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Lifestyle & People

- Tareq Salahi


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Editor's Note


South Asian Shop







the-south-asian.com                         7  August   2000

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Page 3  of  3

‘Balanced, Blended & Bright’
(continued from previous page)

 Tareq Salahi

Tareq Salahi - Wine has been my whole life’.


When Oasis Brut was proclaimed one of the 10 best sparkling wines in the world, Tareq received calls from all over the world, some of the callers wanting to know whether the winery was indeed located in Virginia [VA], and not California [CA]!

Their reservation and uncertainty were understandable. Today it is Californian wines that wear the badge of American identity. Historically it was not so. Tareq explained that Virginia used to be the premier wine producing state during Thomas Jefferson’s time. [Virginia’s soil structure is identical to that of Bordeaux, France –full of zinc, magnesium, very rocky soils – these natural nutrients are critical for making high quality premium wine] "In fact the first vines planted in the U.S. were by Thomas Jefferson in Virginia. The Civil War and the Prohibition both destroyed the wine industry in Virginia, which at the time was the major source of revenue. At the time of the Civil War there was a law that every landowner in Virginia must have at least 10 vines in his backyard, planted for use of wine making. The troops, however, burnt the vineyards and destroyed the wineries. Similarly, when prohibition hit the country it was only Virginia that was making wine – nobody else was doing it!" No wonder California took over.

Horses and polo are Tareq’s passion too. He has been playing polo since he was 16 – and riding since the age of 6. Col. Billy West, a colonel out of West Point who has since passed away, introduced him to the game in Virginia. Col. Billy West, according to Tareq, was probably one of the better polo players in the U.S. Tareq played polo at University for their national champion team - thereafter at the Great Meadow Polo Club in Virginia and was subsequently selected by the United States to represent the U.S. polo team last year in England and Scotland where they played for nearly 2 weeks. He has now been invited to play in Jordan and in Pakistan.

A bachelor, Tareq loves to travel, time permitting. "I have a small home in the Virgin Islands – it is an escape – I go there when I can." The pressures of success tie him to the winery - "Now that I am in top 10 of the world I have to make certain we remain there – it is a lot of pressure but it is a great feeling. I love it. We are a growing company and I do not wish to be radical. I want to go slowly step by step – and keep the quality there. People expect the quality - they expect the best. It is very important to me to maintain consistency and keep my customers happy – my customers are also my friends - I want to see everybody smiling when they leave my winery having tried my wines."






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