Amalie Robert Estate: Welcome to Willamette Valley Winegrowing: Vintage 2023!
Hello and Welcome to Vintage 2023,
January has come and gone, and we now find ourselves gearing up for what looks to be a very busy month. One of Ernie’s favorite days is International Syrah Day on February 16th. Of course, this is proceeded by one of Dena’s favorite days on February 14th. And to cap it all off, National Drink Wine Day is February 18th this year. If you missed the Snow Moon on February 5th, well, you are already behind the curve. Let’s not forget Mardi Gras is the 21st of February. Open That Bottle Night is the 25th, if you are into that sort of thing… Hopefully, your corkscrew is in good shape, you are gonna need it!
The BIG Picture
Here in the vineyard and throughout most of the Willamette Valley, we are experiencing Dog Nose weather. It is cold, wet, windy, and interacting with certain parts of one’s anatomy that are highly susceptible to frostbite. Of course we are speaking of fingers, nose and toes. Apparently Prince Harry had a similar, but strikingly different experience. Frostbite, in some extreme cases, can lead to the loss of the affected extremity.
Pinot Noir Pruning in 3 Easy Steps
Just as soon as the leaves fall, we can begin winter pruning. Pruning is a three step process at Amalie Robert Estate consuming about 2 and a half minutes of unfrosted hand labor - per vine. The first step is to make “Primary Cuts” to the cane that runs along the fruiting wire. The second step is Brush Pull to physically remove the cane and shoots from the trellis wires, leaving a renewal cane for this year. That is where the skill of your workforce becomes self-evident. If they cut all of the canes, and did not leave one for vintage 2023, then you will be having a very leisurely growing season because there will be no wine berries!
The last step is Tie Down to wrap a renewal cane along the fruiting wire. This cane is about 3 and half feet long and its purpose is to grow about 12 shoots into the trellis that will produce 12 to 18 clusters of wine berries. Once that occurs, and Mother Nature ripens them sufficiently, we gather them all together in the winery and ferment the sugar out of them. Not overly complicated, but it does require focus and attention to detail. And scheduling, lots and lots of scheduling.
Winemaking: The Continuation of Terroir by Other Means®
As we embrace our 24th year at Amalie Robert Estate, we also would like to thank you for taking the journey with Dena and Ernie. It’s been a helluva ride. And we hope a cautionary tale for those of you daredevils who thought it might be a good idea to buy a cherry orchard so you could grow, ferment and bottle your own wine. Kinda like spending $44 BILLION on a social media platform… Who does that sort of thing?
Well, we did. And we do make wine from this hallowed ground. And yes, sometimes it sucks to be us, but not very often and not for very long. We are happy to share our agrarian endeavor with you vicariously through our Farming Blog: Winemaking: The Continuation of Terroir by Other Means®. Misery loves company.
You can read the FLOG and have a glass of Amalie Robert wine with a finer appreciation for what happens behind the scenes before you ever pull the cork. Not having to fix a tractor or find a harvest crew or punch down Syrah grapes that really don’t want to be punched down. But you know that someone had to do those things, and judging by what’s in the glass, how well they did it.
For everyone on the A-List THANK YOU for sticking with us. For those of you who are on the fence, we would like to take this opportunity to encourage you to join us. In addition to the wine, these are the benefits you will enjoy by joining the Amalie Robert Estate A-List:
You Decide - Pinot Noir, Reds Only or Full Portfolio, this is YOUR A-List. While Pinot Noir is our focus, we do grow other wine. Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Meunier, Syrah and Viognier round out our portfolio.
New Releases - Every time we release a wine in YOUR A-List portfolio, you will receive 2 bottles at 10% off the winery retail price. The wines are released when we feel they are ready to be enjoyed, not necessarily on a set schedule. You have the option of having your wines shipped when you are ready to receive them or picking up at the winery with a complimentary tasting.
Follow-on Orders - No retail for you! All wine orders for Amalie Robert Estate wines throughout the year receive an A-List discount. Orders of less than 12 bottles receive a 10% discount. Orders of 12 bottles or more receive a 20% discount. Mix or match, it’s up to you.
Complimentary Tastings - We also offer free tastings for A-List members and up to 4 guests throughout the year. You can make a private appointment for your party or join us for any of our scheduled open house weekends.
Ground Shipping – We get it, no one likes to pay for shipping. All 12 bottle (or more) A-List orders include ground shipping for FREE! We have found the best shipping experience to be with a FedEx or UPS drop off location. If you have a convenient location nearby, the benefit to YOU is that your wine ships directly from the winery to a drop location before driving all over town with other deliveries. Once we agree a time to ship with you, you are notified via E-mail or text the status of your shipment. Once your wine arrives at the drop location, you can collect it at your leisure. Ship dates are ALWAYS agreed in advance before we ship.
Call to Action – This is YOUR moment in the sun! If the A-List benefits sound good to you, then please drop Dena a line and she can help you determine the best portfolio and shipping options for you. As the owners, we are flexible. If you need to skip a shipment or want to add a wine that is not in your portfolio, we are happy to accommodate you. And if it just doesn’t work out, you are free to go at any time.
Promotional Incentive – Sign up during the month of February, and you will receive an Amalie Robert logo Burgundy glass from Riedel for the amazing low price of $5 - included with your first wine shipment. No better way to enjoy Pinot Noir than in the industry standard Pinot Noir Glass! Sign up today, don’t delay!
There’s a NEW sub-AVA in the Willamette Valley
While we hate to say it, “Mt. Pisgah, Polk County, Oregon” is the latest and (almost) the smallest Willamette Valley sub-AVA. The original petition was filed with the Trade and Tax Bureau in December 2016. After a few gyrations, fits and starts and other obstacles, a revised petition was finally published in the Federal Register in July 2022. It is a process…
Amalie Robert Estate is located right smack dab in the middle of it. We have put together a comprehensive guide to help you navigate the Willamette Valley sub-AVA’s. If you are looking to catch up on the new sub-AVA’s, or just want a refresher, our guide will help you navigate the Willamette Valley sub-AVA’s. Just click the link below, add your E-mail address and you will receive an E-mail with our Willamette Valley sub-AVA guide in PDF format.
Dena & Ernie