Meet the producers: Michael and Melanie Voelker
Michael and Melanie left their corporate jobs behind and started making wine in Michael’s parents’ winery in 2013. After discovering their taste for natural wine, they converted the 6 hectare vineyard to organic practices. They've developed a repertoire of wild delights which are hand-harvested, indigenous-yeasts vinification without sulphur and unfiltered. As well as their natural range, they also make wines with purchased grapes which are very lightly sulphured and filtered for a slightly different market.
In June 2013, Michael and Melanie left their corporate life behind and started making wine in Michael’s parents’ winery. They had been working in publishing for six years – in Heidelberg, Regensburg, London and New York.
While Michael previously had no interest in returning home to take over and run the family business, they had developed a taste for natural wine and in 2012 a plan began to develop. Starting with just a few hundred bottles from two parcels (converted to organic farming by Michael's dad in the 90s), they now farm around six hectares of organic vineyards.
They produce two ranges - the 2Naturkinder wines, with no added sulphur, and Vater and Sohn; wines made with purchased grapes, very lightly sulphured and filtered, designed to appeal to the existing customers. 2Naturkinder has been going so well that 2018 will be the last vintage of the conventional winemaking business. Here is to the future!
The climate of the region is stamped by the river Main and the surrounding hills; like a big caldera. The river contributes to mild temperatures, and the mountains tend to hold back the clouds so it’s dry. There is also extreme weather – frost and heat up to 40°C. Most of the old vineyards are South or South-West facing. This is still a cool-climate region, but it was a lot cooler a few decades ago so vineyards were planted on the slopes of hills to maximise the impact of the sun.