Founded in 2007 Wineworks is located at 1781 Harris Creek Way, Charlottesville, VA 22902, 12
miles south of historic Charlottesville. Down a long dusty gravel road, just past The First Colony winery (My review on First Colony Winery ) is a place that you would not easily recognize as a winery. It is nothing impressive to look at. No beautiful vistas, no roaring fire in the winter to lounge about while enjoying a glass of local wine. In fact it looks like a construction site. You would have no idea that there is a tasting room, much less an important contributor to the Virginia wine scene.
Michael Shaps makes wines for many of the other wineries in the state that they sell under their own label. He makes an inexpensive line that he sells under the brand Wineworks where they boast drinkable boxed wines, and he also sell more upscale small batch wines of his own brew under his own name. Michael Shaps wines are produced in small lots from leased vineyards that are grown under his supervision.
His staff was pleasant, knowledgeable and passionate about their product.
Michael Shaps is a man with tremendous influence in shaping the standards for the state's wine industry . He has consulted for many of the more successful small Virginia wineries.
It is all about the wines and not the experiences he says, and once you see their tasting room you will understand what he means. A few boards tossed over some old wine barrels in the rustic and cold area used for storing the barrels. It is missing all the traditional comforts and inviting space like most every other winery has. But his wines are worth the trip, especially the premium ones sold under the brand "Michael Shaps"
His back ground: He is classically trained in the Boudreaux style of wine making. Educated at the famous Lycée Viticole de Beaune, Michael is now a joint owner in Maison Shaps et Roucher-Sarrazin, a boutique wine label specializing in fine chardonnays from Meursault and pinot noir from various Burgundy appellations. He now simultaneously makes wine on both contents. Each location brings their own unique privileges and challenges. Burgundy is steeped in tradition and the centuries old rules for masterful wine making, and Virginia is the wild west of wine making where there are no established rules set in stone.
tasting: $10 for 9 wines--stemless glass included