By being equal parts entertaining, inspiring, and educating, ABC’s ‘Shark Tank’ is quite possibly one of the unique television shows on our screens right now. It champions the spirit of the business industry by showcasing budding entrepreneurs, their products, and how they try to get some of the most successful tycoons to invest in their ideas, enabling them to make all their dreams come true.
Plus, the best part is, even if they fail to lure the aptly named “Sharks” towards their projects, the publicity from being on a television show like this definitely helps them kick-start their expansion plans. Hoping to be in the former category, though, as seen on season 12, is Bee D’Vine. And if you’re here wondering what the company does or how they are faring now, well, you’ve come to the right place.
Bee D’Vine: Who Are They and What Do They Do?
Bee D’Vine’s founder is conservationist Ayele Solomon, who came up with the concept of honey wine after getting inspired by his native country’s (Ethiopia) regional wine called t’ej. Ayele and his family moved to the Bay Area in California when he was just 12 years old. He went on to earn a degree in Environmental Economics from the University of California and in Natural Resource Development from Michigan State University.
After completing his education, Ayele returned to Ethiopia as a consultant to devise a plan on how to promote opportunities for the indigenous residents of the Kafa rainforest. In the Ethiopian rainforest, he came across t’ej. Realizing that the trees of the forest were far more valuable than anyone anticipated, with the flowers being an ideal source for the bees to produce honey, he had an incentive to protect them.
Ayele set on a quest to understand and expand the business of honey wine and wound up creating his own brand, using California’s locally produced honey for the first varieties. He did this after a lot of exploring and collaborations with winemakers, beekeepers, and chemists alike, manufacturing a wine that was as natural and as fragrant as possible. The only thing Ayele now wants is for people to respect his product and never call it “mead.”
Bee D’Vine: Where Are They Now?
Bee D’Vine currently produces two versions of honey wine: Brut and Demi-Sec. Brut is described to be crisp, dry, and complex in flavor, appropriate for those who enjoy a Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, or Zinfandel. On the other hand, Demi-Sec, with higher honey content, is sweeter, fruitier, and lighter in flavor, which drinkers of Champagne, Pinot Grigio, Riesling, and Sauvignon Blanc would enjoy best. It’s different from what is considered normal when it comes to wines for sure, but you can’t deny that it sounds incredible.
In fact, apart from honey wine, Bee D’Vine produces and sells grape and sparkling honey wine as well, which you can purchase from their official website. You have the option of choosing between a 3 l bottle, a 750 ml bottle, a 375 ml bottle, or a Berelé flask. The best part about Bee D’Vine is that Ayele hasn’t forgotten where he started it. Part of the proceeds from all the sales goes towards Kafa to help the province expand its beehive conservation efforts, thus, enabling the indigenous families to earn more and survive better.
Another goal of the financial help is to save the forest and reduce carbon emissions by not letting the trees get cut down. Plus, as Bee D’Vine is sustainable and all its products are completely produced from locally available materials, it benefits the environment by protecting endangered Californian honey bees. Soon, Ayele hopes to start sharing revenues within the community to help others and source honey from Kafa itself to produce an exotic line of specialty wines.
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