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

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Amalie Robert Estate Vintage Update: 2016 Bud Break

Hello and Welcome, 
Here they come! It’s that time of year again – Bud Break. The first intrepid vines to show off some new leaves did so on April 5th, 2016. This is a little later than March 24th, 2015, but closer to the historical average of April 15th. While we need to wait until we see the vines flower before we can predict a harvest date, we can certainly deploy the first stages of the farming plan. 

The vineyard floor is where it all begins with the Spring mow job. All of the prior year shoots have been removed from the trellis wires and placed in the alternating permanent grass rows. Ernie’s first task is to run the flail mower through these rows to chop up the dried canes and mix them with the fresh grass clippings – Browns and Greens.

This begins the nutrient recycle program at Amalie Robert Estate. The soil is the vine’s stomach and every other row represents the “chow line.” The astute reader will notice that by placing the canes in every other row, Ernie only has to drive half the vineyard, saving not only diesel and time, but also a trip to the back cracker. The therapy sessions, however, continue unabated.

And this being a leap year, we also bear witness to the spectacle that is the race for the highest office of the land. Since the citizenry chose leap year for this extravaganza, we are all exposed to an extra day of disturbation surrounding these events. (Yes, this is a word. At least it was in Webster’s 1913 dictionary.)

And the first week of April saw record high temperatures in the Willamette Valley. We are talking about unprecedented heat in the 90 degree range. All we can say is that is quite a bit of hot air making its way into the valley. But the ebbs and flows of farming take it all in stride. At least the mowing tractor started this year, without a new battery.

Prepare to be FLOG’d! Each month, as the growing season unfolds leading up to the great cluster pluck, we will be updating our Farming bLOG (aka FLOG) with pertinent, relevant and somewhat irreverent updates to the 2016 vintage. We are just farmin’ it like it is, so don’t shoot the messenger.

Kindest Regards,

Dena & Ernie

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