For years, the wine tasting experience at Virginia Wineworks/Michael Shaps Wine was little more than a barrel-filled warehouse and tasting bar made from particle board balanced on wine barrels. No vineyard view, no Amish cheese, no chairs. The point was simple: focus on the wine.
In recent years, a lot has changed. Shaps bought out his partner, changed the winery name, implemented a $1 million expansion that added 50% more capacity, and, yes, even upgraded the tasting room. Now visitors hang out in a larger space, but Shaps is keeping things grounded with a rustic design motif, his first-in-the-state box wine (don't knock it till you've tried it), and a new refillable glass growler offering--another first in Virginia.
In addition to the Michael Shaps-labeled wines, you'll also find a selection from Maison Shaps, the winemaker's exports from his winery in Burgundy.
Shaps manages to think big, small and sideways all at the same time. He's fun to watch, and we're glad he's one of ours.
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