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Medlock Ames
 
August 26, 2022 | Medlock Ames

Ecosystem of People: Sustainability in the Workplace & Community

 

This week we kicked off our 25th harvest at Bell Mountain Vineyard, bringing in a few tons of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes for our sparkling wine. As I looked around at our team raising their glasses to toast the harvest, I’m reminded that what has always made Medlock Ames such a special place has been the people who work here. People are really the core of what we do and who we are and it’s with that in mind that I want to share the last two of our sustainability pillars with you.

These pillars might be the most meaningful to me. Creating an inclusive work environment and deepening community engagement touch on the core values that Chris and I have held from the moment the spark flew to begin what is now Medlock Ames. Over the years, we’ve strived to be leaders in how we care for our people but as part of our vision for the next two decades, we feel more can be done to show that no matter the size of your business, you can always find ways to show your team how much they are valued.

PILLAR 5: NURTURING AN INCLUSIVE WORK ENVIRONMENT

Sustainability is often spoken about in terms of the natural environment but there are other environments such as the one at work where sustainability is critical. This is about creating an ecosystem among people that promotes integrity, respect, intellectual curiosity, and long-term career success. It is with this in mind we created Pillar 5.

Our goal from the start has been to create a place where people feel supported and encouraged in their work. This is one of our highest values as a company and it drives our decision-making. We create inclusivity in a variety of ways, some of which are spelled out here in detail:

  • Visibility into criteria for success and career advancement
    • Mid-year and annual reviews are ingrained in our culture and mandated for all employees
    • Career advancement and training plans are created and reviewed annually
    • Job descriptions in English and Spanish for all positions
  • Prioritize education across all disciplines
    • Our entire winemaking and hospitality teams are earning their Level 2 Award in Wines certification through the Wine & Spirits Education Trust
    • We’re working to have our vineyard team certified through Level 1 in Spanish in the next year
  • Supporting new parents with 8 weeks of fully paid maternity leave for new mothers with up to 8 additional weeks of leave
    • This is one of the most generous leave policies for new mothers we’ve seen in the wine industry
    • As a winery run by a woman and with several members of our team raising young families, it was important that new parents are given the time and financial support to bond with their new child
  • Monthly staff trainings to cross-pollinate ideas and ensure transparency
    • Recent trainings have included a vine pruning clinic, a 20-year vertical tasting to see how our Cabernet has evolved and illustrates bottle aging, as well as implicit bias and sexual harassment training for all team members

PILLAR 6: DEEPEN ENGAGEMENT WITH COMMUNITY

Our deep commitment to people who are part of our success extends beyond our team. Pillar 6 is focused on creating sustainability by looking outward into our community and how we can support efforts to create a stronger world around us.

Our goal is to share our values with you and our community, demonstrating that making a difference is important and can be done at all levels. Here is how we are achieving this:

  • Partner with organizations that share the same farming values and proactively work to reverse climate change
  • Garden to alleviate hunger in the community
    • We’ve partnered with gleaners in the past several years to donate over 1,000 pounds of fresh produce from our garden to local food banks each year
    • This year we’ve begun partnering with Healdsburg-based Farm to Pantry charity to glean from our garden. This incredible organization run by Duskie Estes has gleaned over 200,000 pounds of produce this year alone. Learn More at farmtopantry.org.
  • All-staff volunteer day each year that supports one of our community partners (last year we built trails for school groups Pepperwood Preserve)
  • Active members in COPE, a micro-neighborhood community organization for fire prevention
  • Actively participate in Sonoma County Wine Auction that benefits hundreds of community-based organizations

I feel so proud reading this list and yet feel so much more can still be done. Our people are our lifeblood and our community is the bedrock that supports us. Much of what I’ve shared above is not visible to you. However, I hope our deep values and care for our people come through in the way you experience Medlock Ames, in the people you meet here, and in the love you can taste in each bottle of wine you open.

I’m eternally grateful for you being a part of our community and for your continued support. Without you, our efforts cannot go on. I hope you’ve learned a little bit more about who we are and what we stand for in reading all 6 of our Sustainability Pillars over the past several months. I always welcome your feedback, either in person or by email, and hope to hear from you soon.

Warm regards,

Ames Morison
Co-Founder, Medlock Ames Winery 

 

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