Introduction

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!

Rusty

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

- Rusty Gaffney, PinotFile - September 2016

Josh

"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

David

"...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

Monday, May 31, 2010

Amalie Robert Estate Climate Update: 2010 May

Hello and Welcome,

This is the climate update for the month of May 2010. "What a long, cool Spring it's been..." Or something like that.


Despite having an earlier bud break on April 16, as compared to April 22nd in 2009, we have had a cold and wet month of May. The result is "Cabin Fever" and a late bloom period. Bloom is also known as fruit set (hopefully), and that is when the clock to harvest starts ticking. Typically, we need about 105 days from fruit set until we are getting busy in the winery. The longer we wait for bloom, the later the harvest will be. From a farmer's point of view this translates into higher risk of fall rains, bird damage and bunch rot. But it is still early, and June looks to be quite nice. Hope springs eternal.

Here are the numbers. We have recorded about 85 degree days from April 1 through May 31. This is significantly less than the 200+/- degree days for the same period in 2007 thru 2009. During May, our highest high was 82.3 and our lowest high was 77.4 Our lowest low was 31.7 (brrrr) and our highest low was 32.5 degrees Fahrenheit. The rainfall for May was 2.64 inches and was about 1.60 inches less than last May's rainfall of 4.24 inches. Year to date rainfall is 25.51 inches compared with last year's 18.96 inches.

It's what makes the grass grow - rain that is, and we have had plenty of that. As luck would have it, Ernie was able to recycle last year's cover crop including the pruning's and drill in the new summer cover crop blend of Buckwheat and hairy vetch before most of the late May rains arrived. The result is a pretty nice stand of cover crop that will provide cover for beneficial insects over the summer.

Our next key event is bloom, aka fruit set, and that is typically around the 15th of June. Based on the weather so far, it seems that bloom is about as far away as the next global warming summit. But just in case it sneaks up on us, we are raising our first set of catch wires and clipping the shoots in place. When the heat wave hits, the vines will explode with growth. It is not uncommon to see nearly an inch of growth a day under hot conditions with adequate soil moisture.

If anyone needs a few minutes of "office vacation" time why not tour the erma? http://www.ermunch.com/projects/winery.html Outstanding content and a hip new design await your visit. A mouse click away will LEED you there, and NO carbon footprints left behind for the Green Police to track you down!

Kindest Regards,

Ernie