Did Bee Dvine Get A Deal On Shark Tank
Ayele Solomon of Bee DVine got an amazing deal from four Sharks when he appeared on the 12th season of Shark Tank.
After a moments hesitation, Solomon accepted the offer of $750,000 for 40% equity from the four Sharks.
Lets do this! said Solomon, and all the Sharks stood up for a toast to Bee DVine.
Bee Dvine Produces Two Versions Of Its Wine: Brut And Demi Sec
- Brut is crisp, dry, and complex and appreciated by those who enjoy Cabernet Sauvignon, Champagne, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Zinfandel. Without the sweetness of the Demi Sec, the essence of the flower is exposed.
- Demi Sec is sweet, fruity, and light and appreciated by those who enjoy Champagne, Muscato dAsti, Pinot Grigio, Riesling, and Sauvignon Blanc. The higher honey content gives it a silky feeling.
California Honey Wine Buzzes Shark Tank
The Sharks circle over a flight of conservationist Ayele Solomons Bee dVine honey wine
From to Kevin OLeary, the Sharks of ABCs Shark Tank arent strangers to wine grape wine, that is. But a recent episode of the show, on which entrepreneurs pitch investment opportunities to the famed financiers, brought a new fermented first to the tank: honey wine. Made in Sonoma, Bee dVine honey wine comes from The Honey Wine Company and its founding winemaker and conservationist Ayele Solomon.
Ive always had an interest in wine and food, Solomon told Unfiltered, I grew up working in restaurants. His journey into honey wine started in 2009 while he was living in his native Ethiopia, where he realized that locally produced honey and traditional honey wine, or tej, could potentially incentivize protections for the countrys Kafa rainforest. Ethiopias the biggest honey winedrinking country in the world, said Solomon. His efforts to introduce modern beekeeping methods there could potentially vastly increase the value of Kafas existing beekeeping operations, and If the rainforest became more valuable as a honey source, it would become less attractive as a source of lumber.
Solomon launched his honey wines in 2014, eventually opening The Honey Wine Companys wine bar at San Franciscos Ferry Building in December 2019. Unfortunately, the wine bar has fallen victim to the COVID-19 pandemic, so Solomon turned his eye to some angel investors in sharkskin.
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How Did Bee Dvine Start
Conservationist Ayele Solomon, originally from Ethiopia, marveled at the remaining Kafa rainforests of his homeland and was saddened by the intense threat of its deforestation. It was also during one of his visits where he first encountered honey wine where it is regionally known as tej.
Solomon had an idea to help curb the deforestation rate of the Kafa rainforest by making the trees more valuable to the community. He found that the locals were making honey wine by sourcing honey from the traditional hollow beehives on the trees. The local wild honey bees used the nectar from the flowers of the surrounding trees in the rainforest.
Introducing modern beekeeping methods to the Kafa community would result in increased honey production and increased income for the community. This, in turn, would make the trees more valuable for honey production and less likely to be cut down for lumber.
Solomon studied the traditional method of producing honey wine and combined it with the production of white wine back home in Sonoma Valley. Sourcing honey locally helps support local beekeepers in California.
Solomon launched Bee DVine in 2014 and opened The Honey Wine bar in December 2019 in San Francisco.
From One Passion To Another
Ayele realized that these flowering trees in Kafa forest were an ideal source of nectar that bees use to make valuable honey. This set him on a quest to better understand the art and business of creating honey wine.
Additional inspirations came by way of a tradition of family grape growing in California and Ethiopias national beverage tej. He evaluated honey wine production in Ethiopia and South Africa, but settled on the world-class wine region of Sonoma Valley not far from where he grew up and where his father, Solomon, had planted a boutique vineyard in 2005.
Now Ayele manages Sol Farms and makes Sol Winesgrape wine every year an old-world field-blend of organic Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. This experience and inspiration informs his craft of honey wines.
Honey wine has a very small footprint. Theres no irrigation, no pesticides, no uprooting landscapes to plant vineyards in fact bees pollinate plants and create food! We use beekeeping and honey to promote forest conservation.
PERFECTION COMES IN DIFFERENT FORMS
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There Are Plenty Of Varieties Of The Bee Dvine Wine
While the company does sell varieties of Honey Wine, they also sell grape wine, which is what most wine consumers are likely used to.
The honey wine comes in a regular honey wine or sparkling honey wine variation and the original can be purchased in a number of sizes with prices ranging from $29 to $349 depending on the type chosen. The sparkling honey wine can be purchased in either Brut or Demi Sec for $39.
They have two varieties of grape wine to choose from: the Wancha 2016 Chardonnay, which sells for $28, or the Wancha 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, which sells for $32.
Bee Dvine Is A Sweet Honey Wine
There are also sweeter and drier versions. It has hints of almond and jasmine. It has 12.5 percent alcohol.
The bottles are also very beautiful, so it would make a great holiday gift. Right now, they are having a sale to celebrate being on Shark Tank.
The sale even gives a hint at what the Sharks might think. For instance, one flavor is Loris favorite, while another is Marks favorite.
You can also purchase different sizes and the prices range from about $29 to over $350 depending on the type and size.
Bee DVine has already been featuring in Food & Wine Magazine and the TODAY show.
Ray Isle, the Wine Editor at Food & Wine Magazine writes, My experience is that most mead is revolting one exception is Bee dVine.
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The Winemaker: Ayele Solomon
Ive always enjoyed working with my hands and building things. I began cooking at an early age and chemistry was one of my favorite subjects. And I have always been fond of nature and my birthplace, Ethiopia.
It all started with two simple ingredients and an idea: to refine Ethiopias ancient national beverage, tej , as a natural wine with the floral and fragrant non-bitter qualities of honey while having the balance and complexity of grape wine.
It became an obsession leading to five years of aging and fermenation trials using the latest wine science and equipment. Almost 200 generations of women home tej makers taught and inspired me. Yet every new vintage teaches more and improves.
I hope one day Bee DVine will not be just a delicious drink but a way to promote the culture and knowledge around honey wine, improve rural beekeepers livelihoods in America, and around the world, and conserve natural habitats and bees.
SUSTAINABILITY IS KEY
Bee Dvine Wines Gives Oenophiles New Honey Wine Varietals
Changing the acceptance and perception of honey wine globally.
Often the smallest spark of an idea results in the pursuit of a magical dream. And for some, that dream turns to reality. In Ayele Solomons case, that moment transpired when he established the Honey Wine Company six years ago in Sonoma, California. Inspired by the traditional tej honey wine from his native Ethiopia, he formulated a concoction that would cater to a broader audience of grape wine and craft beer lovers by applying new wine styles. The result is Bee dVine Honey Wine, which is available on the website, at select retail stores and shipped worldwide wherever legally permitted.
Just six weeks after launch, Bee dVine was featured on The Today Show on NBC and last year Solomon was recognized as a Tastemaker in Food and Wine Magazine. Contrary to popular sentiment, the honey wines made here are not overly sweet like mead or dessert wines but consist of some dry and semi-sweet versions too. As far as I know, nobody else is taking it as seriously as we are in our approach, practices and ingredients, says Solomon. We have tried to apply the oenological science, so stylistically we are known as honey wine, but we are really made in a wine style on the philosophy of making grape wines.
Simple and Authentic
Creating the Buzz
Coming Full Circle
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The Wine Has Been Featured On The Today Show
In 2014, Bee DVine Honey Wine was featured on NBCs Today Show under hte name The Honey Wine Company. Their Honey Wine was featured in a segment called Off the Beaten Path Wines, and the hosts loved it when they tried it.
When they explained that the wine was made solely from water and honey, it was slightly surprising to the anchors at the time.
Wow, it tastes like honey, Hoda Kotb remarked, and the host mentioned that it was more of a dessert wine than anything else.
Shark Tank will be the wines second National TV experience.
Bee Dvine Promotes Economic Development
With partners, Ayele is working on conserving 600,000+ acres in Kafa and sharing forest carbon revenues with the forest communities.
A part of the profits is being invested in converting the traditional Kafa beehives into the higher-yielding frame hives, to save the rainforest and increase quality of life. Also, Ayele hopes to source honey from Kafa to produce an exotic line of specialty wines.
Proceeds from Bee dVine help to create a five-fold increase in honey yields in Kafa and create jobs for women who have always been excluded from collecting honey the traditional wayclimbing trees.
Purchase of Bee dVine also supports California beekeepers while saving our endangered bees.
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The Idea Came To The Founder While Driving Through The Kafa Rainforest
According to the companys website, Solomon came up with the concept for Honey Wine while driving through Ethiopias Kafa rainforest back in 2019.
Why not find a way to make trees more valuable to local residents so that they had an incentive to protect them not cut them down, the website reads. Inspired by his countrys national beverage tej , Ayele realized that these flowering trees were an ideal source of nectar and pollen that bees use to make valuable honey.
He then set out to truly understand the process behind the creation of Honey Wine using California honey at first.
Honey Wine From Bee Dvine
DONT CALL IT MEAD, Ayele Solomon said. Its honey wine, the worlds oldest fermented drink.
And honey wine is what the conservationist-turnedwinemaker labels the drink he makes in California. Ayele Solomon was born in Ethiopia, where honey wine, or tej, as it is called there, has been a national drink for more than 2,000 years. He came to the United States when he was 12, and since completing his masters degree, worked in environmental and rural development.
Now in his 40s, he is devoted to making the goldenshaded drink of his native land in Sonoma County. Named Bee DVine, the label reads honey wine.
Unlike grapes that ripen in the fall, honey is harvested in April. Ayele ferments in the purest way, using simply honey, water and yeast after fermentation, he ages his honey wines for 10 to 15 months in wine barrels. Some meads, on the other hand, add fruit and herbs to their honey fermentation, and many contain higher alcohol than Bee DVines 12.5 percent.
Bee DVine is made in two styles: brut and demi-sec. Tasting Bee DVine Brut recently, I found it quite dry despite its honey base, with a light aroma of vanilla emanating from its time in oak. It also presents tones of almond and is overall fragrant and brilliantly clear with a velvety smooth texture.
Bee DVine honey wines come in two sizes. The 375 ml bottle costs $25. The 750 ml sells for $40.
True honey wine is just that, wine made solely of honey as is Bee DVine.
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Proceeds Go To Help The Environment
Proceeds from each bottle of wine go to help a province in Ethiopia named Kafa. It helps beehive conservation efforts and helps save forests.
Other proceeds are going to protecting endangered bees and helping beekeepers. So not only are you getting a great wine, but helping the environment when you make a purchase.
Find out if the Sharks will back Bee DVine tonight or if they wont bite.
If you are interested in learning more about the different types of wine and purchasing, click here to visit Bee DVines website.
They also sell a book that explains more about what honey wine is, how to serve it properly, and their conservation efforts.
It certainly sounds like a very interesting concept and very delicious. Perfect for the holidays coming up!
Shark Tank airs on Fridays at 8/7c on ABC.
Bee D’vine On ‘shark Tank’: Who Is The Founder What Is The Cost And Where Can You Buy This Exotic Honey Wine
Will Bee D’Vine founder, Ayele Solomon, manage to sway the sharks from their love for grape-based wines to honey wine?
A great glass of wine can instantly lift up anyone’s spirits. But what if we told you that by drinking wine you can help in saving endangered bees, protect rainforests, and even improve the lives of beekeepers in the forests of Kafa, Ethiopia, and Sonoma, California? If this piqued your interest then you might love Bee D’Vine, a hone wine company based out of California. Ayele Solomon, the founder of Bee D’Vine will be appearing on the upcoming episode of ‘Shark Tank’ to present his pitch for the exotic honey wine that goes beyond being just a great glass of wine!
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Who Is The Founder
Bee D’Vine was founded by Ayele Solomon, a conservationist, and Food & Magazine Tastemaker. According to the company’s website, Ayele came up with the idea of producing the honey wine, while driving through the last remaining parts of Ethiopia’s Kafa rainforest in 2009. Ayele felt that there should be some way to incentivize people to protect the trees instead of cutting them down. So, he turned to Ethiopia’s national beverage t’ej for a solution.
“Ayele realized that these flowering trees were an ideal source of nectar and pollen that bees use to make valuable honey. This set Ayele on a quest to better understand the art and business of creating honey wine. He evaluating production in Ethiopia and South Africa, but settled on the world-class wine region of Sonoma not far from where he grew up using California honey for the first varietals,” states the website.
For the sharks, tasting the Bee D’Vine will definitely be a memorable experience, for they have been used to drinking conventional grape-based wine. So, it will be interesting to watch how the sharks react to a sustainably made smooth, sweet & dry wine from honey.
Bee Dvine Benefits The Environment
- Honey wine is a sustainable beverage. No land is uprooted to plant grapevines. No irrigation is needed. No chemicals or pesticides are used. No tractors with their suffocating exhaust.
- Honey bees help to establish lush forests that create the oxygen we breath, store the water we drink, and sustain biodiversity: plants and trees, animals, insects, and microscopic organisms.
- The food cycle depends on bees. Dozens of varieties of produce pollinated regularly by bees yield larger and more uniform crops.
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Proceeds Finance Beehive Conversions In Ethiopia
The companys website details how the honey is made and states that the people who currently live in the Kafa forest region of Ethiopia just live on a few dollars a day, and theyre being forced to cut down the rainforest.
The website states that Frame Behives and Top Bar Hives produce ten times more honey than regular hives, which allow the farmers to harvest more honey and, therefore, make more money.
Proceeds from wine sales will finance modern beehive conversions in Kafa and earn Kafa families five times more household income while saving their forest and reducing carbon emissions,the website reads.
Is Bee Dvine Still In Business Today
Bee DVine is still in business and is buzzing with orders. According to their social media channels on and , the Bee DVine team is tirelessly working on fulfilling Shark Tank, holiday and Valentine orders.
Despite having most of their wine offerings currently sold out, thirsty customers can still order available wines on Bee DVines official website.
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Bee Dvine Update After Shark Tank
- Entrepreneur: Ayele Solomon
- Ask: $750,000 for 25% equity
- Result: $750,000 for 40% equity
- Shark: Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec, and Daniel Lubetzsky
Bee DVine Honey Wine appeared on Shark Tank Season 12 Episode 5 and introduced the sharks to the world of honey-based wines. Founder Ayele Solomon shared four of his wines with the sharks, who all agreed that it was really good. Further, Bee DVine has an initiative that helps save the bees, which all the sharks applauded.
However, the honey stopped flowing when Ayele shared that he only had $400,000 in sales over the past six years. However, in the past 12 months, Bee DVine wine has sold $115,000 in the product so it looks like things are buzzing in the right direction. This was enough to interest all the sharks, except Kevin OLeary, who is already in the wine space.
Ayele shared that the average bottle sells for $39-$49, while only costing $5 to manufacture. The sharks suggested that the company create a cheaper wine, around the $15 range, that could draw in new customers who dont want to pay so much for a brand of wine theyve never tried. Following that advice, Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec, and Daniel Lubetzsky offered Ayele a $750,000 investment for 40% equity in Bee DVine Honey Wine, which he accepeted.
For updates on the other products featured on Season 12 Episode 5, be sure to check the links below!