday after Tareq Salahi reported his wife missing to the Warren County Sheriff's Office at 11:55 p.m. Tuesday.
A news release from Sheriff Daniel T. McEathron states that a deputy made contact with Mrs. Salahi soon after the report and she assured him that she was safe, but did not want to be home.
The Oasis property itself is not a part of the auction, as the building is owned by a Salahi family partnership, said Kevin McCarthy, the trustee in the Oasis Vineyards Inc. bankruptcy. According to www.oasiswine.com, the Salahis plan to have a grand reopening of the winery on Sept. 24.
McCarthy said he was not involved with that website, and an email to an address on the site seeking additional information was not returned Wednesday. A link from the site quotes Tareq Salahi as stating that the auction items are either "beyond repair" or "garbage."
The auction features kitchen and catering equipment including tables, stools, wine rack displays, beverage coolers and steam ovens; wine making, processing and storage systems including an automated bottle line, more than 60 oak barrels, a grape press, tanks with capacities as large as 1,200 gallons, labels, corks, wires and electric transfer pumps; approximately 5,000 bottles of unfinished sparkling wine, 100 cases of Cabernet and 50 cases of mixed and assorted wines; and trucks and tractors.
Court records state that the value of the property to be sold is more than $300,000.
The public is invited to bid on auction items, but only those holding ABC licenses can receive the wine. For more information and to link to the online bidding, visit www.arringtonauction.com.