The History of Mead, aka Honey Wine as told by Winemaker Judie Barta:
Long before humans were cultivars of the earth, we were hunter-gatherer's. Nomadic peoples traveling from place to place following herds and the bounty of the season in which to satiate and sustain. An important food source to the people of long ago was honey or if I may point out, the entire comb. A magic food, honey is the only non-perishable food...on the planet! Honey, one of the few sweet things in their diet proved to be a yummy source of carbohydrates (they also ate the larvae which would be a protein source). Now if you can imagine, the first person to invent the water tight container, be it a hollowed out gourd or a skin pouch; They decide to put a little honey in it to enjoy later. Next, some water gets mixed in, perhaps to make a sweet drink and it gets forgotten about, just long enough for some air borne yeast to land in the mixture and volia! The first fermentation takes place...a little murky, kinda fizzy, but wow I love how I feel!
Did you know that it wasn't until the late 1700's that we actually understood the science of fermentation?
Fast forward a couple thousand years, in written history, you will find wine made of honey and herbs, grains and fruit. Found in famous literature such as, the Quran, Bible, Egyptian Book of the Dead and of course, the legendary poem, Beowulf, where the hero builds a mead hall.
As we became growers of grapes and grains, humans have tried to ferment everything. And they can, basically as long as there is sugar, water and yeast, in time you will create alcohol.
Honey was an important ingredient in wine making, cooking as well as healing and embalming. As globalization brought products shared from around the world, honey took second place to sugar, bees wax to paraffin wax and honey wine to grape wine.
Often associated with medieval times and with special recipes for the different classes, mead slowly became an historic product kept alive by historians and Celtic and South African cultures.
Today, in addition to being authentic to wine made out of pure BC honey, fruits and spices, we are thankful to the technological innovations made in the grape wine industry that have allowed us to adopt and adapt processes in fermentation in order to produce for you, the highest quality mead in the history of our planet.