Michael Shaps, Winemaker

It will be several years before the winery is designed and built. With our first harvest in 2008, we retained award-winning winemaker Michael Shaps.

Annefield Vineyards: Fermentation tanks at Black Wolf Vineyards in Dobson, North Carolina.
Fermentation tanks at Black Wolf Vineyards in Dobson, North Carolina.

Michael is the founder with Philip Stafford of Virginia Cellars, Virginia’s first custom crush facility, and their own label, Virginia Wineworks. For the past eight vintages Michael has created wines with careful attention to the details of fine wine production. The wines are produced with a traditional old-world style. The whites focus on varietal intensity and the retention of natural acidity. The reds are highly extracted and crafted to be age worthy and require cellaring. Michael strongly believes in choosing grape varieties that represent the potential of Virginia viticulture.

Michael has earned over one hundred medals in local and national competitions. As winemaker at King Family Vineyards in Crozet, Virginia, he won the coveted 2004 Virginia Governor’s Cup from a field of over 300 entries and received gold medals for his 2002 Michael Shaps Cabernet Franc and King Family Vineyards 2002 Meritage. Recently, Michael Shaps’ Virginia Wine Works 2005 Petit Verdot was a gold medal winner at the 2007 Virginia Governor’s Cup competition.

Mr. Shaps has consulted on half-a-dozen start-up wineries and for over a dozen start-up wineries on the East coast. He is a graduate of the Lycée Viticole de Beaune in Burgundy, and is well known to Virginia wine lovers.

Michael's wines prove that Virginia can produce wines that compete head to head with some of the finest wines from the best regions in the wine world.  In addition to wining the prestigious Governor's Cup wine competition, Michael Shaps wines have earned gold medals in several competitions and have been written up in publications such as Saveur, Wine Spectator, Wine Advocate, Washingtonian, The Washington Post and many others.