While there is no shortcut to success in agriculture, opportunity does favor the prepared mind. Wine & Spirits Magazine honored Amalie Robert Estate with Winery of the Year in 2011. This milestone is very much appreciated and serves as a constant reminder that we are the beneficiaries of some very dedicated people who came before us.
Amalie Robert Estate was founded at the turn of the century by Dena Drews and Ernie Pink. Dena and Ernie left the corporate world behind and began a journey to pursue a vision. What we found was a beautiful Willamette Valley cherry orchard, and the opportunity to take a hand in our own destiny.
We believe in sustainable viticulture practices that preserve the inherent qualities of our vineyard site. We plant cover crops to reduce soil erosion and feed the soil. The soil feeds our vines. We strive to do right by the land. We use a single criterion in our decision making: “Will this action respect the character of our site and improve the wine?” We are stewards of the land, and Mother Nature provides the irrigation program.
Oregon’s climate provides a unique farming experience. Frost during bloom, aka “the Victoria Clipper”, and hail just before harvest reminds us this is agriculture first and “the romance of the vine” second. And you always feed the birds.
The vineyard at Amalie Robert Estate is located approximately 15 miles west of Salem, Oregon. Over the past 20 years, we have stitched 35 acres of vineyard into the Willamette Valley’s sedimentary foothills. We predominately grow Pinot Noir, but also produce intriguing amounts of Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier, Syrah and Viognier.
"Bob, I think I got here too late. You have your cherry orchard on top of my vineyard!"
Ernie was pretty sure he saw his vineyard beneath that old orchard and struck a deal to find out. The cherries were harvested in the summer of 1999 and the transformation to vineyard began in earnest. With the help of some new friends, it was Earth Day 2000 when the last vine was planted, and the vineyard at Amalie Robert Estate was established.
Harvest is the most exciting time of the year. An entire year’s work is spread before our eyes. Leaves which have given their all, turn from green to orange to yellow and highlight the dark purple grapes at first light. The pre-dawn quiet gives way to the sound of clippers quickly working to harvest the fruit from the vine. Magic is in the air.
Watch Amalie Robert Estate harvest courtesy of Vinestories.
Amalie Robert Estate has come a long way. What started out as sketches and notes on cocktail napkins has become the achievement of two very unique people. From deciding on clones and rootstocks to planting vines and pounding posts, we have done it all.
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