Michael Shaps’ wines are attracting a lot of attention both in and out of Virginia – not only for his wines, but for the innovative way he has become a winery owner.
When he decided to become a winemaker, he moved to Burgundy, France to study. He worked with two French wineries while earning his degree and remained there an additional year after graduating in 1991.
Back in the United States, he researched wine making potential and chose to be a part of Virginia’s growing industry. Since 1995, he has been winemaker for and consultant to several Virginia wineries, including Jefferson. With each, his wines have earned multiple medals in competition.
In 2000, while working with one of these wineries, he began producing wines under his own label, Michael Shaps. Beginning with these, his wines have continued to win medals and recognitions.
By now, he was ready for another innovative move. With the legislative turmoil surrounding Virginia farm wineries for the past few years, he visualized a facility where he could produce his own wines and also consult for new wineries as their wines were being produced in his Virginia Wineworks building with his equipment.
He is not the only custom crush facility in the U.S., but it is unique to Virginia. His plan is to continue producing excellent wines for himself and either with or for others.
We think it is an excellent plan and look forward to more award winning wines. This selection is his first limited production of Chardonnay under his own label.
The 2007 growing season was excellent, producing concentrated fruit flavors and a perfect sugar/acid balance. The fruit was sourced from a block of selected rows in a leased vineyard in Hillsboro, Virginia. Michael utilized a native yeast that yielded a complexity of aromas, in combination with the richness of fermentation in French oak. The sur lie aging adds body and complexity to the wine and is balanced by its acidity and fruit characteristics. Michael states that this wine is as natural as possible with minimal winemaker intervention. He states that it can be held for another two to four years and should be served around 40° – 50° F.