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 considers himself to be very progressive in the cellar.
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 yet 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 of 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, Kyle's focus has been on Grenache, Syrah and Roussanne, all sourced from expertly farmed vineyards in Ballard Canyon, Santa Ynez Valley and Sta. Rita Hills AVA's. His fruit is hand-picked, hand-sorted, and fermented using only native yeast, taking the most minimalist approach possible to best preserve the natural character of the varietals, the vineyards, and the terroir of the regions - these wines are as site specific as Kyle can make them. This terroir-driven philosophy is at the heart of Kyle's winemaking style, and it comes through in his distinctive line-up of expressive wines.
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. Several of his wine labels depict images that pay homage to Kyle's other great passion in life - surfing. Each of these labels are unique and depict the ocean, ocean animals, or an abstract water scene.
Kyle Knapp 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. We are excited to showcase this beautiful wine to our Gold Plus! Wine Club members. Cheers!