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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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Amalie Robert Estate Climate Update: 2008 September

Hello and Welcome,

September gave us a chance to rest, a "7th inning stretch" if you like.

October, it seems, will be more "interesting", and so it should be. For example, when I look out into the vineyard, it seems like it"...gets late early out there."

Here are the numbers. We logged 414 degree days (276 through the 15th and an additional 138 through the end of the month.) This brings us to a cool climate viticulture total of 1,896 degree days for the growing season. Clearly with fruit in the field, "It ain't over 'til its over."

This is theoretically insignificant from the 2007 degree days of 1,891. But, as we all know, "...there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is."

The rainfall was a scant 0.67 inches and was timed perfectly just 24 hours after all of my cover crop was drilled in. However, I am tempered by the sentiment that "if the world were perfect, it wouldn't be."

I sampled the one cluster that was representative of the remaining 500,000 on Wednesday September 31, and it was 21.8 Brix and 3.37 ph. I asked Carl if the fruit looked good, and he told me it was as good " the day is long." Hopefully we did not make "...too many wrong mistakes" this year.

This just in from Patty Skinkis regarding CO2 assimilation in the vineyard. If she has the time to run this over the next few years, we may find "The future ain't what it used to be." Thanks Patty!!!



... I finally got around to looking at the assimilation rate of a full canopy during a mid-summer day.

The location we used had the following information:

PN 115 on 101-14 at 5' x 7' spacing

Date of data collection: 7/30/08

Air temp:  26.09 deg C

Results are from 90 readings taken throughout a treatment block:

CO2 assimilation rate = 20 umols/m2/s

Average canopy leaf area = 4.51 m2/vine

Assuming that the highest sunlight hours are from 10-2 pm where this rate would be applicable, then a single vine would assimilate 288000 umol CO2 during that time or 0.288 mol CO2.

We see assimilation rates going down from our sampling date of 7/30 to 9/11 as follows: 

7/30/08  air temp 26.09 deg, assimilation rate = 20 umol CO2/m2/s

9/11/08  air temp 27.83 deg C, assimilation rate = 14.6 umol CO2/m2/s