Press Gang Cellars
Santa Barbara County region
Extremely limited quantities of wine that beautifully capture the terroir and character of the region
Founded by the husband and wife team of Kyle and Savanna Knapp, Press Gang Cellars crafts small batches of exciting wines from beautiful vineyards in Santa Barbara County wine country. Winemaker Kyle Knapp pays close attention in the vineyards, while using a minimalist stripped-down approach in the cellar to make distinctive wines of place and character. His winemaking style honors many of the tried-and-true winemaking methods, but he also enjoys being very progressive in the cellar in order to create something different that goes against the grain.
Kyle Knapp began his winemaking career in 2005, working his first harvest at Ballard Canyon’s Beckmen Vineyards. Like others who thrive on the arduous but rewarding experience, Kyle was hooked, and immediately following that harvest, traveled to Australia for his second round. He returned to Santa Barbara County to work an additional harvest and shortly thereafter assumed the role as Stolpman Vineyards’ Assistant Winemaker, a position he held until 2010. Kyle then worked as Beckmen Vineyards’ Assistant Winemaker until 2016, when he became the Head Winemaker for Stolpman Vineyards, a position he still holds today.
Along the way, Kyle began experimenting with winemaking for his own label and in 2006 made his first Press Gang Cellars Grenache - although the real ‘coming out’ year for the brand wasn’t until 2010. Since the beginning, his focus has been on Grenache, Syrah, and Roussanne, all sourced from top vineyards in Ballard Canyon, Santa Ynez Valley and Sta. Rita Hills AVA’s. His wines are made in extremely limited quantities and beautifully capture the terroir and character of the region.
The winery takes its name ‘Press Gang’ from a song by the punk rock band Murder City Devils. Kyle often draws inspiration from music, and the play on words (pressing grapes to make wine) seemed fitting for his new winery. The wine label images pay homage to Kyle’s other great passion - surfing. Each label is unique and depicts the ocean, ocean animals, or an abstract water scene. Kyle is also a devoted husband to his wife Savanna, and the father of two children. He is a competitive ice hockey player and surfer, and survived a 2008 Great White Shark attack off of Surf Beach near Lompoc. He and Savanna have worked hard to start Press Gang Cellars and can’t wait to share it with others.