Ayele Solomon | Ethiopian winemaker accepts $750,000 investment offer from four sharks on “Shark Tank”

By Jyotsna Basotia | meaww

Inspired by Ethiopian national beverage t’ej or honey wine, Bee D’Vine was the real winner on ‘Shark Tank’ this week. Ayele Solomon, a conservationist and Food & Magazine Tastemaker, presented his product seeking $750,000 for 20 percent equity and it would be an understatement to say that he impressed all the sharks — Mark Cuban, Kevin O’Leary, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec and recurring Shark Daniel Lubetzky.

Surprisingly, he got a deal with four sharks — yes you heard that right! FOUR sharks came on board, including Lori, Mark, Robert and Daniel with a 10% stake each. While Solomon was sad Kevin was out of the deal, he gave a thumbs up to it and fans couldn’t believe their eyes. Lori Greiner put her stamp on it:


“This wine is TRULY delicious! @beeDvine #SharkTank@ABCSharkTank!” Barbara Corcoran also showered praises, saying, “The only lifting I’m doing tonight is the wine glass to my mouth!” 



Solomon 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 (honey wine) 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,” their website reads.


Wondering how much it costs? The prices of Bee D’Vine bottles range from $28 to $349. They are currently offering a ‘Shark Tank’ mixed special offer comprising of their popular wine variants for $129, aside from a sweet special for $99 and dry special for $119. 

Bee D’Vine (ABC)

For the sharks, tasting the Bee D’Vine was a memorable experience and it was the same for fans. One viewer said, “#SharkTank #BeeDVine What’s better than 4 sharks! I loved this #Ethiopians Wine made out of honey A success story…” and another Twitter user added, “4 sharks is always a yes. The sales pitch is simple… You are saving bees wine In America sales will go thru the roof. #SharkTank #wine I don’t even drink anymore but I would buy a bottle for a gift saving the bees is a huge thing in America and the world #bees.”

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A third chimed in, “That wine must be REALLY good! He got 4 sharks with barely any sales. #SharkTank.” And a fourth one added, “#SharkTank was weird to watch 4 sharks throw 750k on a mead company. Seemed like they had no understanding of the mead landscape and just compared it to wine.” A fifth one felt he was charging too much money. “I would if he didn’t charge such a crazy price. The sharks are 100% right. Loads of local places in my area make mead abd don’t charge $39,” the tweet read.

Read from source meaww