Kyle Knapp was born and raised in Lompoc, CA and is very familiar with the surrounding hills and climate. He grew up camping surfing up and down the state.
With no college degree in viticulture or enology Kyle learned by doing. Kyle 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).
Time spent in the vineyard working along side of Stolpman Vineyards, Ruben and Maria Solorzano, is one of the most important jobs for Kyle. Together they can theorize and dream of the best and most efficient ways to make the best wines. 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, like whole bunch carbonic fermentation, while also staying true to the Stolpman way of always growing and searching for new and improved ways of making world class wines. You will often hear Kyle say “less is more” and “purity results in better wines”, rules he lives by.
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, purity and character of the region.