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


© 2005 – 2017 Amalie Robert Estate, LLC

Friday, May 6, 2011

Amalie Robert Estate Vintage Update: 2011 May Bud Break

Hello and Welcome to the 2011 growing season!

Amalie Robert Estate declared Bud Break on May 5, 2011. This is day 125 on the Julian calendar and is as late as we have seen in the Willamette Valley.

But let's put this in context before someone declares this the worst vintage in history. After the 2007 dust-up, everyone knows who that might be.

Bud Break is the first visible sign that the wines are waking up. The next step is for the vines to grow shoots, then flower, pollinate and set fruit.

From such humble beginnings, we want to harvest mature and healthy grapes after sharing a small portion with the birds. We know we will begin harvest about 105 days after the vines flower and set fruit. But when will they flower?

Let's draw a parallel from the vines yearly cycle to our own daily lives.

Waking up on Monday morning and getting to work is something most of us have done, at least once in our lives. The time we spend from the moment the alarm goes off, until we get in the car varies day by day. We respond to the issues at hand like no hot water, or being out of coffee. But once we get in the car, we usually have a route that gets us to work within a fairly constant span of time.

Think of the vines as just waking up. They are responding to this year's weather patterns and have not yet gotten to the work of putting up shoots and flowers. Once they do flower however, we know to add 105 days for a potential harvest window.

What we do not know is how long the vines need to get their flowers on. At least we know what we don't know. So, let's give the vines a chance to actually get to work before we start docking their pay, and knocking the vintage.

Kindest Regards,

Dena and Ernie

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