Name of business: Tsymbal Winery
Type of business: Family winery
Location: 4231 Idaho Rd., Turlock
Contact information: 209-348-9999
Specialty: Honey wine
History of business:
After coming to America as a refugee from Ukraine in 1991, Turlock resident Anatoliy Tsymbal knew he had to make money to support his large family — and fast. Knowing little English, the language barrier at the construction and maintenance jobs he was able to pick up made things difficult.
Then, he moved into a new home where he says he received a godsend. His new neighbor was a beekeeper, and invited him to work with the hives, eventually giving him his own swarm of pollinating insects to care for.
“All I knew about beekeeping was that honey was very sweet, and bees sting very hard,” Tsymbal said.
What started out as one box with a beehive has since turned into Tsymbal’s bee pollinating operation, Golden-Comb, which is 1,500 hives strong. The success of his company soon allowed him to take up another hobby, however: winemaking.
In 2009, Tsymbal opened Tsymbal Winery after noticing that many producers in the industry use chemicals and pesticide when tending to their vineyards and in produce production. He set out to produce a wine that is completely natural, meaning absolutely no chemicals or sulfites.
The result? A wide array of Tsymbal wines that produce no headaches or hangovers the next morning, both red and white. In addition to the two common types of the beverage, Tsymbal wanted to incorporate Ukrainian methods into his new business endeavor by mixing in honey from his bees.
“Many people in pollination just do bees, bees, bees, but I wanted to sell that product they were making,” he said. “Back in Ukraine, beekeepers would make honey wine.”
Using fruit from the orchards that his bees pollinate, like pomegranates, raspberries, oranges and cherries, Tsymbal ferments these fruits along with honey to create a sweet, mead-like drink. This can take up to 40 days, whereas normal wine takes about a week, he said.
The entire fermentation process takes place at Tsymbal’s farm in Turlock, where the family invites the community to come out for wine tasting at a newly-constructed gazebo. Wines and honey wines can be purchased on Tsymbal’s website, www.golden-comb.com.