Michael Shaps Wineworks opens new facility and other restaurant news

Wineworks Extended, owned by Michael Shaps and located on Avon Street Extended, is a tasting room arm of Michael Shaps Wineworks. Photo: Martyn Kyle Wineworks Extended, owned by Michael Shaps and located on Avon Street Extended, is a tasting room arm of Michael Shaps Wineworks. Photo: Martyn Kyle

Wegmans hasn’t opened its hallowed doors yet, but at least one new business nearby is up and running. Located at 1585 Avon St. Extended, Wineworks Extended is the newest iteration of local custom contract winemaking operation Michael Shaps Wineworks. The warehouse was originally scouted out as a bottling facility, and owner Shaps says he figured why not turn the extra space into a tasting room?

“We thought it would be a great opportunity since our original tasting room is pretty far out of town,” he says, referring to the Michael Shaps Wineworks location on Harris Creek Way, about 20 minutes south of Charlottesville.

The newly constructed tasting room, which features high tables, brightly colored stools and floor-to-ceiling shelves stocked with bottles of wine, opened for business a few weeks ago. Guests can choose between two tasting options: the $6 flight of wines on tap or the $8 flight of “Michael’s picks” bottled wines. Each tasting includes four 40 ml pours, and the flight-style presentation allows you to compare and contrast rather than rinsing out one glass between each different wine. 

Claire Hart, who works in the tasting room, says each flight always features at least one red and one white—they’ll rotate every few weeks, with more whites during the summer and more reds during the winter.

The wines available to take home include a large selection of Michael Shaps wine (both in bottles and boxes), like the 2015 Viognier and 2015 Odette. There’s also the option of taking home a growler of wine—a full liter for around $15.

“The wine on tap is styled a little differently,” Shaps says. “They’re fresh, young wines that are made for immediate consumption, and with the growler you’re getting a better deal.”

For more information about tastings and hours of operation, check out the Wineworks Extended Facebook page.

All hopped up

First the bad news: The strawberry-ginger cider the team at Potter’s Craft Cider made in collaboration with Kardinal Hall is all dried up. But the good news is Potter’s just released a new seasonal style. Introducing the Passionfruit Mosaic Cider—infused with passionfruit and hopped with tropical, fruity Mosaic hops, it screams summertime. But it won’t be around for long. This stuff is in limited supply, so be sure to keep an eye out for it at restaurants and bars around town before the supply runs out.

Lucky libations

’Tis the season for new booze, apparently. Silverback Distillery rolled out its new Blackback Lucky 13 Rye Whiskey just in time for Father’s Day last weekend. Aged for 13 months in virgin white oak barrels, the rye is available for sipping in half-ounce pours (either neat or with mixers) at the distillery in Afton. You won’t find it on the shelves of ABC stores yet, but you can take a bottle home with you from the tasting room. According to co-owner Denver Riggleman, the mash is 67 percent rye, 22 percent white corn and 11 percent malted barley, and all the grains are sourced in Virginia.

As for future releases as the whiskey continues to age, Silverback plans to make this a Father’s Day tradition. So, if you missed this year’s release event (complete with cigars and food), you’ll have plenty of opportunities in the future. And the whiskey will only get better.