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Medlock Ames Celebrates 20 Years of Bell Mountain Wines

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Healdsburg winery commemorates two decades of trial, error, and successes with new wine releases, events, and more

Healdsburg, Calif., May 11, 2022 – This year, Medlock Ames Winery is proud to celebrate the 20th anniversary of its first commercial wine from its Bell Mountain Vineyard in the Alexander Valley. To signify and commemorate two decades of trial, error, learning, and success, the winery will release the inaugural vintages of The Flag Cabernet Sauvignon and Sparkling wine while hosting a variety of events throughout the year.

Since its inception, Medlock Ames has been on a journey to make the best wine possible from Bell Mountain Vineyard on its ranch of the same name. In 1998, Medlock Ames co-founder Ames Morison discovered this special property located at the southernmost tip of the Alexander Valley, which crosses into the Russian River Valley. “The vineyard was crumbling, but all we saw was opportunity,” says Ames. “We knew this unique spot had the ability to deliver outstanding wines if we could nurse the land back to health and care for the people and animals on the land.”

Driven by a passion and clarity of vision around the great potential of Bell Mountain, Ames – a novice in the wine industry at the time – brought in world-renowned consultants to lend their expertise and collaborate on the redevelopment of the property. Ames and his team planted nine varieties on 55 acres, leaving the remaining 300 acres in their natural state in order to foster a rich ecological community. Through more than 20 years of unforeseen challenges and hard-learned lessons, Medlock Ames has grown and evolved under Ames’ leadership and commitment to the land. “Over time, I’ve learned to trust my instincts and have found that being at Bell Mountain every day is the best education,” notes Ames. “Through years of trial and error, we have gained an intimate understanding of the land and vines and now know how to coax the best from our soil and grapes.”

To commemorate over 20 years of discovering, developing and preserving Bell Mountain, Medlock Ames will release two new wines in 2022. First released as a preview in April 2022, the 2019 The Flag Cabernet Sauvignon represents the pinnacle of Bell Mountain Vineyard fruit and the promise that Ames saw in this estate over 20 years ago. Ames and winemaker Abby Watt crafted this limited production wine together from the best barrels from Medlock Ames’ Cabernet blocks. The Flag refers to the Russian River Flag, a newspaper owned and published in Healdsburg in the 1860s by Ames’ great great grandfather. At $200 a bottle, this bottling represents one of the best wines produced in Sonoma County. Also releasing in 2022 is Medlock Ames’ first sparkling wine, which incorporates fruit from the one acre of

Pinot Noir that the winery grows on the cooler, Russian River Valley side of Bell Mountain Vineyard, adjacent to the block of Chardonnay that is included in the traditional champagne method style sparkler.

In addition to crafting high-quality wines, the last two decades have put Medlock Ames on a dedicated path toward sustaining and preserving Bell Mountain for the next 20 years and beyond. “Reflecting back on 20 years only makes me think about what’s ahead for the next 20,” says Ames. “In order to be a sustainable business in the future and craft outstanding wines from this site, we need to continue to pioneer more sustainable ways of farming, protect the land, nurture our people, and support our community.”

In 2021, Ames and his team began crafting and adopting a five-year strategy based on six pillars of sustainability and Medlock Ames joined the International Wineries for Climate Action. Notable sustainability initiatives at the winery include planting 1,000 feet of native hedgerows by 2023 and restoring woodland destroyed in the Kincade Fire by planting 1,000 trees by 2026.

For more information about Medlock Ames’ wines, history, new releases and upcoming celebratory events, please visit www.medlockames.com and follow Medlock Ames on Instagram and Facebook at @medlockames.

About Medlock Ames:

Medlock Ames Winery was formed in 1998 by college best friends,Ames Morison and Chris Medlock James, whose passion for wine inspired them to leave their New York City apartment and move across the country to produce award-winning wines from Sonoma’s Bell Mountain Ranch, which straddles the Alexander Valley and Russian River Valley. The winery holds a deep commitment to preserving Bell Mountain Vineyard and its surrounding areas; co-founder Ames Morison is a vocal supporter of organic, light-touch agricultural practices and gentle winemaking techniques that reflect the purest representations of the terroir. Today, Medlock Ames specializes in Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon, which balances the old and new world in both style and technique.

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