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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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Amalie Robert Estate Vintage Update: 2015 Pinot Noir In Flagrante!

Hello and Welcome,    

Vintage 2015: "Hell-bent for Leather" has given us the first indication of an impending harvest. We spied the first "blazing" berry on July 23, 2015 (day 203 of the Julian calendar.) That means we should be commencing harvest operations in about 60 days, more or less. That would be Wednesday, September 23, 2015, or day 263 on the Julian calendar.  

Pinot Noir Dijon Clone 777 grafted onto 44-53 rootstock was the first to show. It was quickly followed by one of Ernie's favorites, block 10 Wadenswil on 5C. Now that these "tastemakers" have been outed, we expect the rest of the vines to bring it on.

Is this early you ask? Farm yes it's early! This is too farmin' soon for our likes, but the grapes are ready when the grapes are ready. 

The only thing that can slow this runaway train is meaningful rainfall. The chance of that happening in the Willamette Valley in July and August is pretty farmin' slim. So slim in fact, there is only one side to it. That's slim.

Speaking of slim, now is the time to set the crop load. The idea here is to remove anything that will not ripen in time for harvest - which is impossible to know, welcome to farming. The other school of thought is to remove everything from the vine that you don't want in your wine.

Things we don't want in our wine, or yours, include the late to ripen wings. We also don't want clusters attached to stunted shoots that don't have enough leaves to ripen them. And we don't want any more than 2 clusters on any one shoot - too much work to ripen that much wine.

Things we do want in our wine include the clusters toward the end of the cane. These clusters have shown to produce superior quality wine. The clusters toward the head, while still viable, are not as enticing. So when we thin, we leave a little more at the end and take a little more from the heads. Not everyone does, but there is the easy way and the Ernie way.

Please join us in a week or so as we detail the month of July. It has been hot, real farmin' hot...

Kindest Regards,

Dena & Ernie

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