2Naturkinder

 

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. 

Enjoy a quick introduction story on Michael, Melanie and their wines

2naturkinder.de


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.”

Varieties: Silvaner

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.”

Of the 2021 harvest, they add: “After the 2020 frost vintage 2021 was another difficult year with plenty of rain and powdery mildew as a constant threat causing severe damage all over the place. Nonetheless we were able to pick enough grapes to continue this blend the way we envisioned it: a major batch of Müller-Thurgau for the fruit, a slightly smaller batch of Silvaner for more structure and acid and finally a spritz of Riesling for and extra aromatic sparkle.” 

Grapes: 55% Müller-Thurgau, 33% Silvaner, 12% Riesling 

Vineyard: Kitzingen (Müller-Thurgau), Theilheim (Silvaner), Volkach (Riesling). Shell limestone.

Making of: grapes are hand-harvested, foot trodded, and pressed straight away. The majority of the Müller-Thurgau and Riesling fermented and aged in big oak barrels, while the Silvaner and the rest of the Müller-Thurgau aged in stainless steel. Racked and blended before bottling the following August. No fining, no filter, zero sulfur added.

Personality: pure and juicy! Floral with hints of stones.


Kleine Wanderlust — Back to the top 

Kleine Wanderlust tech sheet

“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

Varieties: Bacchus

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.”

Varieties: Silvaner

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

Soil: Keuper

Varieties: Silvaner

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 current 2022 blend is 48% Domina, 39% Regent, 13% Spätburgunder  

2020 blend is 57% Domina, 42% Regent, 1% Pinot Meunier

Vineyard: Shell limestone. The grapes come from 2NK’s own biodynamic vineyards in Kitzingen (Domina), Sulzfeld (Regent), and Volkach (Spätburgunder)

Making of: 2022: Regent bunches pressed directly and poured over the Domina bunches, which are picked shortly after for a touch of color and tannin extraction before pressing 3 days later.  Aged in big oak barrels before they get racked the following summer and blended directly with carbonic Spätburgunder that was aged in stainless steel. Bottled the following October. Unfined, unfiltered, zero sulfur added. 

2020: 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. Juicy, glou-glou goodness. 


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.”

Grape: Silvaner

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 White Blend – Back to the top

Winemakers’ note: “The Vater & Sohn (German for ‘father and son’) is our white wine blend. Müller-Thurgau — a crossing of Riesling and Madeleine Royale — is the main act here. The name is a memory of, an homage to the time when Michael and his dad still worked on blends together.”

Grapes: 2023 is 77% Müller-Thurgau, 14% Silvaner, 9% Riesling 

2022 is 10% Bacchus, 59% Müller-Thurgau, 18% Silvaner, 13% Riesling 

Vineyard: Kitzingen (Müller-Thurgau, Riesling), Theilheim (Müller-Thurgau), Volkach (Silvaner). Shell limestone.

Making of: the grapes are hard-harvested and processed separately. Both the Müller-Thurgau and Silvaner are food trodded and pressed shortly after. Fermentation and aging happens partly in stainless steel, while the Riesling and Müller-Thurgau from one of the vineyards is aged in large oak barrels. The wine rests on the lees until the following summer, then is blended with a splash of Riesling and bottled after harvest, unfined, unfiltered, zero sulfur added. 

Personality: salty, herbal flavors from the Silvaner compliment Riesling’s acidity – a beautiful easy-drinking white.

 


Wilde Meute – Back to the top

Winemakers’ note: “The Wilde Meute (translating to ‘wild pack’) is our skin-contact blend. The defining varieties are Bacchus and Silvaner with a splash of Müller-Thurgau for the finishing touch.”

Grapes: 62% Silvaner, 35% Bacchus, 3% Müller-Thurgau 

Vineyard: Shell limestone, Kitzingen vineyard

Making of: the grapes are hand-harvested, destemmed, and processed separately: Bacchus (an aromatic crossing of Silvaner and Riesling) is destemmed, fermented on the skins for about a week, and finishes fermentation in stainless steel, where it rests on the full lees for ten months. Silvaner and Müller-Thurgau are vinified the same way, but then continue to age in Franconian oak barrels. Bottled the following October, unfined and unfiltered, zero sulfur added.

Personality: “While the light Bacchus contributes a citrusy tartness to the blend, the Silvaner provides a herbal body and a mineral backbone. A small batch of Müller-Thurgau always brings some great reduction to the game which suits the final blend just perfectly.”