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 – 2020 Amalie Robert Estate, LLC

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Amalie Robert Estate: A Personal Note from Dena & Ernie

Hello and Welcome, 
A personal note from Dena & Ernie. 
The known number of people infected by the Corona virus is increasing at an alarming rate. The good news is that the rate of contagion is not exponential. The strategy to mitigate the virus seems to be to avoid any potential encounter with the virus whether from another person or in a social setting – like foraging at the grocery store. For now, that is our first, best defense. 

We were fortunate to conclude a winter sales trip and return home to Oregon before this pandemic unfolded. We both arrived safely back in Oregon on separate flights and it has been over two weeks of close quarters with no signs of infection. Based on the number of airplanes we were on, and number of people we came in contact with, we consider ourselves to be extremely lucky, and blessed. If you, or a loved one is quarantined or has tested positive, we recognize your path is a different one. We wish you a complete and uneventful recovery, Godspeed.

In the meantime, you are sitting there looking at your computer monitor. We are sitting here looking at our computer monitor. Maybe it is time to take a respite from the seriousness. Social distancing yes, but not socially distant. Except for Ernie, who spent most of last week sequestered in a 30 cubic foot glass enclosure. Not a big space, but that is the size of the cab on his Italian tractor. And we have Home Tasting Kits now available for direct shipping!

The first day of spring was March 19th here in Oregon’s Willamette Valley and as if on cue brought
with it the first hummingbird. That is always a sign of good fortune. There are 7 species of hummingbirds in Oregon, and Anna’s was our first visitor. According to the Audubon Society, if you are fortunate enough to see a flock of hummingbirds, you are suggested to describe them as a bouquet, a glittering, a hover, a shimmer, or a tune of hummingbirds. Ernie prefers the term squadron.

The first day of spring in the southern hemisphere will be Tuesday, September 1st. Right about now they should be thinking about getting harvest operations and logistics in order. While we are all in this together, we each have a different perspective.

And we celebrated national pi day on March 14th with a freshly baked cherry pie. That was about the time Ernie ordered in 200 gallons of diesel and began preparing the vineyard floor for Growing Season 2020. This is Ernie’s time of year to get a leg up on things, and he rarely misses an opportunity. Note: We are still classified as “Dry Farmed, Non-Irrigated”.

It was two passes of flail mowing to chop up last year’s brush and a chisel plow pass to open up the soil and prepare for the Rotovator. The Rotovator is a German implement that does a wonderful job of aerating the soil and incorporating last year’s nitrogen fixing cover crop. But Rotovating alone can form a hardpan in your soil that acts like a barrier to nutrient recycling. Ah, but Ernie figured this out long ago and that is why the chisel plow makes its inaugural run before the Rotovator.

The chisel plow breaks up monolithic blocks of compacted soil and frees up the colloids to move throughout the soil profile. If you are a colloid, this is a big day for you. The rest of the year you just lay there waiting for something to happen. Maybe a gopher will tunnel by or a seed will germinate, or a bird will leave a dropping on you. That is “living the dream” in the soil profile.

The wild cherry trees are starting to bud out. We “bought the farm” in April 1999 when the cherry orchard was in full bloom. Montmorency cherries have big white flowers and they are clustered at the end of the branch. Ernie described driving the tractor through the orchard that first year like he was driving through a Montana blizzard in freeze frame.

The vines are surely not far behind. Around April 15th when you are finalizing your National Mathematics exam for the IRS, we should start to see our Pinot Noir vines bud out. And if you need a hand with your form 1040, we have about 40 million school aged young adults on waivers. Tom Brady was on waivers, for about 12 seconds, before signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

If you have any questions about farming, or wine growing or tractor repair, send Ernie a note. He would be more than happy to immerse you in the fine details and vagaries involved with our agrarian endeavor. And then if you have some time on your hands, you can check out what we will be doing in about 6 months –

And that reminds us that most new monitors have built in cameras. Not Ernie’s of course because he went to school learning about computers and all of the data that they can collect (some involuntarily). He also spent many hours of his formative youth listening to George Carlin records. (Remember those? Records? The 7 dirty words monologue became a case that went to the Supreme Court.) George Carlin foretold of a time when your words would be captured and preserved until such a time that they could be sold back to you, at a significant profit. Today, we see all manner of media being captured (some involuntarily) and published on social media sites. Hey Aretha, Who’s Zoomin Who?

Amalie Robert Estate Home Tasting Kits are Now Available!

Free ground shipping with any 12 bottle order! Don’t delay, get yours today! Pinot in Pink Rosé Lip Sanitizer available for a limited time!

In these uncertain times, we can help provide a little clarity in your vinous journey. The Amalie Robert Estate Home Tasting Kit will help you determine if your wine tests POSITIVE or NEGATIVE. Each Home Tasting Kit includes all of the sundry items you will need including: 2 Amalie Robert logo Riedel burgundy glasses, a polish cloth (2 pack), a corkscrew for those deeply seated cork issues we all sometimes face, a necker drip ring, red and gold logo synthetic wine stoppers, and a set of Amalie Robert Estate evaluation sheets specific to each wine in your 12 bottle order.

Wines shown are an optional purchase

We recommend replicated tasting trials of each wine where possible. This exercise can be performed by a single evaluator or in situ with a small group according to the laws in your local community. Note: It is hard to perform this rigorous evaluation in jail, not that the authorities will throw you in jail for defying their community ordinances, more likely just a large fine. This means you will have less money to spend on wine. Check with the Spring Break crowd for further guidance on civil disobedience enforcement in your area. They post on social media, excessively.

The following 5 points of criteria should be evaluated independently. A binary result of POSITIVE or NEGATIVE will be the only outcome from each criterion. You may add additional sensory evaluation in the white space provided. After each criterion have been evaluated, or the wine is fully consumed, you may draw a conclusion as to whether the wine in question tested POSITIVE or NEGATIVE. Partial specimen bottles may be stoppered with an Amalie Robert logo synthetic wine stopper.

Note: This is referred to as a “Destructive Testing Procedure”. Whereby the sample wine is NOT to be returned to the specimen bottle after evaluation. This is an important distinction in a replicated tasting scenario. The procedure has been well thought out and is to be strictly implemented.

Aroma:                 _____ Positive                  _____ Negative

Flavor:                  _____ Positive                  _____ Negative


Texture:                 _____ Positive                  _____ Negative


Finish:                   _____ Positive                  _____ Negative


Perceived Length: _____ Positive                  _____ Negative


You may audio or video capture (or both) your evaluation session and post to social media. Please note the section above regarding the unintended consequences of such behavior. If you have any doubts as to how to proceed, just ask yourself what George Carlin would do. That ought to clear things up pretty quickly, and (if you are like Mr. Carlin) will earn you a file at the FBI.

Please follow this link to place your order for the Amalie Robert Estate Home Tasting Kit. Your $59.00 kit ships free with any 12 bottle order (discount will be applied manually with order confirmation). Note that all 12 bottle orders have shipping included if you are on the A-List.

Amalie Robert Estate Home Tasting Kits can be purchased separately for $69.00 and shipped direct to your home in all states with no signature required.

We recommend a perfunctory Lip Sanitizer such as Pinot in Pink Rosé before you begin your evaluation. A six pack of Pinot in Pink Lip Sanitizer delivered with ground shipping included is a sweet $100, but just $80 for A-Listers.

If you would like assistance with your evaluation wines, we would be happy to provide a recommendation based on our personal preferences.

You can reach Dena by email at and by phone at 503-88-CUVEE (503-882-8833).

Kindest Regards,

Dena & Ernie

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