Winemaking: The Continuation of Terroir by Other Means.®

Welcome to the Amalie Robert Estate Farming Blog, aka FLOG. By subscribing, you will receive regular FLOGGINGS throughout the growing season. The FLOGGING will begin with the Spring Cellar Report in April. FLOGGINGS will continue each month and detail how the vintage is shaping up. You may also be FLOGGED directly after the big Cluster Pluck with the yearly Harvest After Action Report. Subscribe now and let the FLOGGINGS begin!


"This is one of the Willamette Valley’s most distinguished wineries, but not one that is widely known."

- Rusty Gaffney, PinotFile - September 2016


"Dena Drews and Ernie Pink have been quietly producing some of Oregon's most elegant and perfumed Pinots since the 2004 vintage. Their 30-acre vineyard outside the town of Dallas, abutting the famed Freedom Hill vineyard where Drews and Pink live, is painstakingly farmed and yields are kept low so production of these wines is limited. Winemaking includes abundant use of whole clusters, which is no doubt responsible for the wines' exotic bouquets and sneaky structure…"

- Josh Raynolds, Vinous - October 2015


"...Dallas growers Dena Drews and Ernie Pink... showed me this July three of their reserve bottlings and thereby altered my perception of their endeavors. Since these are produced in only one- or two-barrel quantities, they offer an extreme instance of a phenomenon encountered at numerous Willamette addresses, whose really exciting releases are extremely limited. But they also testify, importantly, to what is possible; and what’s possible from this site in these hands revealed itself to be extraordinary!... And what a Syrah!"

- David Schildknecht, The Wine Advocate - October 2013

Wine & Spirits

"Finding that their whole-cluster tannins take some time to integrate, Pink and Drews hold their wines in barrel for up to 18 months - so Amalie Robert is just releasing its 2008s. And what a stellar group of wines: Bright and tart, they possess both transparency and substance, emphasizing notes of rosehips and sandalwood as much as red berries. The pinot noirs alone would likely have earned Amalie Robert a top 100 nod this year. But the winery also produces cool-climate syrah that rivals the best examples from the Sonoma Coast. And the 2009 Heirloom Cameo, their first attempt at a barrel-fermented chardonnay, turned out to be one of our favorite Oregon chardonnays of the year. Ten vintages in, Amalie Robert has hit its stride."

- Luke Sykora, Wine & Spirits Magazine – September 2011


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Monday, July 31, 2006

Amalie Robert Estate Climate Update: 2006 July

Hello & Welcome,

Here is a brief update on how the vineyard is coming along. Generally speaking, I am very pleased with the growing season and the vines have blessed us with a moderate to above average fruit set. Of course, there is plenty of race left to run with the months of September and October being crucial to another great vintage.

The climate for the last two months has provided us with 844 degree days (June 254 and July 590.) This brings us to a total of 1,246 degree days as of the 30th of July. For comparison, at this time in 2005 we had logged 1,062 degree days (June 254 and July 548). So we are up about 184 degree days or 17% over last year at this time. The highest hi temperature in June was 85.80 and the lowest high was 79.50. The lowest low in June was 40.20 and the highest low was 43.20. July had a heat spike that sent our highest hi to 108.50 and our lowest hi to 99.40. The lowest low in July was 46.10 and the highest low was 49.70. I am using decimals here, as it has been recently brought to my attention that 4.00 out of 3.00 people have trouble with fractions.

Looking forward, if we add the 2005 degree days for the remainder of this year (997 degree days) to the current year, we would end this season at roughly 2,243 degree days. Rainfall since April 1 through July 30th has totaled 6.00" inches here at the vineyard (1.01 for June and 0.18 for July) compared to 10.50" inches last year (2.35 June and 0.17 for July.) My forecast for the month of August comes from a lyric in a Sting song: "There'll be clouds but, no rain."

The vineyard is looking very green and healthy. The vineyard floor has a small amount of cover crop (barley and vetch) planted in alternate rows. It is clear to see where excess soil moisture is present as we have more vigorous growth compared with where the cover crop has gone dormant. I think this is equalizing the vineyard and helping to get these damp/vigorous areas

through the light red fruit phase of maturity into the dark red and blue/black fruits. Dena and I are pretty happy with the progress. We talked it over for an hour and a fifth the other night.

The canopy has been hedged twice and I see a third pass in my future. Leaf pull was again minimal this year as I am trying to mitigate the tannin and astringency that seems to be the characteristic of our site. The fruit is healthy; I am current on the spray program and have not detected any disease pressure. We are currently sitting about 3.5 to 45 tons per acre depending on the block. We are finishing up lag weights and will begin thinning crop/wings down to 2 tons per fruiting acre next week. I would expect to see some "pink" berries in the Pinot noir by the 10th of August. For us, clone 777 on 44-53M has historically been the first to turn.



BTW: The Syrah flowered on June 17 this year.