I used to work in the events + wedding business.
One of the many experimentations along my career path.
I was lucky enough to begin my work in the event-world at one of the best catering companies in the San Francisco Bay Area.

And it was there, amongst fellow foodies, that I was introduced to wine.
Not just any wine.
Flowers Pinot Noir.
Paul Hobbs Cabernet Sauvignon.
Billecart Salmon Brut Rose (champagne).
The good stuff.

A few years after my stint producing events, my boyfriend and I were bouncing around our favorite wine-lovers spots near Healdsburg California. We had been invited to a very cool winery.
Solar powered.
Artisan quality wines.

Sounds amazing right?

But I have to admit, I was quite skeptical about the quality of the wines.
So many of the so-called “organic” wines I’ve tried are way less than pleasing to my palette (in other words, they mostly sucked).

Fingers crossed and interest piqued, I stepped into the beautiful world of Medlock Ames.

Fast forward to today.
I’ve been a loyal wine club member for 4+ years.
Have a deep respect for the entire team.
Attend their events.
Spend time perusing their organic gardens.
Tasting their delicious olive oils, jams and spreads.
And lounging in their new tasting room.
I’m a huge fan + supporter of everything that Medlock Ames creates.

They are the epitome of artisnal, hand-crafted beauty.
They embody everything that I lovingly seek out and hope to feature here on The Girl Who Knows.

So needless to say, the video, photos and Q+A with Founder and Winemaker Ames Morrison, is beyond thrilling to share with you! I hope you enjoy it.
Tell me a little bit about how Medlock Ames came to be.
My best friend & I were living in New York and started drinking & learning about wine.
We both grew up on farms and developed an obsessive fascination with the influence that dirt and weather and farming practice had on the flavor in the glass.
That obsession, fuelled by a little too much wine one night gave us the hubris to think that we could make our own wine. Within a few months we moved to California and I started studying winemaking at UC Davis & looking all over for the perfect site to establish our own vineyard. After looking at over 100 properties, we stumbled upon Bell Mountain Ranch, and knew in an instant that this is where we would plant our vines.


Your wines are among the best I’ve ever tasted. Why wine? What do you love about wine in general? And your wines in particular?

Wow! That is wonderful to hear.
I love farming. I love having my hands in the dirt and watching how a plant grows and figuring out how to coax the best out of that vine.

The wine captures and sums up in one sip everything that mother nature has been doing to this land for hundreds of thousands of years and the many decisions I make every day on how to farm the land and how to make the wine. I don’t think there is any other endeavor in the world that can encapsulate something so vast in a single instant. What I love about my wines in particular is that they so truthfully represent this land (and the fact that they taste good to me!)

Sustainability + environmental accountability are super important to you. How do you incorporate this into your business practices + in your winemaking?
One of the most basic things we have done is to have our farm certified as organic.
This is a 3-year process that we went through several years ago and have to renew annually.
Early on, it forced us to think through every aspect of how we farm and how we operate our business, not just to be in compliance, but really as a business philosophy.

Everything from your packaging to the design of your tasting room is simple + beautifully designed. I’m really drawn to beauty + aesthetics, so I’m curious, what does beauty mean to you? How does beauty inform your winemaking (if at all)?
I have two very different concepts of beauty.
For anything that is man-made, I love simplicity and functionality.
But in the natural world, I am fascinated by complexity end elegance. Our building & packaging design try to do a lot and say a lot with very little. It’s all about simplicity for me.
With our wines, we try to layer many layers of nuance and complexity into every sip, to represent the complex biological systems that create that wine.




There’s a lot of creativity involved in winemaking. How do you cultivate creativity in your life? What does your creative process look like?

Most of my time is spent focusing intently on whatever I am working on at the moment. I don’t have the luxury or the mental capacity to think creatively at the same time.
Then at some other time when I am hiking on a remote part of the ranch, a flood of ideas will wash over me, and I have to struggle to keep up with writing down my thoughts.
I only act on a small percentage of those ideas, but it is completely refreshing to have that experience, and often those ideas are my most creative. They might impact my winemaking or farming, but just as often they are illuminating insights into how I look at the world.
Walking is a wonderfully creative endeavor for me.

What inspires + motivates you?
Every vintage is a new opportunity.
I am motivated to make each one better than the last.
I’m also motivated by a strong desire to bring pleasure to the people that drink our wine, and to cultivate a curiosity in them – the same curiosity that led me to choose this endeavor.




Speaking of curiosity, I’m curious . . . what are the most challenging/gratifying things to you about being a business owner?

The land that we cultivate has a huge responsibility. It has to provide for 20 families.
That is a huge challenge, but it is also such a beautiful relationship. We care for the land and the land cares for us.

Is there a quote or a philosophy, which guides your winemaking?

“The care of the Earth is our most ancient and most worthy, and after all, our most pleasing responsibility.”
~Wendell Berry

WHY do you do what you do?
I love it. It never feels like work. I wake up every morning eager to get started. I can’t imagine doing anything else.


And finally, because I admire your taste so much, I’d love to know, what are your Top 3 favorite spots in the Bay Area (for food + wine of course)?

Lois the Pie Queen in Oakland ~ no wine, but wonderful soul food & pies!

Diavola in Geyserville ~ beautifully crafted pizzas & house made salumi as well as an impressive selection of Italian wines

Bistro Ralph in Healdsburg ~ if I ever have the opportunity to request my last meal it would be Ralph’s Chicken Paillard {be sure to ask for the lunch version even if you’re eating dinner…and extra sautéed lemons}!

A big thanks to Ames and the entire team at Medlock Ames for creating such a beautiful place and such exquisite wines.
And so, as promised I’ve got a super thrilling giveaway for one lucky reader.
Here’s the scoop . . .
One fortunate soul will receive a FREE 3-month membership to the Medlock Ames Wine Club.
You’re also invited for an EXCLUSIVE Tour and Tasting on the winery grounds as well.

I mean, I know this is my own site, but this is so good that I want to win it!

Here’s how to be eligible for the giveaway . . . 

This giveaway has concluded. But stay tuned to The Girl Who Knows for more fun giveaways to come!





Video: Filmed by Stephanie Watanabe.
Editing + Creative Direction by Fistfull of Cake Films

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  1. Thanks for introducing Medlock Ames to the world, Stephanie! I LOVE Healdsburg, and loved Bistro Ralph too. I will definitely check out Medlock Ames next time I’m out in wine country, which will be Thanksgiving! Crossing my fingers that I win that 3 month membership and don’t have to wait that long tho! xx ps – your site design is gorgeous. xx

  2. Thanks for another great post Stephanie! I love the idea of a wine membership. AND even more, I like that Medlock Ames is motivated by the desire to bring pleasure to people 🙂 Yes!

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