Michael Shaps announces purchase of Shenandoah Vineyards
Michael Shaps of Michael Shaps Wineworks (www.michaelshapswines.com) announced today the purchase of Shenandoah Vineyards, Virginia’s second oldest active winery in Virginia. Shenandoah Vineyards was founded in 1976 by Jim and Emma and Randel, two visionaries who saw the viticultural potential of their site. Located in Edinburg, between Winchester and Harrisonburg on land that has been in Emma’s family since the mid-1800s, Jim and Emma planted their first 5000 vines in 1976 and have won numerous awards since.
Michael’s relationship with former owner and founder Emma Randel began in 2010 when Emma hired Michael as a winemaking consultant. At this time Michael recognized the viticultural potential of the limestone soils and drier growing conditions. With the growth of Michael’s contract winemaking business and the need to expand production, it was an easy decision to pursue the purchase of Shenandoah. Michael’s custom winemaking clients already include some located a short distance from Shenandoah, allowing growth in this wine region while freeing up production space at Wineworks in Charlottesville.
Michael believes the Shenandoah Valley has the state’s best grape growing potential and has thus far been under the radar. “Shenandoah is the driest county in Virginia and one of the driest East of the Mississippi river with ideal soil composition and optimal elevation” notes Michael. He is excited about the vineyard potential and the opportunity to revitalize the vineyards with varieties that grow especially well in the valley— including Alsatian varietals like riesling, pinot gris, pinot blanc.