Wednesday, October 6th, 2010...3:30 am

Tragic loss to Kenya’s small wine growing community

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At the beginning of August while I was in the north of Kenya, I heard the tragic news that John D’Olier of the Naivasha Vineyards was tragically shot dead in the Masai Mara, celebrating his 60th birthday party with his family and good friends. It is with great sadness that I write this.

Deepest condolences to Ellie and to his children Colm and Anne-Marie who are all working hard to pick up all of Jonnys many projects.

John was such an enthusiast and has helped so many of the wine growing community in so many ways. I have spoken of him often in my previous posts.

It is with hope that they manage to find the culprits and can prevent this from ever happening again.

There are a couple of links to other reports and news of this tragedy here.



  • I happened across ZABIBU while researching viniculture in Africa.
    My interest is in sharing knowledge of the fundamental role that humified (‘composted’) grape marc plays in being the IDEAL material to ‘innoculate’ byproduct organic materials to result in increasing ‘soil organic matter’.
    The humified grape marc also contains auxins, natural growth hormones that are useful in all agronomic application.
    I am exploring the feasibility of giving form to an extension service for small scale farmers to ‘humify’ crop residues and re-build the soil.
    How much grape marc do you get from each harvest’s pressing?
    What do you do with it?
    Which university or agricultural college could be a good resource in this area?
    I am also looking into marketing ‘glacial moraine rock dust’ into Africa as a natural source of necessary trace minerals for all crops.
    The increase in yields when the rock dust is applied is on the order of 3oo to 400%.
    You can verify this at ‘remineralize the earth’.org.
    I hope you can find a few minutes to respond for the benefit of all ‘small holders’.
    Richard S. Bennett

  • Anne-Marie D'Olier
    May 16th, 2011 at 5:27 am

    Thank you for your kind words about my father, and your condolences.

    Best regards


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