The Alsace domaine of Josmeyer dates back to 1854, when Aloyse Meyer set himself up as a négociant to supply restaurants. His grandson Hubert added part of his father's name to create the company name, Josmeyer. Though technically still a négociant, practically everything that Josmeyer produces come from the estate's 31 hectares which are located between the towns of Turkheim and Wintzenheim near Colmar.
Each generation has left its mark here. Hubert, who died in 2005, created the export market. His son Jean further raised quality levels. He more or less abandoned the négociant side and then with the help of Christophe Ehrhart, head of viticulture and managing director, switched the whole estate to biodynamic farming. Jean was an outstanding cook, as is his wife, Odile, and gastronomy was always present at any discussion and when creating their cuvées.
Jean died in 2016, leaving his two quite extraordinary daughters at the helm. Céline is in charge of the books and her sister Isabelle is in charge of the cellar, makes the wine and does the blending, and also shadows Christophe in the vineyards. Both daughters are artistically gifted and helped their father design the look of the ranges.
From the beginning, Josmeyer has been identified with the vineyards of Brand and Hengst, now among Alsace's top grands crus. Hengst produces fine full-flavoured riesling and gewurztraminer, while from Brand there is also pinot gris which is invariably bone dry and among the best in Alsace. A curiosity of the house is a cuvée of old-vine auxerrois from the Hengst.
Generally the wines are dry in style. Riesling has pride of place and produces the greatest number of cuvées. The most prestigious of them is Samain, a remarkable dry, late-harvest riesling, made in very few vintages, and named after a Celtic festival that marked the end of the fruitful harvesting period and the beginning of winter gloom. Vendanges Tardives and Sélection de Grains Nobles are also made but in tiny quantities, and in a distinctive style that is never that sweet.