Hello and Welcome,
This is an Amalie Robert Estate Climate Update: July 2020 and Wadenswil Extravaganza Weekend! A FLOG communication from @AmalieRobert Dena and Ernie. Amalie Robert Willamette Valley Pinot Noir.
Make the journey to see Dena and Ernie Saturday & Sunday, August 8 & 9 from 10 am to 3 pm by appointment. We are tasting Wadenswil Clone Pinot Noir! Join us outside with a commanding view of the vines and soaring red-tailed hawks under the protective cover of our swanky new shade canopy. We have hand sanitizer available and will be starting off with 2018 Pinot in Pink lip sanitizer that has a very high percentage of Wadenswil Clone. And while we are outside, masks are optional. You just never know who (or what) you might see.
When two worlds collide.
The red-tailed hawks have been screeching and racing through the afternoon skies. They have been surveying our handiwork in the vines and performing a vital vineyard task. They are helping to control the fur bearing rodent population. Here we see the “intended”. The California ground squirrel (Spermophilus beecheyi) in the erect posture. So, if we happen to not see any soaring red-tailed hawks this weekend, it could be because these two species have had their worlds collide. Wouldn’t that be something to see?
And Dena has rounded up twice the number of usual yellow jacket suspects. She loaded the traps (packed them full of salmon scraps) and let Nature take its course. Along with the care and feeding of our red-tailed hawks, this is another example of a biological control in the vineyard.
We got the hint, delivered somewhat delicately and in other cases not so much. Maybe it’s because Ernie is always on about sedimentary soils and Wadenswil Clone 2A. Maybe because there are few places in the Willamette Valley that can bring the best out of this Swiss clone of Pinot Noir. Maybe it’s because his socks are too tight.
Whatever the reason, this weekend is your opportunity to taste select vintages of Amalie Robert Estate Grown Wadenswil Clone Pinot Noir. These wines are typically 2 barrel selections each vintage that produce about 48 cases. With our Wadenswil Clone program we are very much trying to show you something that is “True to soil and true to the vintage”.
If you need to brush up on your Wadenswil, you can check out our feature page and read the “Interview with a Clone: Wadenswil 2A” right here. Accept no substitutes.
Our Wadenswil Extravaganza tasting will be the following selections:
2018 Pinot in Pink Rosé
2011 Wadenswil Clone Pinot Noir
2012 Wadenswil Clone Pinot Noir
2013 Wadenswil Clone Pinot Noir
2016 Wadenswil Clone Pinot Noir
2015 Heirloom Cameo Chardonnay
The tasting fee is $15 with a new Riedel tasting glass and $10 is refundable on any two bottle purchase per person. You may also opt for a new Riedel Burgundy glass for $25 and $10 is refundable on any two bottle purchase per person. The now christened Amalie Robert Riedel glass is yours to keep. You may also opt to bring your own glasses and the glass purchase will be waived.
We also recognize it may not be possible to co-locate with us this weekend. Perhaps a phobia is responsible. Claustrophobia is the fear of confined spaces. Acute anxiety caused by flying is called aerophobia. Combine these two phobias with mysophobia, the pathological fear of contamination and germs and we have the trifecta that is disabling the air travel industry. Fortunately, wine can co-locate to you.
You can reach Dena by email at Cuvee@amalierobert.com and by phone at 503-88-CUVEE (503-882-8833) to schedule your appointment, or to place an order if you cannot join us.
Click on the Big Blue Button to make a selection from Amalie Robert Direct and we can hold your order until a temperature appropriate shipping window opens. Please note, we can also schedule delivery to a UPS or FedEx pick up location. Pretty handy if you have Vestiphobia, and do not want people dressed in uniforms coming to your door and interacting with your own individual environment.
July was one for the record books with the following footnote: We recorded a low temperature of 45.1 degrees and a high temperature of 102.7 degrees and made all the stops along the way. But overall July was pretty kind to the Willamette Valley winegrower.
The winegrower’s equipment however, manifested its inherent agrarian vagaries. In fact, Ernie had to perform Tractor Bypass Surgery on one machine. The machine can now maintain cooling fluid integrity and that allows Ernie to pivot his attention to the hedger. Here we see the main “lift cylinder” with a freshly corrupted seal, which is just weeping tractor fluid. Remember these words: Unfortunate, but not uncommon.
The main lift cylinder allows Ernie to dial in the height of the canopy to maximize the ripening potential from each vintage. Remember those leaves are really just a great big solar array. The taller it is, the more energy for the vines to ripen their seeds. And develop aroma and flavor, which is what we really care about. Hot vintages get short canopies, where it is important to not trim off the tops of the posts. If we ever have another cool vintage, we will hedge a tall canopy.
Do you want to take the top or the bottom? As we can see from this Accuweather graphic, there was a considerable amount of variation in the high temperatures for the month of July represented by the top trend line. The low temperatures were fairly well centered around the average as we see from the bottom trend line. Sometimes they have a rhythm and move in unison, sometimes not.
When we calculate Degree Days we break the month down into 12 minute intervals, or 3,600 data points per 30 day period. Any data point above 50 degrees adds to the Degree Day accumulation. Anything below, does not. As Yoda once said, “You do, or you do not”. He could have been a galactic winegrower. Maybe he was on Mars, probably Riesling or Gewurztraminer. We will see what the latest mission reveals. The Perseverance is cruising at 24,600 MPH on its 300 million mile mission to Mars. That’s about a 12,000-hour trip (1.4 years), one way. Hope they greased all the zerks before they left. https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/
So logically, if we have the top raging out of control with 100+ degree temperatures and the bottom dropping below 50 degrees every night, this would seem to be a moderate vintage from a Degree Day point of view. The vines of course would be scorched and tell a dramatically different story. Conversely, if most of the growing season saw temperatures top out in the mid 90’s with low temperatures covering the 40 to 60 degree territory, with a cooling breeze in the evening, that would be a sublime vintage. One quite worthy of our best effort in the vineyard and stewardship in the winery. And it is most definitely about time we had one of those vintages come around.
Well, the vineyard is all hedged up with two passes completed. The first pass trims the growing tips off of the dominate shoot. That allows the rest of the shoots to start growing like crazy. And that is when the second pass starts to get everyone’s attention. Our goal is to get the vines to stop growing more leaves and re-direct their energy to ripening their seeds. And in the process building aroma and flavor.
Growing like crazy again after the 1st pass of hedging!
Trimmed and now we have their attention after the 2nd pass of hedging.