According to David Thathiah, “We’ve learned to look for things that make us thankful in life, for knowing that there is hope, and that beauty can come out of pain, hardship, and struggles. We’re thankful to all our wine family partners, especially Mr. Robert Biale, Mr. Doug Hill, Mr. Tres Goetting, and Mr. Dave Pramuk, for their advice and guidance in getting our Karibu Vineyard started and producing.David and Vasi have one son Bradley Thathiah. In college, Bradley majored in business administration and graphic design. After graduation, Bradley returned to use his skills to help with the family’s businesses. Adding to the family’s dynamic, Bradley is now helping each of his parents’ companies. David and Vasi both know that Bradley presents a new set of important skills to his parents’ endeavors. He is responsible for the school’s administration side, and he also helps with David’s property management concerns.
Besides helping his family, Bradley Thathiah is also currently going to culinary school. Having been motivated by his mom, grandmother, and other family members, Bradley is now following his passions for creating their unique, cultural recipes. These dishes are an intriguing combination of his Indian ethnicity and his South African heritage. According to Bradley, “My goal is to create fusion cuisine that will be available for everyone to explore and enjoy.”
David And Vasi Thathiah Have Deep Global Roots
The following people are truly cherished. With all of their business side of life still developing well, they have also nurtured important friendships along the way. For David and Vasi, with hearts as large as life itself, new friendships quickly become part of their new American family.
Gracious in every way possible, David and Vasi Thathiah are now the honored owners of Karibu Vineyard. They welcome all of their family and friends, old and new, into their emerging wine world, by growing their favorite Zinfandel wine grapes.
Robert Biale, Founder – Robert Biale Vineyards
“I met Dave Thathiah at a ZAP tasting, through our mutual friend Gary Swiggett. I could tell that he was a really nice guy. You know, all of the good things stand out. A good heart, humility, and graciousness.After many visits to the winery, after his initial one, we all just clicked. David is very transparent with goodness. He’s extra humble. He’s not trying to be someone he’s not. He just has a consistent kind of kindness. His wife Vasi has the same spirit. It’s so beautiful to see. They are a lovely, gracious team.
“I was very attracted to the property that they bought. Good vineyard sites just expose themselves. When I learned that they had bought this piece of property in the benchlands of the Atlas Peak AVA, I mentioned that it could be planted and David completely took my advice. He also continues to and he continually asks great questions, like ‘What can we do, how can we make it better?’ I give him the advice and he listens. He sincerely wants to make it happen and it is happening. Karibu is doing really well.”
Dave Pramuk, Founder – Robert Biale Vineyards
David and Vasi Thathiah are our dear friends. David’s family history includes four generations of being in South Africa. After I watched ‘Searching for Sugarman,’ I came to really appreciate their early life in South Africa.
David and Vasi’s story is a classic example of immigrants, who have accomplished the American Dream. Following their hearts, they left family and friends behind in South Africa and immigrated to San Francisco, where they are now very prominent US citizens.
My first memory of meeting them is when they came to Biale Vineyards in a group, with wine club members Gary Swiggett (‘The Wine Guy’), and Dick and Barbara Nash. We loved having them because David and Vasi are just so naturally cheerful. The next time they came, they put on a lunch at the winery for us. They brought some of their culture; delicious, curried meatball sandwiches. They’re so generous and fun loving… a bright spot wherever they go. Their son Bradley Thathiah is also the same way. After that lunch, they returned. They are now members of our Robert Biale family as wine club members, picking up their own wines.
In 2008-09, they bought property in the Atlas Peak area, across from the Silverado Golf Course. Dave is a contractor and he found this neat site, which he had spotted on morning walks. They have a good size piece of property which is a patch work, versus being a pocket, with William Hill Winery right next door to them. And, the Thathiahs’ are finally in wine country with us.
Trester “Tres” Goetting, Winemaker – Robert Biale Vineyards
“When I think of David and Vasi, kindness and generosity immediately come to mind. They are both very passionate about life. They’re quality driven. Anyone can see it in their home and vineyard. Everything about David and Vasi is consistent and sincere.
“Their first harvest was in 2016. We kept four barrels of their Zinfandel aside, so we could evaluate its character. As a winemaker, I was expecting it to be lean and diluted, which is usual for a first-year harvest. Instead, it was quite beautiful. It had a full, bright red color, with Bing cherry, red licorice, and a baking spice profile. It’s well balanced and perfect as an addition to our Black Chicken Zinfandel. It’s not far from the Oak Knoll District, so the soil type is pretty much the same. Consistency is important. Our Black Chicken wine also has bright red fruit, it’s youthful and fresh. Now we know how perfect their Zinfandel grapes truly are.
“The Thathiahs’ just have a way of enriching everyone’s lives that they touch. Now, they are also doing the same for our Robert Biale wine and in our own personal lives, as well.”
Doug Hill, President – Doug Hill Vineyard Management
Doug Hill has 36 years of experience in developing and managing vineyards in both Napa and Sonoma counties. As president of the Oak Knoll Farming Corporation, he’s managing over 700 acres of vineyards, with another 120 of his own vines. Because Doug also works with Robert Biale Vineyards, he became a natural viticulturist for David and Vasi’s Karibu Vineyard.
“I met David and Vasi Thathiah at a Robert Biale Vineyards event. When David began to work with Robert Biale Vineyards, I was chosen to develop their grape vines. They’re a joy to work with, bringing such joy to everything they do. They’re so inclusive, just bringing you in.”
Barbara and Dick Nash
Dick actually met Vasi first. His son Taylor was enrolled at her Montessori Preschool in 2000, when Taylor was three months old, and stayed until he was ready for kindergarten. During this time, Dick and Vasi developed a wonderful friendship. This led to meeting David, and later Bradley, which then led to almost all of Vasi and David’s families. Likewise, Vasi and David got to know Dick’s parents, and then his girlfriend Barbara, whom later became Dick’s wife. The relationship has now gone on for more than 17 years, with each couple introducing other family and friends into the mix.
“The relationship we share together goes ‘above and beyond’ a typical friendship. David and Vasi started out as FFL (Friends For Life), but they are truly our brother and sister, with us and our family and friends.
“When Taylor graduated from the eighth grade, we all went with David and Vasi to their old home in Durban, South Africa. We had a trip of a lifetime visiting the Phinda Game Reserve (Safari), and meeting many of their South African family and friends.
“Needless to say, David and Vasi are the kindest, most generous, considerate, caring people we have ever known… and everyone that meets them feels the same way!”