About Us

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Here at RAM Cellars, it is our pleasure and honor to bring hand crafted wines to you and yours.  We seek to make wines in barrel size lots that are reflective of both the season they were grown and the varietal characteristics of the grapes they contain.  We do this through native fermentations on our red wines, minimal inputs and careful treatment in the cellar to bring out the best in each of our wines.

Malbec
2014 Malbec

The launch of RAM Cellars is the culmination of number of years of studies and work by winemaker Rodger Marks.  An interest in wine turned into a love of wine which turned into an intense curiosity about everything that goes into the production of premium wines.  After the ‘aha’ moment at a barrel tasting at Washington State’s Kiona winery, Rodger took up studies through Washington State University’s extension campus in Prosser, WA on both viticulture and enology, the science of wine winemaking.

Checkin' on the 2015 Malbec
Checkin’ on the 2015 Malbec

Volunteer time at Davenlore winery (Prosser, WA) through the Wazzu programs spread out over several years, as well as a short stint at Montinore (Forest Grove, OR) on weekends during the 2012 harvest season were precursors to a harvest internship at Enso winery in 2013 in Portland, Oregon that turned into a position as cellars master and assistant winemaker, a position Rodger still holds in 2016.  Learning from the excellent winemakers at Davenlore, Montinore, and Enso has contributed to Rodger’s winemaking philosophy.

Malbec bottles...
Malbec bottles…

At this time, we are working with some of the under-hyped Bordeaux varietals in Cabernet Franc and Malbec, as well as a blend of Pinot Gris and Riesling.  We utilize mostly neutral oak to accentuate the true varietal flavors of the grapes.  At the same time, we work to bring you balanced, approachable wines that exhibit good acidity and aromatics.  In the future, Tempranillo as well as Rhone varietals (both white and red) are on our radar for possible new wines…

Rodger Malbec
Rodger working with the 2014 Malbec

So, why RAM Cellars?  The idea started as a combination of the honoring of family initials and the search for a meaningful brand icon for the winery.  Rodger’s initials, as well as his late grandfather whom he is named after, are R A M.  The animal the Ram has historically been prominently featured in societies over time, as a symbol of determination, leadership, and protection.  The solemn strength of the Ram speaks to our pursuit of quality and it’s quiet majesty is something we strive for in our wines.  These factors led to the selection of the brand that is RAM Cellars.

2014 Le Belier Blanc at bottling
2014 Le Belier Blanc at bottling

At this time we are lucky to produce our wines in Portland, Oregon, utilizing space that we rent within one of Portland’s urban wineries.  Our grapes come, at this time, from Alder Ridge Vineyard in the Columbia Gorge for our reds and from the northern Willamette Valley for our whites.  We consider ourselves extremely lucky to have access to such great grapes while still being able to produce the wines in Portland.

Our 2015 Le Belier Blanc, on the bottling line
Our 2015 Le Belier Blanc, on the bottling line

Says Rodger:

“I’m really excited for the opportunity to bring these wines to you and share them with you and yours.  This has been a dream of mine for a long time and it’s an honor to be able to craft wines to be enjoyed among family and friends.  Look forward to our wines in and around Portland, Oregon soon, and in Washington shortly thereafter!”

At the release event, April 2016
At the release event, April 2016

Thanks for taking the time to learn a little bit about Rodger and RAM Cellars.  You can reach Rodger at: Rodger@ramcellars.com.  General inquiries can be sent to info@ramcellars.com, whiles sales requests (both to individual customers and accounts we well to) can be sent to sales@ramcellars.com.

At our release event, April 2016.
Rodger at our release event, April 2016.

Cheers, from our table to yours!