Thursday, November 14, 2019

Burgundy Meets Virginia: Winemaker Dinner with the Wines of Maison Shaps and Michael Shaps Wineworks and the Food of Chef Jacques at L'Auberge Chez Francois in Great Falls, Virginia, USA

Pictures:  Burgundy Meets Virginia: Winemaker Dinner with the Wines of Maison Shaps and Michael Shaps Wineworks and the Food of Chef Jacques at L'Auberge Chez Francois in Great Falls, Virginia, USA

Annette and I had the pleasure of attending a winemaker dinner with Michael Shaps who makes wine both in Virginia, USA, and Bourgogne, France.


Friday, November 8, 2019 7:00 PM

$106.00; excluding tax and gratuity, for a total of $135.00

Please join us for an extraordinary event on Friday, November 8th, 2019 at 7:00 PM, where France meets Virginia in the wines of Michael Shaps Wineworks and Maison Shaps.

Known for his innovation and winemaking expertise, Michael Shaps has established himself at the forefront of the modern Virginia wine industry.

Producing wines under the Michael Shaps label and for several prestigious wineries throughout the state–one winning the Governor’s Cup in 2017–his accolades and national recognition are beyond compare.

Mr. Shaps also holds a degree in Enology and Viticulture from the Lycée Viticole de Beaune in Burgundy, and has been making wine in Burgundy since 2004.

Both his French and Virginian wines are made in traditional, old-world style, with careful attention to detail but minimal intervention.

Picture: L'Auberge Chez Francois in Great Falls, Virginia

Michael Shaps

In 1990 Michael moved to France where he enrolled in the Lycée Viticole de Beaune in Burgundy to study oenology and viticulture. Here he was privileged to study under the guidance of Burgundy's noted professors and winemakers, working two vintages at the esteemed Maison Chartron et Trebuchet in Puligny Montrachet.

In 1995 Michael moved to Virginia to work at Jefferson Vineyards as head winemaker and general manager, where he quickly accumulated numerous awards and acquired a reputation as one of Virginia’s up-and-coming winemakers. After six vintages Michael ventured out on his own and began producing wine under the now highly regarded “Michael Shaps” label. He initially partnered with King Family Vineyards, where he helped launch their brand as well as his own.
In 2004 he partnered with his old mentor and head winemaker at Maison Chartron et Trebuchet and together they opened a winery and rental house in Meursault, France, one of Burgundy’s most renowned winemaking villages.

Maison Shaps—now named solely after Michael as his partner sold out in 2012—is a garage-ist style winery, focusing on small vineyard lots from some of Burgundy’s most famous vineyard sites. These artisanal-style wines are imported to the United States and sold along the East Coast as well as in the two Tasting Rooms at Wineworks.

After seven vintages at King Family, Michael found a new home for his brand when he and a partner opened Virginia Wineworks in 2007. This multi-faceted operation is both the home of the Michael Shaps brand and Virginia’s first and largest contract winemaking operation, more commonly known as custom crush. In 2014 Michael bought out his partner and with investors expanded Wineworks into an operation that approaches 30,000 cases of annual wine production, including over a dozen contract winemaking clients. The winery is now marketed as Michael Shaps Wineworks and is growing exponentially. In 2014 a million dollar expansion project was completed to include a new office building, tasting room, and crush pad, with a 16,000 square foot warehouse to store wine and serve as the new bottling facility.

Known in the industry for his innovation and winemaking expertise, he introduced the “bag in a box” wines to Virginia wine consumers and most recently introduced wine in kegs and a refillable wine growler. He has won numerous awards, spoken at wine conferences in California and throughout the East Coast, and consulted at dozens of reputable wineries in the mid-Atlantic region. Both an innovator and entrepreneur by nature, Michael continues to be a leader in the Virginia wine scene.

Pictures: Reception

Michael Shaps Wineworks

Founded in 2007, Michael Shaps Wineworks is located in the former Montdomaine Winery, located 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 original 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 wines (bag-in-box) and imported wines from Maison Shaps in France, as well as other French imports.

Pictures: Dinner

Maison Shaps

Originally founded in 2004 as Maison Shaps & Roucher-Serrazin, Michael Shaps took over ownership in 2012, changed the name to Maison Shaps, and focused on producing high-end Burgundian wine. Continuing with the same philosophy as before, Maison Shaps is a small garage-iste winery producing less than 12,000 bottles per year from Burgundy’s finest appellations and vineyard sites including some premier crus.

In 2017 Michael and two partners took a big leap and purchased vineyards in and around Pommard, including some grand cru designated plots. Michael crafts these wines by traditional Burgundian techniques. His objective is to make authentic wines that exemplify the rich heritage of the Burgundian villages.

From natural gravity flow to process the grapes, to native yeast fermentations and minimal filtrations, the style of winemaking at Maison Shaps strives for minimal manipulation of the grapes. Maison Shaps exemplifies the adage “The wines are made in the vineyard,” allowing for the true character of the region to be evoked in the wine.

These artisanal-style wines are exported to the United States where they are sold on the East Coast and at Michael Shaps Wineworks.

The Dinner

Chef Jacques’ Seasonal Canapes
Maison Shaps Bourgogne Chardonnay 2017 US$23

Sauteed Chesapeake Rockfish, Roasted Butternut Squash, Sage Beurre Blanc
Michael Shaps Petit Manseng, Monticello 2016 US$29

Grilled Free Range Breast of Chicken Stuffed with Mushroom Medley
Maison Shaps Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2017 US$25
Maison Shaps Pommard 2015 US$72

Classic Steak Au Poivre with Bordelaise Sauce, Seasonal Vegetables
Michael Shaps Tannat, Monticello 2016 US$33

Passionfruit and Chocolate Gâteau

Gilette’s Locally Roasted Coffee, Selection of Harney & Sons Fine Teas

schiller-wine: Related Postings

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