Owner and Winemaker, RAM Cellars, Portland, OR
Pioneer in the Trans-Wine Community
Vivianne Kennedy (she/they) is currently the only openly transgender winemaker in the US. When they first came out as her true self, their boutique wine business, RAM Cellars, was just gaining traction in the industry. The event led to several personal and business struggles, including the loss of fruit contracts, customers and other business resources and outlets.
Yet Kennedy persevered and today has expanded case production (a portfolio that’s just as creative and diverse as she is), their distribution reach, as well as the RAM Cellars team to now include partner Aidan Kennedy and friend Rebecca (Bex) Fry.
Kennedy’s story is not just an inspiration to the wine LGBTQ+ community, but also supports that community with profits from RAM Cellars’ VIV label going toward programs and services that aid the LGBTQ+ population, such as the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund and Portland’s Q Center, as well as other marginalized groups, including Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC) and AHIVOY Oregon.