The Story

When the Josmeyer estate was certified as a biodynamic producer back in 2001, it was after a relatively smooth conversion. Founded in 1854 by Aloyse Meyer, Josmeyer was largely organic already. In fact, biodynamic production is not so uncommon in the small village of Wintzenheim, near Colmar in Alsace (a spot that enjoys one of the lowest annual rainfalls in the whole of France), largely due to its unique terroir. The Vosges Mountains act as a rain shield, keeping the areas around Wintzenheim dry and basked in sunlight which are ideal conditions for biodynamic and organic farming.  

The 25 hectares of vineyards that make up Josmeyer are all located within three kilometres of Wintzenheim. A fifth of the domain is on the Grand Cru classified land of Brand and Hengst, which has been recognised for its exceptional vine-growing abilities for centuries. 

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The People

Céline and Isabelle Meyer

The estate is still in the hands of the Meyer family. The late Jean Meyer took the helm in 1966 before management passed on to his daughters, Céline and Isabelle. The name Josmeyer came from Hubert Meyer in 1963, as an amalgamation of his father’s first name, Joseph, and their surname. This was in order to differentiate themselves from the many other Meyer families that were also making wine in the region.

Watch Céline Josmeyer’s interview with 67 Pall Mall, where she discusses the art of vinifying great dry white wines.

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The Place

Alsace, France

Josmeyer produces a wide range of varieties, mostly Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, and Gewürztraminer, but also small amounts of Pinot NoirMuscat, and Sylvaner. These are grown using biodynamic treatments, such as cow horn manure, nettle and horsetail, and are grown densely to encourage the roots to deepen. They use cuttings from their best vines in order to propagate them, instead of the more common practice of cloning. The grapes themselves are hand-picked and are not de-stemmed, and the fermentation comes from indigenous yeasts found naturally on the grapes.

As Jean Meyer used to say, “A wine is like a pencil stroke.” This artistic theme continues to this day, with modern art gracing the labels of Josmeyer wines. But the greatest works of art are the wines themselves, which are fresh, elegant and subtle, each one crafted to be enjoyed with food.