“Well,” said Pooh, “what I like best,” and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what it was called.”
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
Taste Notes: Balanced, Smokey, Flower, Smooth, Light, Airy, Spiced finish
Wine is the expression of the geography, geology and the climate of a region as much as it represents a particular varietal of grape. In the same way honey represents more than the work of a hive. It is a unique and beautiful reflection of the environment, the season and the blooms pollinated in the pursuit of its creation.
A skillful beekeeper knows how to arrange their hives just so to ensure the bees pollinate a specifically selected flower. They select flowers and time the collection to produce exquisite and unique honeys that exemplify their provenance. Sourwood Honey is a celebrated but rare variety of single flower origin produced in the Southeastern United States.
Sourwood Trees, (Oxydendrum arboreum) are native to the United States and bloom from mid-June to late July, thriving on the rocky soils of the Allegany, Blue Ridge, and Smoky Mountains. Because they bloom later in the year, after most of the wildflowers, maple and tulip blooms, there is a narrow 3-4 week window where beekeepers can harvest this rare nectar.
Sourwood honey is prized by connoisseurs having won best honey in the world twice at the prestigious Apimondia World Honey Show. It is distinguished by a light amber color, slow crystallization and a spicy, gingerbread twang on the finish. Sourwood Honey is often in short supply as the nectar produced by the trees is very dependent on the climatic conditions. Sourwood trees are also declining in number because of habitat loss from development.
Mike Childers is a local beekeeper in Raleigh, North Carolina who brings his bees deep into the Great Smoky Mountains right beside National Park Service Property to pollinate on Sourwood trees well away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Lightly filtered, pristine, and straight from the bees to your table.