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Domaine Josmeyer: 5 Generations - 5 terroirs - A host of unique wines

The team at Josmeyer before Jean's death (right) The team at Josmeyer

Domaine Josmeyer was founded in 1854 by restaurant owner Aloyse Meyer who set about building on his links with the wine trade. Since then, the estate has passed through 5 generations of the Meyer family, with Jean Meyer - responsible for most of the wines we stock today - taking over in 1966. In 2000 he switched the entire estate to organic and biodynamic culture. He is credited with elevating the estate to one of Alsace’s greats, and with injecting the wines with their unique sense of cultural place by combining his love of contemporary art with his produce. After his death earlier this year, his daughters Celine and Isabelle took over running of the estate.

Wines of artistic sensibility Wines of artistic sensibility

The 28 hectare estate is situated at Wintzenheim, and benefits from low annual rainfall, some of the lowest in France. Aromatic grape varieties Riesling and Pinot Blanc are given the largest sections of the estate, with Auxerrois, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir and Gewurztraminer also growing here. AB (Agriculture Biologique) certification was given in 2004 and all the wines are made with the upmost respect for the terroirs. 5 distinct terroirs make up the estate, 2 of which have achieved Grand Cru status: Hengst and Brand. Vines are planted at a minimum of 5200 per hectare. Once hand picked, the grapes undergo gentle pressing followed by natural fermentation in either their 100 year old casks, where they also receive some lees ageing, or in stainless steel.

The Dragon's cave The Dragon's cave

Josmeyer’s wines are characterised by freshness, complexity and minerality, with each of the 5 terroirs contributing to different expressions of the grapes. These are true wines of character, and though their labels may suggest a certain playfulness, they are certainly serious wines. My favourite label is for the Riesling Le Dragon, inspired by a local legend about a dragon that fought the sun, lost and retreated to a cave to die. This cave now shelters the vines from the cold north-east wind, creating one of the warmest microclimates in Alsace. For anyone who is a fan of classic Riesling and Gewurz style wines, these provide a fresh angle and truly stylish drinking – highly recommended! Find there wines here: