Our People

Skull Camp started out as a way to explore the fun side of wine…all blends, all semi-dry and all names for states of mind! We have fun making them (and our customers often have fun helping) so we think you’ll have fun drinking them! It was probably inevitable with three home brewers at skull camp and a lot of good friends who brew constantly in our ears that Skull Camp Brewing was born! Since mid-2012 we’ve brewed many different beers, ½ barrel at a time. Thanks to the great response from our customers, in early 2014 we expanded to a new location in Elkin and to a new 10 barrel system.  We now need help drinking it all!  In late 2017 we finally opened our new Skull Camp beer and wine tasting room in the renovated Basin Creek General Store, which includes the Skull Camp Smokehouse featuring all sorts of great food from our smoker.   We have a dog-friendly cover patio and great open area with picnic tables and lawn games.

The Team

Ken Gulaian

Owner & Winemaker

Ken enjoys the challenges of fighting off the weather, deer, birds, and other critters to grow great grapes, and turning those grapes into both traditional dry Round Peak wines and fun approachable Skull Camp canned wines.

Kari Heerdt


Still working her “corporate job” in Charlotte, Kari can be spotted helping out at the winery on weekends or at an occasional special event or festival. She enjoys her role as consultant and wine and beer taster but leaves the tough decisions to Ken and the team.

Jeff Leftwich

Head Brewmaster

Jeff started out with a 2 gallon Mr. Beer kit and jumped in with both feet moving to a 10 gallon all grain system as a home brewer. Jeff considers himself married to mother nature and spends his free time being a daddy 1st, then backpacking, primitive camping, and hanging in his hammock somewhere in the forest.

Andrew Baker

Brewery Operations Manager

Andrew started brewing beer for Skull Camp in 2015. He also owns a small hops farm just outside of town.

Jenn Lock

Restaurant Manager

Jenn stays busy keeping up with a husband, a teenage daughter, and 3 dogs. She spends her free time taste testing wine, margaritas, and tequila, and is always ready for a road trip or concert!

Marie Yockel

Financial Management

Marie likes adventures, and what an adventure it has been! Learning about beer and wine and meeting all the interesting folks at events is the best part of her job. While not out and about, Marie works behind the scenes doing financials.

Jeff Yockel

Sales & Distribution Manager

Jeff is officially “retired” but says that selling beer is more fun than selling air compressors.

James Madel

Sales Representative

James loves selling our beer and wine, and sometimes signing autographs. He is a lifelong scout leader and family man.

Meka Newman Price

Marketing & Communications

Meka loves working in the wine business and in her spare time enjoys home renovation projects and going on adventures with her husband Tanner, and their giant poodle, Louie.

Ashlyn Steelman

Restaurant Manager

Always a busy bee, you can find Ashlyn typically at the front lines at the Smokehouse!


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