Long-time readers may remember a period in the New York Cork Report‘s history when there were upwards of a dozen passionate contributors to the site. For a brief period there, we were really cranking out the content — all focused on New York wine, beer and beyond. It wasn’t sustainable. There wasn’t any money coming in. Many of us started having children which took up our already limited free time.

Besides, by the end of the NYCR’s heyday New York wine was getting so much press elsewhere (even if much of it is under-researched) it felt a bit like it had run its course anyway.

That’s one reason I decided to stop posting on the old site and launch this new one this fall a wider swath of North American wine country. The idea was to have mostly a single voice — that being mine — writing about the wines of New York, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Vermont and beyond. Just not California, Oregon or Washington.

Anyone who has worked with me over the years will tell you that I’m always thinking about how to make whatever site I’m writing on better. A lot of the things I experiment with fail. Sometimes they succeed. Sometimes someone else ‘borrows’ my ideas and I lose interest. Often times I get bored with them and simply stop doing them.

It’s only Tuesday, but my latest scheme is a bit of a Throwback Thursday endeavor. I go back and forth between wanting this site to be a single voice or having a group of like-minded writers contributing to it. There are pros and cons to each, but in the end, I’ve decided to move back in the direction of a group blog.

News Editor Todd Trzaskos is going to start writing more, with a focus on the wines and ciders of New England — including, of course, Vermont, where he lives and is an important part of the wine community. Look for his first story very soon.

Today I’d also like to introduce someone whose name you don’t know, even if you’ve followed this site for some time — Paul Brady, who will be writing about wines from Michigan, Ontario and the Finger Lakes region of New York. Paul has been writing about these wines — he refers to them as “lake wines” — since 2010. Originally from Michigan, Brady cut his teeth on Ontario wines as a vicenarian while spending time at his family’s cottage on the Canadian side of Lake Huron. Brady has spent the last six years working in New York City restaurants and wine bars — most recently as a sommelier at Rouge Tomate under Master Sommelier Pascaline Lepeltier — where he naturally gravitated to the wines of New York’s Finger Lakes. It was in the Finger Lakes at the now famous Hermann J. Wiemer winery where Brady met Cork Report founder Lenn Thompson. The two instantly struck a dialogue, and plans for an eventual collaboration soon followed. Brady continues to spend ample time in the northwestern Michigan AVAs, southern Ontario, and New York’s Finger Lakes and is proud to be an advocate for these extraordinary cool climate, fresh water lake-wine regions.

Originally from Michigan, he cut his teeth on Ontario wines as a vicenarian while spending time at his family’s cottage on the Canadian side of Lake Huron. More recently, Paul has spent the last six years working in New York City restaurants and wine bars — most recently as a sommelier at Rouge Tomate under Master Sommelier Pascaline Lepeltier — where he naturally gravitated to the wines of New York’s Finger Lakes. It was in the Finger Lakes at the now famous Hermann J. Wiemer winery where Brady met Cork Report founder Lenn Thompson. The two instantly struck a dialogue, and plans for an eventual collaboration soon followed. Brady continues to spend ample time in the northwestern Michigan AVAs, southern Ontario, and New York’s Finger Lakes and is proud to be an advocate for these extraordinary cool climate, fresh water lake-wine regions.

It was during a visit to Hermann J. Wiemer winery on Seneca Lake where Paul and I ran into one another for the first time. We instantly struck a dialogue, and plans for an eventual collaboration soon followed. And finally, today is the day that we make it official.

Paul continues to spend ample time in the northwestern Michigan AVAs, southern Ontario, and New York’s Finger Lakes and is proud to be an advocate for these extraordinary cool climate, fresh water lake-wine regions. He’s working on his first story right now — so keep an eye out for that as well.

About Author

Lenn Thompson, a proud Pittsburgh, PA native, moved to Long Island more than a decade ago and quickly fell in love with the region’s dynamic and emerging wine community. A digital and content marketing and community professional by day, he founded NewYorkCorkReport.com in early 2004 to share his passion for the wines, beers and spirits of New York State. After running that site -- which became the premier source for independent New York wine commentary, reviews and news -- for 12 years, he launched TheCorkReport.us in late 2016 to add the wines of Virginia, Maryland, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Vermont and beyond to his beat. Lenn currently serves as the wine columnist for The Suffolk Times weekly newspaper and is the former editor of the Long Island Wine Gazette. He contributes or has contributed to publications like Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Beverage Media, Edible Brooklyn, Edible East End and Edible Hudson Valley. Lenn served on the board of directors for Drink Local Wine, and is the creator and founder of TasteCamp, an annual regional wine immersion conference for writers and trade. An admitted riesling and cabernet franc fanatic, he’s intensely passionate about eating local and the many local wine regions of America. Lenn lives in Miller Place, NY with his wife Nena, son Jackson, daughter Anna and their dog, Casey Lemieux Thompson.

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