Micheal Voelker and Melanie Drese spent many years working in other fields, traveling the world and living in Heidelberg, Regensburg, London, and New York. In 2013 they returned to begin taking over Michael’s father’s winery in Kitzingen in Franconia, Bavarian Germany. Michael’s father is a long-time winemaker, who in fact sits on the quality control board for the appellation, but has been very supportive of Michael’s desire to make wine without additives. They began to make natural wines under the 2naturkinder label as a side project for the winery, and since then have decided to fully expand the project to take over all of the winery’s production. Michael has a particular interest in bats in the vineyard, and a few of the labels are inspired by them. He obtains bat guano from a local nature conservancy, which he uses when fertilizer is required. He is also sponsoring a research project to fund the role of bats in the vineyard.
Heimat Silvaner — Back to the top
Michael on this premium cuvée: “Heimat means something like home, homeland; Silvaner is the most elegant and famous variety of our region, a variety from our home.”
Vineyard: Kitzinger Eselsberg, a fairly steep plot close to the winery on young shell-limestone. The top and the bottom soil of the vineyard are more clay, the middle section is dry and rocky. Vines are about 35 years old and have been farmed organically for more than 20 years.
Making of: The destemmed grapes always ferment quickly, being pumped up with nutrition and surrounded by diverse wild yeast populations. In 201í, the major batch was a regular, destemmed skin-ferment (for about a week). Two little tanks were versions of carbonic maceration. After pressing, the wines were blended into a two-year-old 1.200l barrel. Racked and bottled in March 2021. Unfined, unfiltered, zero addition of sulfur.
Personality: wild and flamboyant! There’s smoke and a touch of grass, stone fruits and lush body with a gentle welcome kiss from Franconian oak.
Weiße Fledermaus — Back to the top
Michael and Melanie on this wine’s story: “In 2014, we took over a Müller-Thurgau-vineyard from a colleague. There is a neat cottage in the middle of it which just looked like a perfect home for bats. Together with local bat hero Christian Söder, we developed the idea of a cycle: we get guano from local bat colonies – a wonderful fertilizer. In the vineyard, we have several bat boxes installed to offer opportunities for those lovely animals to hang out. In return, we give a share of the revenue back to the bats via the Landesbund für Vogelschutz. The bat (Fledermaus in German) on the label is the grey long-eared bat which has become very rare in our area. It’s also incredibly cute and we want to help it stay around.”
Grapes: Muller-Thurgau, Silvaner
Vineyard: Shell limestone. The grapes come from 2NK’s own biodynamic vineyard in Repperndorf; in difficult years, they add some grapes from their friend, biodynamic grower Christian Deppisch whose Theilheim vineyards have the same soil.
Making of: Manual harvest. The Müller-Thurgau was stomped, pressed and fermented & aged in stainless steel, the Silvaner was destemmed, crushed and pressed the next day before fermenting and aging in big oak until the following August. No fining, no filter, no sulfur addition.
Personality: pure and juicy! Floral with hints of stones.
Kleine Wanderlust — Back to the top
“Wanderlust is untranslatable 🙂 The joy of travelling. Klein means small (because there is also a bigger sister – need to differentiate).”
Age of Vines: 15 years (Regent), 30 years (Dornfelder)
Yields: 50 hl/ha
Soil: Shell limestone
Varieties: Regent (80%), Dornfelder (20%)
Vinification Method: Grapes are hand harvested and for the Regent the grapes are destemmed while the Dornfelder is left in whole bunches. The Regent is fermented on the skins for about 10 days and the Dornfelder is fermented semi-carbonically, foot stomped once a day for about a week. The wine ferments in wooden tank for about 4 weeks without temperature control, where rests for about 5 more months in the same tank. The wine is not racked and is left on the full lees for the duration, until it is bottled unfined and unfiltered with zero addition of sulfur.
Drei Freunde — Back to the top
Michael and Melanie on this wine: “Drei Freunde means Three friends, as the top three planted varieties in Franken – Bacchus, Müller-Thurgau and Silvaner – become friends in this blend. This wine always reflects the growing conditions of each season, both in its character and the blend proportions.”
Grapes: Bacchus, Muller-Thurgau, Silvaner
Soil: Shell limestone. The grapes come from 2NK’s own biodynamic vineyards in Repperndorf and Kitzingen; in difficult years, they add some grapes from their friend, biodynamic grower Christian Deppisch whose Theilheim vineyards have the same soil.
Making of: Manual harvest. All the batches were fermented and aged separately but similarly: semi-carbonic maceration for a week, pressed and fermented & aged in steel (Bacchus, Müller-Thurgau) and old oak barrels (Silvaner), until the following August. No fining, no filter, no sulfur addition.
Personality: delicious, easy-drinking skin-contact white with smooth tannins and fascinating acidity.
Spätburgunder — Back to the top
Michael on this wine: “After two trickier vintages, 2018 was very satisfying. Fantastic grapes and a better quantity than the years before.”
Grape: Spätburgunder aka Pinot Noir
Vineyard: a 40-yo vineyard in Volkach, on shell limestone, organically farmed.
Making of: the grapes were hand-harvested in September 2018, destemmed with 20% of the stems added back in the must. Fermentation took eight days. The wine went into two old barrels for malolactic fermentation and was racked and blended into a bigger barrel in summer 2019 before being bottled in March 2020. Unfined, unfiltered, zero addition of sulfur.
Personality: smooth, elegant, highly drinkable Pinot, thanks to its low ABV (10.5% only) and lush berry fruit with hints of Mediterranean spice.
Rote Fledermaus — Back to the top
Michael and Melanie on this wine’s story: “In 2014, we took over a vineyard from a colleague in Kitzingen. There is a neat cottage in the middle of it which just looked like a perfect home for bats. Together with local bat hero Christian Söder, we developed the idea of a cycle: we get guano from local bat colonies – a wonderful fertilizer. In the vineyard, we have several bat boxes installed to offer opportunities for those lovely animals to hang out. In return, we give a share of the revenue back to the bats via the Landesbund für Vogelschutz. The bat (Fledermaus in German) on the label is the grey long-eared bat which has become very rare in our area. It’s also incredibly cute and we want to help it stay around.”
Soil: Shell limestone. 30+ years old vineyard in Kitzingen.
Varieties: Schwarzriesling (Pinot Meunier)
Making of: Hand harvest. Semi-carbonic maceration (perfectly healthy bunches are covered with a layer of destemmed and crushed berries) for seven days, then press and malolactic fermentation and aging on the lees in stainless steel tanks until the following spring. Bottled unfined, unfiltered, zero sulfur added.
Personality: fresh, crunchy, glou-glou red with lovely fruitiness and zingy acidity.
Bat-Nat — Back to the top
The red Fledermaus with bubbles! As for the other bat cuvées, Michael and Melanie send a share of the profit from each bottle sold to the local nature conservancy to help study the role of bats in the vineyard.
Varieties: Schwarzriesling (Pinot Meunier)
Soil: Shell limestone. 30+ years old vineyard in Kitzinger Eselsberg.
Making of: the grapes were hand harvested and then destemmed, crushed and macerated for 12h before being pressed. After that, the juice fermented slowly and peacefully for a couple of weeks before it was bottled with 9g/l of residual sugar to finish fermentation in the bottle. Disgorged by hand the April after. Zero sulfur added.
Personality: light and super easy to drink thanks to its gentle, creamy bubbles and vivid red-fruit notes.
Bacchus Pet-Nat — Back to the top
Total Production: 1800 bottles
Age of Vines: 30 years old
Yields: 110 hl/ha
Soil: Shell limestone
Vinification Method: Grapes are hand harvested and left as whole clusters. The bunches ferment in stainless steel for about 2 weeks without temperature control. The bunches are pressed and the wine goes into bottle to finish fermentation as a pet-nat. Their goal is to create a wine with a light bubble at 2.5 bars of pressure. The wine is undisgorged.
Silvaner Pet-Nat — Back to the top
Winemaker’s note: “The shell-limestone soil has a fat, fertile clay layer letting the vines grow extraordinarily strong. So strong that the vines are very tricky to manage. Besides the Bacchus and the Heimat Silvaner vineyard, this is the most labor-intense site we have.”
Vineyard: 30+ years old site in Kitzingen. Shell-limestone, farmed organically for 7 years now.
Making of: hand-harvested at two different times. The first batch was fermented after a night of skin contact. The second batch, picked one week later, fermented on the skins for about a week before the batches were blended and bottled in October. After finishing fermentation, the bottles were disgorged by hand in April. Zero SO2 added.
Personality: creamy, fresh, completely dry gentle sparkler, with a lovely salty herbal touch coming from the partial skin contact.
Kleine Heimat — Back to the top
Total Production: 2500 bottles
Age of Vines: 30 years old
Yields: 130 hl/ha
Vinification Method: Grapes are hand harvested, destemmed and crushed. The juice ferments on the skins for about 2 and a half weeks, then pressed and fermentation finished in stainless steel tank. The wine is not racked and is bottled unfined and unfiltered with zero addition of sulfur.
Black Betty — Back to the top
Michael on this wine: “Black Betty is back! After we ripped out the original Domina vineyard, we found a worthy replacement for this cuvée at the Eherieder Berg, in a plot connected to other vineyards we farm already. The wine is named after the first lamb that was born in our Domina vineyard: Betty. Who was – as most of the Ouessant sheep – black.”
Grapes: the 2020 blend is 57% Domina, 42% Regent, 1% Pinot Meunier
Vineyard: Shell limestone. The grapes come from 2NK’s own biodynamic vineyards in Kitzingen; in difficult years such as 2020, they add some grapes from their friend, biodynamic grower Christian Deppisch in Theilheim.
Making of: Foot-crushed Domina grapes, skin-contact for 1h, fermentation and aging in a big old oak barrel blended with directly pressed Regent fermented and aged in stainless steel. Bottled the following August. Unfined, unfiltered, zero sulfur added.
Personality: super fresh, dry, fruit-driven rosé with a herbal touch, cuddly and irresistible like the sheep on its cover.
Vom Hexen und Feen Cider – Back to the top
Michael on this bottle: “On the label, you have Pomona, the Roman goddess / nymph of gardens and orchards. The name „Von Hexen und Feen“ translates to „From witches and fairies“ – synonyms for nymphs. The orchard we get our fruit from was completely wild before our friend Christian made it accessible. It’s a long plot on a slope with plenty of wilderness around and in between. And to me, it feels like a place where witches and fairies would live.”
Fruit: cider-apple varieties such as Landsberger Renette, Roter Trierer Weinapfel, Damason Renette, Rheinischer Winterrambour, Topaz, Goldparmäne, Gewürzluiken, Alkmene, Santana and Brettacher Gewürzapfel from a semi-wild orchard.
Making of: the apples were hand-picked in October 2019 and pressed. The juice then fermented and aged in a 2.400l barrel for a year, until it was blended with some fresh juice from the 2020 harvest and bottled for refermentation. Undisgorged, zero SO2 added.
Personality: this nymphs’ choir sings a delicious tune! Lush apple-floral aromas and bright acidity, well-integrated and beautifully zingy.
Wilde Heimat – Back to the top
Michael on this wine: “We had inherited this vineyard from our friend Stefan Vetter. It’s a 40-something-year-old Silvaner vineyard, growing on the steepest top of the hill on meager Keuper soil. Loads of sun, hard to farm.”
Vineyard: a 40+-year-old vineyard in Iphofen with Keuper marl soil, managed organically.
Making of: manual harvest in September 2017. About 2/3 of the grapes were fermented on the skins for a week, the rest was pressed after two nights of skin contact. Aging in 60-year-old oak for 22 months; the wines came together in summer 2019 and remained in a tank until bottling in March 2020. Unsulfured, unfiltered, unfined.
Personality: wild yet also refined and compelling orange! Elegant tones of toasted nuts and brioche, some lush dried fruit undertones, hint of rocks and smoke and oxy note – this is such a complex wine, entertaining for the whole evening (at least).
Grosse Wanderlust – Back to the top
Michael on this wine: “This is only the third time we gave this wine a shot. With our own Regent vineyard struggling, we also picked some biodynamically farmed grapes from a friend.”
Grape: Regent (a dark-colored German hybrid)
Vineyard: Theilheim, shell limestone. Biodynamic farming.
Making of: the grapes were hand-harvested in September 2018. Whole bunches were covered with destemmed & crushed berries. The must fermented to juice within two weeks and was left to macerate for another week before it was pressed and gently moved to old barriques. Racked only at bottling which took place in March 2020. Unsulfured, unfiltered, unfined.
Personality: a unique cuvée with warmth, fruit and body but still low in alcohol (11.5% ABV). Intense dark cherries and ripe raspberries with some spicy hints.
Weinschwärmer – Back to the top
Winemakers’ note: “On our beloved Eselsberg, the hill where the Heimat Silvaner and the Fledermaus grow on, there is a big plot (almost one hectare) with two-thirds Grauburgunder (Pinot Gris) and one-third Riesling growing on it. The blend is dedicated to the “Weinschwärmer” (Deilephila porcellus, Small elephant hawk-moth), a beautifully colored moth who lives in our area. Not only does that moth carry the word “wine” in its German name, but it’s also a delicacy for our local bats.”
“The first vintage of this blend, 2019 was a blockbuster for the Grauburgunder with a perfect balance of fruit and tannins with the Riesling pushing the acidity to the right limit.
In 2020, a disastrous frost event hit both vineyards with full force in May. There was nothing left. But a few weeks after the loss several secondary buds broke, shoots grew again and some actually had grapes on them. It was a very late pick but the grapes of both vineyards got ripe in the end (although not as super-ripe as the previous year), weeks after the first generation would have. And it was enough grapes to vinify them by themselves: The about 15hl/ha we got, in the end, was more than it looked like in spring.”
Grapes: 75% Grauburgunder (Pinot Gris), 25% Riesling
Vineyard: Eselsberg, Kitzingen. Shell limestone, Biodynamic farming.
Making of: Manual harvest. The grapes from the younger Riesling section of the vineyard got pressed directly to maintain a razor-sharp acidity while the Grauburgunder grapes were destemmed and fermented on the skins for about a week. The two batches were blended in the following summer into an old 2.400l barrel and bottled after some 9 months of aging. No fining, no filter, no sulfur added.
Personality: Lovely orange hue and spicy herbal profile courtesy of the Pinot Gris, refreshing acidity, solid structure and drinkability thanks to Riesling. Highly drinkable and entertaining.
Vater&Sohn Skin Contact White Blend – Back to the top
Typical Franconian white varieties coming together. The partial skin contact of Silvaner brings a salty, creamy contribution to the light and floral blend composed by father and son.
Grapes: the 3rd edition (bottled in August 2022)
is 10% Bacchus, 59% Müller-Thurgau, 18% Silvaner, 13% Riesling
Vineyard: Shell limestone
Making of: the grapes are hand-harvested and processed separately: the Bacchus, Muller and Riesling are all direct-pressed, the Silvaner is partly skin fermented for about a week, partly direct press. Bottled after a year, unfined and unfiltered, zero sulfur added.
Personality: salty, herbal flavors from the skin-contact Silvaner compliment Riesling’s acidity and Bacchus’s contribution of exotic flavors – a beautiful easy-drinking white.