Meet RAM Cellars + Live Jazz and Celebrate Pride Month
Meet the Wineries!
In an effort to keep you up to date on wineries in Portland we will be featuring one winery a month in an email and on social media. The plan is to give you a couple of highlights in this email and then follow us on Facebook or Instagram to hear more about each winery.We hope you enjoy this snapshot into each of these unique small Urban Wineries.
A big THANK YOU! has to go out to Aliya Hall for taking the time to interview our winery members.
When did your winery form and how did you get into the wine industry?
Ram Cellars came to fruition in 2014. It was a long road to get there and it wasn’t my plan to start it then, but an opportunity came along that allowed me to launch the winery in 2014, renting space within a winery I worked for at the time to launch it. Originally my plan was for it to be something that might happen 10 years later than it actually did.
In 2007-2008 I had an epiphany tasting wine up on Red Mountain up in Washington State. I was tasting Cabernet Franc aged in different oak treatments and ended up talking with the wine maker there about it and I think that conversation was an hour plus. It was one with a large group setting but I was so engrossed in it that I didn’t know when people melted away and it was just the winemaker and I. Afterwards, I walked out into the sunlight and the sun hit me and I had the distinct feeling that I had figured something really important for myself out. I realized that in addition to enjoying the consumption and evolution of wine in that way, that I also had an incredible interest in the art and science behind it.
I then spent the next 7 years working through programs in viticulture and the science of winemaking while holding down a full time job, working first for free and then for market wages for a few wineries across the Pacific Northwest, and then launching the winery in 2014. The first wines came were available in the marketplace in early 2016.
Talking about the evolution of the winery, I came out as myself, a transgender woman, in 2018 and wasn’t sure of the future of the winery at that point. I went back and forth and wasn’t sure if I would continue, but I elected to do so with the goal to use our platform to engage folks around fundraising for other queer folks which was the inception of the launch of our VIV label, which raises funds for a couple of partner organizations that provide direct support to queer and trans folks.
Do you have a favorite non-profit or cause your winery supports?
When we launched the Viv label in 2019 tour very first partner organization was the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund. They do a lot of things for trans folks, but the cause we’re really passionate about supporting is their Name Change Initiative project. They work with low-income trans folks in eight major seaboard cities, and are expanding to some Southern major cities as well per the last updated I got, but they help trans folks who would otherwise be unable to afford to navigate the legal process to update their identification documents and legal names so they are able to have their legal documents line up with who they are. It’s a huge safety thing for trans folks, and it’s a huge process to have to navigate, and we’re passionate about the work that the TLDEF does to support other trans folks through this process. For our VIV label, the TLDEF is always going to be one of our partner organizations.
The other organization we work with is Portland’s Q Center. They provide a variety of direct support to queer and trans folks, a lot of it is more community based support, support groups, clothing closets, that kind of stuff, but they have a ton of cross section programming that helps queer and trans folks working through that process to help provide community support for people to find what they need to navigate the very daunting process of coming out and what it looks like.
Wines from our VIV label support our partner organizations through a $5 donation per bottle sold, with the partner organization that the wine benefits listed on each of the wines!
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
Enjoy Live Jazz on Friday June 4th at Willful Wines 7pm – 9pm and they have a blending workshop on Saturday June 5th. Find out more about both of these events on their website.
Hip Chicks do Wine has released their limited production Pride Wines. Available in their tasting room or for delivery. This year $2 of every bottle sold will be donated to Esther’s Pantry which is a food bank catering to individuals living with HIV/AIDS. They are also holding a food drive all month collecting non-perishable food items, personal hygiene items, household cleaners and reusable shopping back. Drop your donations off Friday/Saturday 12pm – 6pm or Sunday 12pm – 5pm. To get more details on the Pride wines or place an order click here.