Founded in 2007, Michael Shaps Wineworks is located in the former Montdomaine Winery, twelve miles south of Charlottesville, Virginia. The original concept was to use the facility for production of the existing Michael Shaps brand of wines, and to produce a second brand called Wineworks, a more value-oriented line of Virginia wines. Within the first year the opportunity arose to develop Virginia's first contract winemaking operation--more commonly known as custom crush--to make wine for independent growers who want their own brand. Found in many wine regions around the world, this previously untapped market became a focus for Wineworks. Between 2008-2014 the customer base grew to over twenty contract winemaking clients and the facility grew in size and capacity, reequiring two expansions. Wineworks quickly became a regional leader for contract winemaing, serving clients from Tennessee to Delaware.
When Michael's founding partner left in 2014, he brought in investors to expand the winery facility to increase production capacity to 30,000 cases of wine and changed the name from Virginia Wineworks to Michael Shaps Wineworks. In 2015 the processing volume reached 430 tons (approximately 28,000 cases) and the 2017 harvest brought in over 500 tons. In 2015 Wineworks acquired a 16,000 square foot warehouse on Avon Street Extended, located one mile from downtown Charlottesville. The primary goal was to find a location to bottle and warehouse wine for Wineworks and it's clients, due to the land constraints of the winery location at Harris Creek Way. In August 2015 renovations to the warehouse site began and were completed in early 2016.
In addition to developing the Avon Street location into a warehouse and bottling facility, Wineworks converted what was once office space into a second tasting room, with an upper level private room with a catering kitchen that can accomodate up to 50 seated guests for private tastings, parties or meetings. Less than a mile from Charlottesville's Downtown Mall, the warehouse is located directly across the street from the Fifth Street Station shopping center. The tasting room is designed to be a neighborhood wine bar and taphouse--featuring wine on tap with six different taps for growlers, carafes and wine by the glass. Bottle sales include Michael Shaps wines, Wineworks bag-in-box wine, imported wines from Maison Shaps in France, as well as other French imports.
In the summer of 2022 Michael purchased the former Thatch winery located just down the driveway from the winery production facility. This beautiful property offers a spacious tasting room with expansive outdoor seating areas nestled in mature landscaping and much needed production space for our growing operation. The goal is to eventually consolidate all three locations (tasting room, production facility and warehousing facility) into this space as this site can accommodate our ever growing and evolving operation.