The Beyer family has been making wine in Eguisheim since the sixteenth century, although the domain wasn't established until 1867. Since 1959, the estate has been run by Leon Beyer II, who today shares duties with his son Marc. The charismatic Leon, like his father before him, is the former Mayor of Eguisheim and well known for being a gastronome. Under his hand, Domaine Leon Beyer has become one of the best represented Alsace wineries in the fine dining and export markets, selling well upwards of half a million bottles yearly. Despite this commercial success, however, the wines of Leon Beyer are still of remarkably high quality and stylistic integrity.
The domaine bottles the full complement of Alsace varieties: Pinot Blanc, Sylvaner, Riesling, Tokay, Gewurztraminer, and Pinot Gris. Roughly a third of the production is supplied by the domain's own 20 hectares of sloping, clay/limestone vineyards, with the rest sourced from local vineyards essentially rented by Beyer (these parcels are farmed under the direction of the domaine rather than functioning as contract growers). In recent years, Domaine Leon Beyer has made strides to more natural, environmentally conscious approaches in the vineyards. To our dismay, much of Alsace seems to be trending toward sweeter wines. However, Beyers' signature has always been that its wines are drier than the norm in every category, uncompromising yet eminently food friendly. Best here are the bone dry Riesling and Gewürztraminer bottlings at the Reserve level and higher.
Ranges from dry to sweet, but deeply aromatic in all styles
Munster cheese, pork, goose, spicy Asian food
One of the wine world's love-it-or-hate-it grapes, Gewürztraminer is for many wine lovers the signature variety of Alsace. Its highly perfumed aromas of rose petal, smoked meat, lychee, grapefruit, and spices are immediate and captivating, although some examples lack refinement and seem a bit blowzy owing to low acidity and high alcohol. Gewürztraminer is as unlike the steelier, more aristocratic Riesling as a white grape can be. No other region of the world has been able to produce significant quantities of Gewürztraminer that even approach the decadent richness and exotic fruit qualities that the best producers in Alsace achieve. Still, other than late-harvest versions, Gewürztraminer is normally a dry wine in Alsace, despite smelling like a sweet one. Gewürztraminer marries beautifully with rich, fatty dishes like pork and goose or ripe cheeses, as well as with the exotic spices of Moroccan, Indian, and Far Eastern cuisines.