Shady Knoll Orchards & Distillery is a small family farm/craft distillery located in the historic Hudson River Valley of New York. We grow over 120 varieties of apples to make our award-winning Apple Brandy and Pommeau (“From our orchards to your glass”) and we also grow rye to make our award-winning Rye Whiskey and Whiskey (“From our fields to your glass”). We do all planting, harvesting, processing, fermenting, distilling, aging and bottling ourselves. Our hand-crafted spirits reflect the unique terroir of our family farm, the wonderful tastes created by double distillation in our classic French alembic pot still and our special combination of barrel agings.
Shady Knoll Orchards & Distillery LLC is a small family farm and craft distillery owned and operated by the extended Kneipper/Richards family. We grow our own apples and grains, bringing the unique terroir of our lovely farm in the historic Hudson River Valley of New York to our award-winning Shady Knoll Apple Brandy, Pommeau (a blend of our aged Apple Brandy and our fresh apple juice), Rye Whiskey and Whiskey. We do all processing, fermenting, distilling, barrel-aging and bottling ourselves on our farm, and we focus on producing small quantities of high-quality specialty craft distilled spirits. We are proud to be a “New York Grown and Certified” farm distillery.
We create our unique Apple Brandy by combining the flavors from over 120 varieties of apples in our apple orchard. We allow our apple juice to naturally ferment without the addition of any yeast or other additives for six to twelve months, a classic technique in the Normandy region of France to create Calvados. We then distill the fermented apple juice (or hard cider) twice in our French alembic Charentais pot still to produce a high proof spirit that is ready to age. Then we age our Apple Brandy in new American Oak barrels, and then finish it in premium used Portuguese Madeira barrels to create a smooth finish that highlights our apples.
Our distinctive Rye Whiskey and Whiskey are created with rye grain grown on our farm, combined with corn and malted barley grown on nearby farms. We process our grains in our granary, cook the combined grains in our mash tun, ferment the grains, and then double distill the mash “on the grain” in our alembic Charentais port still in order to enhance its flavor and proof. We age our Shady Knoll Rye Whiskey in new American Oak barrels, and then finish it in premium used Portuguese Port barrels. Our Shady Knoll Whiskey is aged in a combination of used Apple Brandy, Rye and Bourbon barrels.
Our Shady Knoll Apple Brandy won the Double Gold medal from The Fifty Best apple brandy tasting competition in 2021, and our Shady Knoll Pommeau won a Silver medal from the American Distilling Institute’s 2019 Judging of Craft Spirits. Our Shady Knoll Rye Whiskey won a Gold medal from The Fifty Best rye whiskey tasting competition in 2021, a Silver medal from the American Distilling Institute’s 2022 International Spirits Competition, and the Best Spirit award at the 2018 Hudson Valley Wine & Spirits Competition.
Tours/tastings are available by appointment through the “Contact” section of our website at www.shadyknolldistillery.com.