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, June 30, 2009

Amalie Robert Estate Climate Update: 2009 June


The vintage of the year continues to roll right along. We have a nice fruit set and the canopy is looking healthy, but a bit disheveled. Of course I only really see it during the day, who knows what is going on out there after dark. One thing I do know is we have a pair of juvenile Redtail hawks this year. They are certainly helping with our with the rodent issues. I don't mind helping them out, but I wish they would return my traps.

Here are the numbers. We have recorded about 369 degree days for the month of June, providing a total of 568 degree days since the beginning of the growing season on April 1st. This compares with 254 degree days last June and a comparative total of 462 degree days. During June, our highest high was 92.5 and our lowest high was 88.0. Our lowest low was 41.7 and our highest low was 43.9 degrees Fahrenheit.

The rainfall for June was 1.45 inches and was about 0.81 inches more than last June’s rain of 0.64. Rainfall since April 1st through June 30th was 7.00 inches, and is 4.30 inches more than last year’s Q2 accumulation of 2.70 inches. Every inch of rain is about 27,000 gallons of water per acre, or about 18.6 gallons per vine.

We are finishing our canopy management of clipping the third set of catch wires into place. I will begin hedging and mowing early next week, and will follow on with leaf pulling. The fruit set seems very uniform, with most berries on a cluster all the same size. I am hopeful this will promote uniform ripening of the cluster.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Amalie Robert Estate Vintage Update: 2009 June Flowers


It looks our first definitive sign of harvest is here - Pinot Noir flowers. The first of the little devils appeared on June 9th. After a quick review of the usual suspects, it turns out block 10 (Wadenswil/5C) was the lead dog.

So now the game is afoot. If we go "by the book," we have about 105 days from bloom to harvest. Since June 9th is the 160th day of the year, we can expect serious consternation regarding harvest to be in full effect by day 265, which is conveniently September 23rd.

However, we also have to keep an eye on the Big Walnut, as I am reluctant to harvest Pinot Noir until it begins to senesce. Alas, the birds have a different view, but we can address them next time.

Again the Spring has provided us with "seasonal" Oregon weather. This means we are on the look-out for Powdery Mildew, and with the rains that will be coming in June, perhaps even Botrytis. We are keeping tight intervals on our sulfur spray regime. We do not seem to have any mite damage this Spring.

First wires are up and clipped into place, the summer cover crop is drilled in and suckers have been removed. From my point of view, the world is spinning in greased grooves.