The Knapp Family
Our story begins before we were born, when our grandfather, Andrew S. Knapp, a St. Louis Entrepreneur, fell in love with a country retreat. He wanted to ride horses, go hunting and fishing and have a little livestock. Andrew didn't do anything halfway, he started with his small horse farm and soon he was developing his own breeding lines of pure bred Hereford cattle on one of the largest cattle ranches in the midwest.
Our father, Robert, who had an enormous love of the land and the cattle, inherited the farm in 1960 and continued to show cattle all over the country. Cyndy and Steffie were commonly seen as small girls at the large cattle shows, photographed with the prize winning bulls and heifers. Later we helped prepare the calves for show and were even trained to lead the younger livestock around the ring for the judging. These large cumbersome animals were our pets and the farm was the center of our lives.
Even as we grew up and moved farther from the farm, we have been continually drawn back to it by some spiritual force deep within us. It's our property now, its our farm and more than that, it is part of our family. We have chosen to plant vineyards and start a winery and brewery to add value to our farm. We want to make it a place our children will be proud to inherit and share with their families. We hope to be an important member of the community as Edg-Clif has been in the past, creating jobs and bringing visitors to this beautiful part of the world. Come enjoy our wine and let us share with you our special world at Edg-Clif Farms and Vineyard. As our friends say, the hardest part of visiting Edg-Clif is having to leave.
"We want to make it a place our children will be proud to inherit and share with their families."
The History of Edg-Clif
1920's: HUNTING RETREAT
Edg-Clif Farms was founded in 1926 by Andrew Stephen Knapp and his wife Hazel Quinn Knapp, when they purchased the stone lodge for a hunting retreat. The original cliff side stone lodge, was built in 1862. Since the Knapp purchase, the lodge has seen multiple expansions and restorations.
1930's: CATTLE RANCH
In 1936, the Knapp's founded the Hereford Cattle Ranch which became a world renowned show herd. During World War II, Knapp ran seven miles of electrical lines from Potosi to Edg-Clif, providing the first electrical power to that part of the county and the ranch was expanded to cover 3,000 acres.
1960's: BETTY & BOB'S FARM
Andrew’s son, Robert S. Knapp and wife Betty Graham Knapp, inherited the farm and it continued to thrive as a cattle ranch.
1980's: KNAPP GIRLS
In 1986 daughters, Stephanie Knapp Littlefield and Cynthia Knapp Keesee inherited the property. In 1994, they opened the land to a neighboring Bison Ranch, with Bison roaming the fields for over 25 years.
2008: VINEYARD PLANTED
2,000 Chambourcin grape vines were planted by current owners and operators Stephanie and Stephen Littlefield and Cyndy and Girard Keesee. This laid the foundation for the current 7 acres of vineyard.
2011: WINERY OPEN FOR VISITIORS
With the help of a lot of incredible support from friends and neighbors, we opened our Winery in the renovated historic Showbarn, starting with five different wines. We also became a destination for Family Reunions, Weddings, Corporate Outings, Company Picnics, and Class Reunions.
2015: BREWERY & COTTAGES
We opened Edg-Clif Brewery and now make a full selection of unique craft beers on premises. We renovated The Vineyard Cottage, The Clover Cottage, York House and The Stone Cottage maintaining their historic charm. These can be booked for getaways from the city on AirBnB and this completes our destination experience on property.
We now make 18 different wines including "Perry" a pear wine with pears from our own orchard and two port style wines. We are open three days a week for tastings and invite you to join us for some of our special events. Contact us to see if we are available on days we are closed.
It's all in a name...
The property has a 3,000 foot long and 80 foot high natural limestone cliff and is part of the Ozark Mountain range. This geologic highland region is the most extensive mountainous region between the Appalachians and the Rocky Mountains. With its picturesque hard wood forests, old growth short leaf pines and natural caves in the limestone cliffs, scenic views stretch for miles separated by rolling pastures of grasslands.
At Edg-Clif, the original stone house is built right into the side of the 80 foot limestone cliff and is illustrated on the label of our award winning Starlight sweet white wine.
In the name itself, the 'e' and the 'f' were dropped when the original logo was designed by Andrew in the 1930's.
Managing Partner and Viticulturist
Steffie has an A.S. in Horticulture and B.S. in Agriculture/Horticulture and a BA in Economics. She has served as President of Gateway Greening, Vice President/Treasure of Gateway Professional Horticulturist Association (GPHA) and President of the Horticulture Co-op of Metro St. Louis. She has been a landscape designer for over 25 years and given workshops on Gardening, writes a monthly article for the Gateway Gardener Magazine, a frequent speaker and serves on the Members Board of the Missouri Botanical Garden as President and the Board of the Troutlodge YMCA of the Ozarks. She has designed award winning garden displays for the St. Louis Flower Show and the St. Louis Post Dispatch Garden Contest. She is now serving as Vice President of the Missouri Grape Growers Association.
Facilities Manager & Partner
Stephen has been managing the property since 1986, he is responsible for facilities management, vineyard operations, building restoration, event coordination and of course the plumbing. He also can be found giving enthusiastic tours of the whole operation to which he has dedicated so many years.
Winemaker and Partner
Cyndy has been in the wine-making industry since 2008, when Edg-Clif planted their first 4 acres of grapes and now turns up to 2500 gallons of juice into award winning wines. She is involved in the Grape and Wine Institute at the University of Missouri and the Missouri Wine Technical Group. She finds "the crush" to be the most exciting part of wine-making, but the fermentation is still her favorite, getting to smell the fruit character mixed with yeast bubbling away and the changes it undergoes as it becomes wine. One of her creationsTwilight, a sweet white Chambourcin, was recognized as Best of Class in the rosé category and has been featured in several wine publications.
Winery Operations & Partner
Girard has been overseeing the winery and brewery operations since it's opening in 2009. He ensures that the wines each maintain their unique flavor. He oversees, manage, and directs winery operations to ensure they exceed established quality standards, productivity and new product development. Along with supporting Cyndy he also promotes efficient resource utilization between all aspects of cellar, bottling operations. He can also we found in the vineyard doing irrigation maintenance and the Brewery getting those craft beers to the Tasting Room. A Tour of the winery with Girard is really a treat for those looking for details.