' Medlock Ames - Winemaking


Ames Morison is the winemaker and founding partner of Medlock Ames winery. A Virginian native, Ames graduated from Tulane University in New Orleans with a degree in Ancient History before working as a teacher in New York. His agricultural career began with the Peace Corps in Guatemala as an agricultural edicuator. During this three-year period, he was tasked with encouraging local people to use traditional, but often forgotten, modes of farming. This role nurtured a strong belief within Ames that modern intensive farming was a poor replacement for diversified agriculture and a more balanced and sustainable approach to growing crops was critical to the land's overall health, as well as ours.

These experiences, combined with a lifelong fascination with wine and a father who farmed, inspired Ames to found his own winery with his best friend and Tulane classmate, Chris Medlock James. After a long search, in 1998 they identified Bell Mountain Ranch in Sonoma County. At the nexus of Alexander Valley, Chalk Hill, and the Russian River Valley appellations, it was an ideal site to develop a winery and organic vineyard. Ames planted most of the 55-acre vinyeard site as well as supervised the winery's construction that was completed in time for the 2003 vintage.

Prior to Medlock Ames, he worked in enological and production capacities at several Napa and Sonoma wineries as well as studied viticulture and enology at the University of California at Davis. Ames' approach to winemaking is to craft wines that are true to the vineyard's beauty. With this in mind, he and the vineyard crew, have been able to identify individual blocks that, over time, have brought forth amazing flavor and depth of character that showcase the signature Medlock Ames style. When Ames is not walking the vineyard, he can be found spending time outdoors with his son, Ulysses, or playing music with his band, The Beautiful Questions.