Karibu in Swahili means welcome; so Welcome to Welcome…

This is part of my current learning curve, as I prepare stories for Karibu Vineyard’s new Web site. It’s in the process of being developed:

  • Lyla Moore has created the logo.
  • Jose’s creating the website, coding it, adding pictures, you know… You’ve all either built sites or had them built for you.
  • I’m in the background, on the other side of Jose’s construction, proving the story content.


This website is very unique, as compared to others we’ve worked. It’s a grower’s site, not a winery one. Most growers can’t be bothered to create a website, as only their grapes are for sale, and they’re probably already under contracts with long-standing partners.

Location, location, location ~ Atlas Peak Area

Karibu is across the street from the Silverado Resort Golf Club’s driving range. If you look at the image above, you’ll see the huge net in the upper left of this photo.

The net is supposed to catch incoming slices that have gone awry, in some 90 degree hook to the left. How they make it over that net really leaves me wondering if I could hit a ball better, and I don’t even play golf. How high must the balls must go, and what on earth had them taking that unusual angle is more of my wondering.

In PR and in writing, we’re always looking for a “hook,” and in this case it’s literally a golf ball hook.

But wait, there’s more

I just interviewed Doug Hill Vineyard Management’s colleague, Leslie Caccamese. We were in Karibu Vineyard together. She’s been working this vineyard since it began and I wanted to know everything I could about its terroir. Unfortunately… used very loosely as you’ll see… it’s got this golf ball terroir thing going on. The club is willing to pay for any damages that might happen, as a result of someone’s unusual hook; BUT, it also offers an unusual hook for Karibu…

Leslie told me that she will see golf balls in other vineyards, but it’s always a rogue one. She said, “You have to wonder if someone was just out taking a shot, and there it went… all by itself.” In Karibu’s case, it can happen at any time. Leslie said she’s never seen one coming in, but I have.

SIDEBAR: I’ve always wanted to photograph a woman viticulturist’s hands. Thanks, Leslie for being my model! Girls seem to clean up better than men, but she did tell me that the night before would have been more rough and tumble.

Nana Gramp Camp

We had Jonathan and Nate (our grandsons) visiting for their annual #NanaGrampCamp visit, early in August. (I’m Nana, Jose’s Gramp, and our home is Camp.) As we were driving them back to the airport, we segued to the Atlas Peak area, where David and Vasi Thathiah’s vineyard is located. I had asked permission to go to their vineyard for the 2017 Inaugural Golf Ball Harvest. (It sounded like a fun plan, huh? Who else has ever done that?)

At one point in gathering, I heard a swishing in the air, stood up and watched a golf ball land 18 inches from my feet.

Ah, the former Androscoggin Day Camp for Girl Scouts’ director kicked in… “This needs a solution, beyond the golf course’s netting.” Since David’s day job is operating a construction company, hard hats are an easy to get and easy to fix solution. If you drive by Atlas Peak Road and see hard hats in a vineyard, yeah… you’ve arrived.

So, the inaugural harvest went well, as you can see. But… Jose and I returned to have this meeting with Leslie Caccamese. While waiting for her, I had a second harvest by myself, getting as many balls, in only a 20 day period. Leslie said that the vineyard team also has removed golf balls, because they’re annoying while working. Imagine having them underfoot… They do go into the soil, but they’re not ideal.

If they had small kids, they could sell them roadside, the way kids sell lemonade. Just a little soaking and they’re almost like new.

Golf Ball Terroir… Now you know how and why…