February 22, 2022 3 min read

What does Artisanal, terroir driven honey actually mean?

Imagine a bottle of wine - the year, the region, the grape varietal and perhaps even the specific weather conditions that year all lead to certain qualities that particular vintage possesses. There is a certain taste, texture, and tannin profile that is a direct result of all the elements present at that time of year. Additionally, the methods and processes applied by the winemaker factor into the resulting varietal. Terroir-driven honey is much the same.

Imagine the early summer months on the Big Island of Hawaii. Longer sun filled days, transient trade winds, and a flush of Kiawe blossoms in full bloom near the coastal waters of South Kohala. Or consider the mid-summer months, when Christmas Berry is in bloom, offering a nutritive nectar for our honeybees in North Kohala during dry, hot, tropical days. Take the late autumn months, for instance, when Eucalyptus, then Macadamia trees push out lush floral sprays that honeybees feast upon. These rich and robust honeys are prominent as the days become cooler and shorter.

Artisanal Terroir-Driven Honey often captures a singular nectar source that bees feed upon and transform into honey. It offers forth the unique and varying flavors, textures, and aromas of each bloom. This kind of honey production respects that we cannot expect the same harvest from nature year after year, but that we embrace & highlight the ever changing bounty she perfectly provides. While you might be accustomed to a continual supply of malty-brown colored liquid honey at your local supermarket, you’d be missing out on the seasonal nature of terroir-driven honey and the vast array of nuanced flavors it contains. Rather than a homogenized mix of many floral sources offered consistently as a ‘wildflower’ blend, our honeys offer rich, vibrant, and distinct flavors that are continually evolving season to season.

Ultimately, this form of honey production is more labor and time intensive, as each varietal harvest requires its own extraction, bottling, and label(ing), rather than the blending of multiple harvests into one product. This means keeping harvests completely separate from each other and cleaning equipment extensively after each harvest, so as not to contaminate another varietal of honey. While this isn't common practice, it’s one that ensures we offer the highest quality and most unique honeys we can.

We consider a few factors in this style of beekeeping and honey production:

  • The location of floral blooms that produce distinct honeys we seek to capture & the placement of colonies (hives) in that area.
  • The duration of the bloom, which enables us to capture a singular varietal, rather than a multi-floral honey, which is the mixing of several nectar sources.
  • A policy of no heat, alteration, or addition of anything to a honey harvest, delivering the honey in its most pure and natural form.

The through line here to our honeys and methodologies is simple - capturing a moment in nature, ever changing, unique, and of course, delicious.

Artisanal terroir-driven honey means you’ll never experience the exact same thing twice, but a collection of what nature has to offer in its most pure and essential form - season to season, year to year.

If this type of honey is new to you, we encourage you to start with a box trio set, which offers a collection of three distinct varietals. This is a beautiful place to begin and experience the nuances and differences of our honey varietals. The best part is, our box trio set contents changes throughout the year, so you’ll always receive a spread of the latest harvests and newest flavor notes. Visit our recipe blogfor simple, healthful ways to utilize our honeys in your kitchen and your home. If you have questions about a varietal, feel free to reach us ataloha@waimeli.com - we love hearing from you!