Our sister site Harper’s Wine & Spirit reports that label designer and beer keeper Neil Tully (Amphora Design) and winemaker Justin Howard-Sneyd have perfected an ageing method using the insects.
They explain that beehives maintain a constant temperature even during the harshest of winters, while the constant vibration of thousands of pairs of wings works to mellow wine stored in a hive.
Comparing bottles of Southern French wine stored in a conventional cellar alongside those stored in a beehives, an ant colony and termite mount, the pair found that wines ‘buzzed’ by the bees were “softer, more mellow and ready to drink”.
Having patented the maturation technique as ‘Bee-o-dynamics’, Howard-Sneyd and Tully plan to conduct further tests.
They will also start selling wine aged using this process, with Howard-Sneyd’s Domaine of the Bee ‘Hum Mani Padme Hum’, 2012, due to go on sale in April at £833 a bottle.