The Twelker family built a house and vineyard in 1871. Fast forward to 2019 and the property at 8901 State Highway YY in Leslie is reliving its glory days.
In 2016, Patricia McKelvey began restoring the property to its original purpose and a couple of weeks ago she officially opened the McKelvey Vineyards.
The new and improved 62-acre property features a stone house, the original barn and an all-weather pavilion.
According to Vineyard Manager Lindsay Hayes, the house, called the Steeple View Manor, recently was added to the historic register.
“My interest initially was in doing a historic project,” McKelvey said. “I love the idea of a historic stone house.”
The house holds four bedrooms, a full kitchen and an outside patio with a summer kitchen. The patio features a wood-burning pizza oven and fireplace. The house comfortably sleeps eight.
McKelvey recently won a Preserve Missouri Award at the Statewide Preservation Honor awards ceremony for her restoration job by preserving historical elements of the home.
The property has had three owners since 1853. McKelvey is the fourth. The property hadn’t been renovated for 60 years before McKelvey’s preservation efforts.
“I wanted something I could rehab,” she said. “I really liked the view and the land.”
The Twelker family’s vineyard produced a red wine and a white wine. McKelvey said they transported the wines in big vats to St. Louis where the family sold them.
The vineyard now offers five wines: a sweet white wine, chardonnay, semi-dry red, cabernet sauvignon and a red blend.
McKelvey expects the grapes that she planted two and three years ago will be ready for winemaking in two years. Of the 62 acres, five acres are dedicated to grape vines.
Winetastings are offered for $5 to try all five wines and obtain a McKelvey wineglass. Bottles of wine can be ordered online.
The pavilion is open to the public on weekends starting in April and lasting through November. Fridays offer happy hour deals and the business is open from 4:30-7:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays feature live music and it is open from noon to 5 p.m.
Aside from wine, the pavilion also offers other alcohol and food trays featuring local cheeses and sausages.
The sides of the pavilion roll up or down to accommodate for all types of weather.
Future tasks at the pavilion include a concession stand, which Hayes said they’re trying to get done as soon as possible.
Other plans for the property include creating hiking trails throughout the property and installing a wood-burning fire pit. Hayes noted they will have yard games for guests’ entertainment, such as corn hole. McKelvey said guests will be encouraged to enjoy a picnic along the trails.
The grand opening is scheduled for Saturday, May 4, from noon to 8 p.m. The Texas Giants will play from 12:30-3:30 p.m. and Ol’ Skool will play from 4-7 p.m. Lyon Country Meats and Penn State Chicken, both in New Haven, will be the onsite food vendors. House tours will commence at noon and again at 3:30 p.m.
“On the house tour, they’ll hear a little of the history,” Hayes said.
The McKelvey Vineyards also will be featured in Washington at the 38th annual Art Fair and Wine Fest Friday through Sunday, May 17-19.