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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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Amalie Robert Estate Climate Update: 2009 May


This is the climate update for the month of May 2009.

We have recorded about 199 degree days from April 1 through May 31. This is nestled nicely between the 206 degree days recorded during the same period in 2008 and 2007's read of 194 degree days. That being said, bud break for the three years varies widely.

During May, our highest high was 92.50 and our lowest high was 88.00. Our lowest low was 35.70 and our highest low was 36.40 degrees Fahrenheit. The rainfall for May was significant at 4.24 inches and was about 4.01 inches greater than last May’s rainfall of 0.23 inches. Year-to-date rainfall is 18.96 inches compared to last year's 17.23 inches.

We began Bud Break in the Pinot Noir on April 22nd this year, which is about 2 weeks ahead of 2008's date of May 5th. We observed the 2007 Pinot Noir break bud on Thursday, April 5 which, agriculturally speaking, is “nearly exactly” two weeks ahead of the 2006 Pinot Noir bud break of April 19. The 2005 Pinot Noir bud break was March 15.

The vineyard floor is weed-free, as I have now considered any plants in the vine row that are still alive to be "Cover Crop." That was easy. Last fall I established a permanent cover crop in alternate rows. The remaining rows have a cover crop blend of vetch and buckwheat or barley and vetch - depending on where I ran out, I mean where I changed the blend for cover crop trials.

We are spraying liquid sulfur this Spring. It is about the same cost as the increased price in micronized sulfur, and easier. One of the 2.5 gallon jugs is exactly what I need in my 250 gallon sprayer. As I age, I seem to be gravitating toward easy. I will have to get this looked after.

No signs of Powdery Mildew or Botrytis, and all seems healthy and green. The only exception is our Chardonnay which seems to have been the victim of early May herbicide spray drift or volatization. Another reminder to chat with the neighbors and the local farm stores each and every Spring without exception, about how evil this Crossbow product really is.

Although we do not have any mite damage that I can find, I am seeing pronounced apical dominance in some blocks. This is disturbing for several reasons, not least of which is that the less vigorous shoots are not up to the first set of catch wires when the end shoots are past the second set. Nonetheless, the first set of wires are up and clipped into place. Due to the uneven shoot growth, I have opted to remove suckers early this year, and will bear the consequences after fruit set.