We are Virginia Wineworks / Michael Shaps Wines. Founded in 2007, Virginia Wineworks produces the Virginia Wineworks brand, Virginia’s first bag-in-box wine, and Michael Shaps, complex wines crafted in an old world tradition, using natural yeast and spending a significant time in barrel prior to release. We are a working winery nestled in the woods south of Charlottesville, and we are all devoted to the passion of winemaking
About the Wineworks Team
Michael has been making wine in central Virginia since 1995. He previously worked with two highly regarded central Virginia wineries – Jefferson Vineyards, and King Family Vineyards. He currently works as a consultant to wineries in several states and has been involved in the startup of more than ten wineries. He was the winner of the Virginia Governor’s Cup Wine Competition in 2004 and has been mentioned in numerous wine publications such as Saveur, Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, Wine Advocate, Washingtonian, and The Washington Post. Michael is also a partner in Maison Shaps & Roucher-Sarrazin in Meursault, France. Michael oversees all Virginia Wineworks operations and works with partner Philip Stafford on strategic planning for the winery. He holds a BPA (Brevet Professionnel Agricole) in Enology and Viticulture from Lycée Viticole de Beaune, France. In addition, he has a B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing from Skidmore College.
Philip has made a career in the wine business. His first wine job was as co-owner of the C&O Restaurant in Charlottesville, Virginia. He worked in the vineyards in Bordeaux in 1978 and opened central Virginia’s first fine wine shop in 1979. In 1987 he founded USA Wine Imports, a wine import and distribution company based in New York City. He continues his ownership and management position there. Wineworks is his first winery project. Philip oversees all financial and compliance work at Virginia Wineworks and works with partner Michael Shaps on strategic planning for the winery. Mr. Stafford holds a law degree from the University of Michigan Law School and is a member of the Virginia Bar Association.
Ben Jordan – Winemaker
Ben started at Virginia Wineworks in April 2012. Though he is a native Virginian, he learned to make wine in the Russian River and Dry Creek Valleys of Sonoma County, California. He developed his love of wine working for an importer based in San Francisco. Before finding his place in the wine industry, Ben was a bike messenger in New York City and San Francisco, where he helped start a messenger company. In addition to his winemaking role at Wineworks, he helps farm his family’s vineyard in Fort Defiance, Virginia. Ben graduated from Duke University with a Bachelor of Science, and Carnegie Mellon University with a Master of Fine Arts.
Ivar Aass - Manager
Ivar has been working in the wine industry for 13 years. He spent the vast majority of those years working for Philip in New York City after receiving his degrees in Economics, English and Natural Science from Fordham University. He holds an Advanced Certificate with Merit from the Wine and Spirits Educational trust in London. At Wineworks he overseas the office operations, tasting room and warehousing operations. Aside from enjoying wine, Ivar is a profound whiskey aficionado.
Nick Dubroff - Associate Winemaker
Brian Hersey - Assistant Winemaker
Dimitri Volkov – Assistant Winemaker