As a native of California, Kamee Knutson has always been at home in the fields — whether she's tasting grapes or advocating for California Women for Agriculture and their scholarship funds. After earning a wine and viticulture degree with a concentration in enology from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, Kamee realized the great potential that coastal winemaking offered.
"The soils, afternoon breezes and microclimates...Nothing compares to the flavors, minerality and complexity you get from the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA," she says. Kamee's winemaking experience started in San Luis Obispo at Tolosa Winery. Next, she gained more experience becoming winemaker of Monterey Wine Company and director of winemaking at Agajanian Vineyards in Napa Valley.
With over 20 years of winemaking experience, she returned to San Luis Obispo, where she has crafted award-winning, cool-climate Burgundian-style varieties for Edna Valley Vineyard and Talbott Vineyards. Moving into her third decade of harvest, Kamee is taking the reins as winemaker of Talbott Vineyards, a winery with a 40-year legacy.
Working with the variety of clones and blocks in Talbott's legendary Sleepy Hollow Vineyard is something Kamee approaches with "immense respect." As Talbott's winemaker, she's excited to carry on the legacy of translating a sense of coastal California that Sleepy Hollow offers into exceptional wine. "Sleepy Hollow offers a stunning palette with a huge range of styles and flavor characteristics," she says. "I'm looking forward to bringing a different perspective while continuing the legacy."
Kamee's winemaking philosophy is deeply committed to taking a minimal approach to winemaking while giving back to the land. "The grapes are the stars of the show," she says, adding that she looks to the fruit and the site as her guide for what wines taste like. Kamee's minimal approach and respect for the land brings to life Talbott's commitment as a Certified Sustainable California Vineyard & Winery.