In the verdant heart of Ethiopia’s Kafa rainforest in 2009, Ayele Solomon, a dedicated conservationist, embarked on a journey that would not only shape the course of his life but also have a profound impact on the world. As he traversed the last remaining pockets of this remarkable rainforest, he was struck by an idea, one that held the potential to not only safeguard these precious natural habitats but also promote a deep connection to the land he cherished.
Ayele Solomon is a man of many passions and talents. He has always possessed a natural inclination toward working with his hands and constructing things. From an early age, the art of cooking held a special place in his heart, and the subject of chemistry intrigued him like few others. But perhaps, above all, it’s his abiding love for nature and his homeland, Ethiopia, that has shaped his destiny.
It was in the midst of this rich tapestry of passions that Ayele’s remarkable journey began. The seed of inspiration was simple yet potent: to refine Ethiopia’s ancient national beverage, t’ej (ጠጅ), and transform it into a natural wine that embodied the delicate floral and fragrant qualities of honey without the bitterness, all while achieving the exquisite balance and complexity of grape wine.
This seed of an idea germinated into an obsession, propelling Ayele to embark on a five-year odyssey of aging and fermentation trials. Armed with the latest in wine science and state-of-the-art equipment, he delved into the intricacies of the winemaking craft. Nearly 200 generations of women, who had mastered the art of home t’ej making, served as his teachers and muses. With each new vintage, Ayele learned and improved, honing his skills and deepening his understanding of the alchemy of honey, yeast, and time.
Yet, Ayele’s vision extends far beyond the confines of a delicious drink. He envisions Bee D’Vine as a beacon of culture and knowledge surrounding honey wine, a conduit to enhance the livelihoods of rural beekeepers not only in America but around the world, and a vehicle for the conservation of natural habitats and the protection of our vital pollinators, the bees.
Ayele’s mission is one of preservation and promotion. He seeks to preserve the cultural significance of honey wine, an age-old tradition that has been passed down through generations in Ethiopia. He also hopes to elevate the knowledge and appreciation of this unique beverage, allowing people from all walks of life to savor its rich heritage and nuanced flavors.
Moreover, Bee D’Vine stands as a testament to Ayele’s commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship. By supporting rural beekeepers, he not only aids in their economic well-being but also contributes to the preservation of vital ecosystems and the protection of honeybee populations. Bees, as pollinators, are fundamental to our planet’s biodiversity, and Ayele’s work plays a pivotal role in safeguarding their future.
In essence, Bee D’Vine isn’t just a beverage; it’s a testament to the power of an idea, the dedication of a visionary, and the beauty of preserving culture, nature, and knowledge. It’s an embodiment of a lifelong passion for both the art of winemaking and the love of Ethiopia. Ayele Solomon’s journey is one that inspires us to cherish the traditions of the past while innovating for the future, to nurture the earth and its creatures, and to raise a glass in celebration of the flavors of life. With each sip of Bee D’Vine, we are invited to be a part of a story that continues to unfold, one that seeks to connect us to nature, culture, and the world at large.
Club d?Vine membership gets free shipping and access to reserve and exotic wine plus a lot of free items (glass flasks, book, artisanal vinegar)