Hello! This is 2Naturkinder: Melanie Drese and Michael Völker. Our (urban) family winery was founded in 1843 in the northern part of Bavaria on the river Main. Since 2012 we have turned it upside down: all of our 6ha are farmed organically and we’ve put a lot of effort in the soil which we understand to be a living being with desires and aversions. Living soil allows for doing less and is home to healthy plants producing the grapes for our wines.
Although we don’t add or take away anything grapes don’t become wine by themselves and there are many decisions to make from harvest to bottling. Making these decisions we follow our ideas of a perfect wine while accepting the individuality and personality of each vineyard and wine. We aim to produce lively and energetic wines which come from a healthy soil and benefit from the diversity around them.
After dedicating many years at university to Jewish studies (Melanie) and philosophy (Michael) we worked in science publishing for six years – in Heidelberg, Regensburg, London and New York. Drinking wine in the big wine cities abroad we had our first bottle of natural wine more or less by accident. It was Boire Tue from Pascal Simonutti. It took us a while to understand why this wine and all the bottles we purchased the weeks after tasted so different and had so much energy. Over time we learned that it was the lack of additives, filtration and often SO2. And we totally got addicted. Around that time it was time to make a decision about how to proceed – or if at all – with Michael’s parents’ winery in Kitzingen which has been in family hand since 1843. It was clear that we wouldn’t make any other wine than the wines we’d fallen in love with. It was also clear that it would be hard to sell it side by side with the conventional wine to the winery’s customers. So we needed new customers and we needed a name. And after many brainstorming nights & bottles 2Naturkinder was born.
Back to Germany
In June 2013 we left London behind and migrated back to the Franconias countryside. We got a little boy joining our family in August 2013 – just before our first harvest. It was exhausting although we started small: three wines made of Silvaner & Regent in three used barriques. But Michael had to help with all the conventional winemaking of course. And we quickly learned that it’s not only the vines & wines keeping us busy: the buildings we work and live in are a task for itself.
Since 2013 we’ve grown quite a bit. While 2014 was marked by a red wine disaster (but also our wedding!) we still increased production in 2015 which became quantity wise our first serious vintage introducing – besides others – the Fledermaus wines. In 2016 we introduced a second portfolio of wines: Vater & Sohn. Originally aimed at the old customers of the winery they turned out working better in the natural wine world. And in 2017 we grew again.
All our vineyards are now farmed organically or in conversion (we’ve leased several new plots in the last years), about 6ha. We purchase organic grapes from two colleagues selling our wine in more than 20 countries. And what started as a project has become our day-to-day work and a realistic perspective for our longterm future.
But what is our philosophy regarding wine? What’s always been driving us is simplicity, authenticity, honesty, sustainability, beauty. So what makes a simplistic, authentic, honest, sustainable, beautiful wine? We deeply believe it’s the intent of not “making” the wine but caring about the ecosystem – in the vineyards & the cellars – that allows the juice to become something beautiful by itself. Ecosystem is a wide term. It includes the smallest and biggest plants and animals, the space surrounding the vines and vineyards and of course the soil which has become our major obsession. The bedrock soil, the amount of clay sitting on it, that’s all more or less a given. But the top-soil, the humus, the soil-life, that’s something you can work on. And so we do working with different kinds of compost, with our sheep and by managing all the plants growing out there.
Of course the grapes need to be picked and pressed, they don’t become wine without our hands being involved. And it keeps us thinking constantly which influence we have depending on when we pick the grapes, how we press them or how long they remain on the skins. But that’s kind of a meta-level approach. More indirect (like in the vineyard). We don’t acidify or de-acidify, no chaptalization, no fining, no flotation, nothing added. Following Alice Feiring‘s classic definition:
A natural wine is made with the intent of nothing added or taken away.
The 2Naturkinder wines we neither filter nor do we add SO2. While the Vater & Sohn wines get roughly filtered and lightly sulfured (2-3g/hl)
Talk to us
We’ll be always asking for your feedback & your help to get it right. We’re looking forward to being reminded on aspects we might have forgotten, arguing about priorities and improving as winegrowers as well as as human beings. We’ll appreciate any input as we don’t want to make wine for inspecting authorities or competitions but for you and us.
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