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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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Amalie Robert Estate Climate Update: 2010 June


The big news is that we welcome the 4th of July weekend with Pinot Noir flowers!! Providing Mother Nature gives us a bit of sun and warm weather, these little flowers will turn into grapes. We are hopefully optimistic.

Yes, the Redtail hawks are back and we do have another pair of juvenile raptors to report. However, the overabundance of ground squirrels seems to be too much for them to control. Enter the Bobcats. Yes, we seem to have attracted the attention of a pair of Bobcats. From a distance, and with binoculars, their facial markings remind us of Bengal tigers. So we sit on the deck of the winery and observe these "cats" do their best to help control an out of control population of ground squirrels. A biological control that seeks balance.

Here are the numbers. The month of June continued in May's footsteps providing us with cool temperatures and more rain. We have recorded about 249 degree days for the month of June, providing a total of 334 degree days since the beginning of the growing season on April 1st. This compares with 369 degree days last June and a comparative total of 568 degree days. During June, our highest high was 88.7 and our lowest high was 83.0. Our lowest low was 40.2 and our highest low was 41.0 degrees Fahrenheit. From a heat summation point of view, we are nearly a month short from last year.

The rainfall for June was 4.97 inches and was about 3.52 inches more than last June's rain of 1.45. Rainfall since April 1st through June 30th was 12.93 inches, and is 5.93 inches more than last year's Q2 accumulation of 7.00 inches. Every inch of rain is about 27,000 gallons of water per acre, or about 18.6 gallons per vine.

The vineyard work is progressing nicely as we wait for our shoot growth to reach the second wire position, block by block. The usual suspects are ready to go, but the cooler sections of the vineyard, and those on 44-53 rootstock seem to be holding out for better weather. I can't say I blame them.

In light of the Independence Day weekend, I would like to recognize our founding fathers who have created a concept that has survived the test of time - 234 years to be precise. Imagine their surprise if they were to learn that some of our best allies are the Brits!

For those of you interested, here is a link to the Declaration of Independence. You can see the original document and read the transcript.

Kindest Regards,


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Amalie Robert Estate Vintage Update: 2010 June Flowers


Well, it looks like they are back for more, finally...

We detected the first vineyard flowers on the 180th day of the growing season. This corresponds to June 29th. The first block of Pinot Noir to show flowers this year was a neat little block of 113 clone on 5C rootstock. And what a wonderful 3 days of weather it was, before a nice wet cooling off period retuned us to early Spring like weather.

We are behind the historical curve folks. Typically the average date of flowering is the 15th of June. Not that any year has recorded flowers on that date, it is just the average. Flowering is a significant event in the vineyard because it gives us an idea of our potential harvest dates.

The harvest window for Pinot Noir generally opens 105 days after flowering. Again, it is not a "hard coded" date, but an average. For 2009, we will be looking at about the 285th day of the year to commence harvest. The 285th day of the year is a Tuesday, October 13th.

The reason it is 105 days after flowering is that we are looking for the grapes to develop flavors. Sugars are less important, in fact a cooler growing season may mean less sugars resulting in lower alcohol. But we need the day count for the flavors to develop. Hence the grower's plight - "hurry up and wait."

Not that this is bad, or good for that matter, it just is. However, in the world of probability theory we have just discovered a fact that replaces an assumption. This newfound fact tells us that we will be harvesting late this year. The later the harvest, the greater chance of deteriorating weather patterns and conflicting with the schedule of marauding flocks of starlings. These conditions also favor the gift of botrytis (aka bunch rot) for the unprepared.

It is good to bear in mind that in 2008 we did not flower until the 171st day, and look how well that vintage is regarded. Follow this link to view our 2010 Vineyard Flowers Photo Gallery.

Kindest Regards,