Learn more about RAM Cellars + Masks at Portland Wineries
Meet the Wineries!
Here is a little more Q and A about RAM Cellars.
Thanks again to Aliya Hall for interviewing all of our Portland Wineries and providing you a behind the scenes glimpse of why they do what they do!
What makes your winery unique?
We are doing a lot of things other folks are doing, in terms of making low-intervention, natural wines. I think that we are joining others in trying to push to make the wine industry, not just in Oregon, but in general more inclusive for historically marginalized communities. We’re trying to figure out how to expand our fundraising efforts and so we have included additional quarterly fundraising for other communities outside our own with the launch of a tasting club for the winery. It’s a quarterly thing but every time we do it, we partner with an organization that supports another historically underrepresented community in wine, raising funds for that organization in conjunction with our tasting club and wine sales for that month.
What is the biggest challenge of owning an urban winery?
Especially at harvest with bringing grapes in – anytime you’re bringing equipment in, really – it can be a real nightmare to get access to the actual production space. When we were producing over at a location in a pretty busy section of southeast Portland, we had to do some crazy double parking of some very large trucks on a narrow Portland street, working quickly to limit the amount of time that we were blocking traffic to get grapes in the door. That piece is definitely something to consider. Within the city of Portland there are more requirements in terms of zoning and environmental stuff, which is all really good but it can be cost prohibitive. They’ve also been rolling it out really rapidly in the last several years so depending on who you’re talking to you might get a different answer about what is up to code. There’s definitely more regulatory layers but it’s still worth it to jump through those hoops to produce in the city.
Who inspires you within the wine industry?
There are so many folks in the industry that inspire me. It can be hard for me to exist within the industry as a transgender woman because there’s not really anyone like me in the wine industry. (Although there is another transgender woman wine maker in Sweden, I recently found out!). The other folks out there that are working hard and looking at wine through a social justice oriented lens and looking at how we can make wine more accessible for everyone and create opportunities in the industry and a safer environment for customers from all communities, not just the historically catered to communities in wine, which is generally cisgender heterosexual white people, those are the people who are really inspiring to me in wine. There really are so many people, across all different places in the industry, doing this work, and it does truly inspire me. Here locally, I do find inspiration in Laurie and Renee at Hip Chicks Do Wine. They have been proudly queer winemakers for the last 20 years, and if not for their work and the work of other queer winemakers before me, I don’t know if the industry would be in a place where I would be able to fully exist and still be a part of it. Props to them for being Portland’s oldest urban winery, too!
To hear more about RAM Cellars be sure to check out our Social Media pages and you can find a link to them on our website.
News or Events from other PDX Urban Wineries
Adega Northwest will be throwing an event with Ruse Brewery and 503 Distillery in the Iron Fireman Building Parking lot right next to the winery every Saturday 1pm-9pm. The event includes a beverage garden with food carts and live music on Saturdays.
4784 SE 17th Avenue
Portland, OR 97214
Starting June 30, Oregon’s statewide mask mandate, capacity limits, and all other COVID-19 restrictions will end. Tasting rooms throughout Portland will be able to welcome guests in whatever capacity makes the most sense for them. Please continue to call ahead or check their websites to confirm availability and expectations. Thank you for your ongoing support.