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, June 6, 2018

Amalie Robert Estate Vintage Update: 2018 Flowers

Hello and Welcome,

This is a Vintage Update from Amalie Robert Estate. A FLOG Communication.

It is just a matter of time now. Some would say time and money, or that time is money. But at the end of the day there will be 105 days’ worth of time to spend the money before we start The Great Cluster Pluck of 2018.

And it was that Chardonnay vine that was first out with flowers again this year. What is it with that grape? But there it is, and soon the other 51,892 vines of Gewürztraminer, Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir, Syrah and Viognier will be blooming.

At this point in the growing season, everyone wants to know if we are ahead or a behind, so here are the numbers. The first flowers revealed themselves on June 6th, a belated birthday bouquet for Dena. Last year the first flowers were spotted on June 11th, so we are a little ahead of last year. A distinction without a difference.

June 6th is Julian calendar day 157. Note 2018 is not a leap year. If it were a leap year, the flowers would have still appeared on Julian calendar day 157, but it would have been June 5th not June 6th and messed up the entire harvest planning and operations. We most certainly dodged a bullet there.

On average, the vines need 105 days to finish their work. Their job is to ripen up their seeds to reproduce and then go dormant for 6 months. Our job is to look at the end of 105 days to see if we have great aromas and flavors in those little wine berries so we can ferment the shugar out of them.

To put all this into a farming perspective, 105 ARBs are the equivalent of 17.5 six-packs. (ARB – Adult Recreational Beverage. You know, beer!)

Now we do the heavy lifting of adding 105 farming days to Julian calendar day 157 and end up with Julian calendar day 262. So easy a winemaker can do it! And as everyone knows, Julian calendar day 262 is September 19th.

That’s when the potential harvest window will magically appear in the vineyard. And Ernie will be keenly looking through it at the wings of Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir to make our Bellpine Pearl Rosé. Dena has informed him, in no uncertain terms, that this year’s Pearl should return to its original Blanc de Noir color from 2015. What a GREAT idea!

Then all manner of grapes will start pouring in. Most probably the G’wzr will be first, followed by some young vine Wadenswil clone along with Dick Erath’s clone 95. Then we will factor in the weather and a little Kentucky windage to bring in the rest of the vineyard.

The last fruit in will most certainly be the Côte Rôtie block. Most likely on Julian calendar day 314. That gives us 52 days of harvest and winemaking operations to get ‘er done before we experience the deluge of winter rains. But for now, it’s looking like an ARB harvest window is about to open.

Kindest Regards,

Dena & Ernie

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