Meet Our Founder

Meet Our Founder
Rick Kneipper – Founder, CEO & Manager

From Our Founder and CEO, Rick Kneipper:

Shady Knoll Orchards & Distillery is a long-term dream come true for me. It is a wonderful confluence of four critical ingredients that I love: Family—family is way more important to me than everything else in life, and it’s wonderful to combine our very close family life with our new family business life. Farming—from a young age my grandfather taught me about farming on his self-sufficient dairy farm in Southeastern Wisconsin (then and now I’ve always loved driving a tractor), and my mother taught me about growing and processing fruits and vegetables from our one acre Wisconsin garden. Farm—we’ve been in love with our Shady Knoll farm in Millbrook, New York since we bought it in 1980 and it’s become our most favored family destination for holidays, vacations and get-togethers with friends. Creating—I’ve always enjoyed creating things, from doing innovative business transactions as a lawyer; creating new businesses including a healthcare services company, a movie production company and a specialty clinical diagnostic testing company; and welding unique metal sculptures. After over fifteen years of planning, six years of planting and maturing our apple orchard, and two years of building, equipping and licensing our micro-distillery, our family has finally started to produce our very special crafted products from our homegrown apples and rye. We love them and hope you do too.

Rick Kneipper

December 2016