JAMES CITY-A few years ago, Joseph Hultman was searching for a special gift for his daughter’s wedding. He wanted to incorporate his family’s Italian and Swedish heritage into the celebration, so he decided to make a batch of honey mead, since Swedes enjoy honey. The mead turned out to be a big hit.
“It was very well-received,” said Joseph’s wife, Melanie Hultman. “We started making more of it for other family and friends, and they all sincerely enjoyed it and wondered why we weren’t selling it.”
Eventually, the couple decided to take a leap and open Windchaser Meadery in the Colonial Towne Plaza on Richmond Road in Lightfoot. The name of the meadery stems from Joseph Hultman’s background as a sailor with the U.S. Navy.
Windchaser Meadery currently carries seven different flavored meads: Eva’s Bounty, a medium sweet classic mead; Heart of the Meadow, a dessert mead; El Fuego del Dragon, a jalapeno-infused mead; and Summer’s Breeze, a Pina Colada infused mead as well as a passion fruit mead, a peach-infused mead, and a spiced mead made with cinnamon and nutmeg. The Hultmans hope to start selling a coffee-infused mead and a vanilla-infused mead starting in July.
“We want to make different meads because different people like different things,” Joseph Hultman said
Free mead tastings are available. In addition to mead, Windchaser Meadery carries more than 25 varieties of honey, from local raw honey to domestic infused and creamed honeys. The meadery also sells tea available loose or in bags as well as tea accessories and honey candy.
“We offer a variety of interesting local products that you can’t find in the grocery store,” Melanie Hultman said.
Joseph Hultman loves the science behind beekeeping, experimenting with different ingredients, and educating his customers on his products.
“When I talk about the different types of honey, it’s like I’ve opened up a new part of the world to them,” he said. “Every artist likes to share their craft, and I am no different.”