I’m a writer — not a photographer — and I think that’s shown over the years. I can occasionally get an iPhone photo to turn out the way that I want. If I’m not lazy and bring out my digital SLR, I know just enough to get a decent shot here and there. But again, I’m a writer.

Now I have a photographer on board to help with special projects — Mikhail Lipyanskiy. Mikhail and I have known one another solely via Facebook for several years now. It’s amazing how wine lovers will find their tribes most anywhere that you look. Over the years, I’ve come to trust Mikhail’s palate and always enjoy when he visits a winery in an area that I cover here on the site. He offers detailed notes and always takes great pictures — including the one that you see above from a recent visit to Hermann J. Wiemer or below from a recent cabernet franc tasting panel I held that he photographed.

Like many of us in the blogging world, Mikhail has a day job that has little to do with photography. But, it’s a great passion of his and I’m thrilled that he’s agreed to lend his skills to a few things I’m always working on.

You’ll probably see him do some writing as well. He brings a unique perspective that I always find interesting.

Mikhail was born in Ukraine, during the Soviet Union and moved to the United States with his family as a teenager. He grew up in Queens, where he still resides with his wife and son. He’s an adjunct professor of comparative literature at Queens College and John Jay College of Criminal Justice. He became interested in wine in the early 2000s and quickly joined the online community as well as the busy New York City crowd.

His personal wine journey began with the love for German rieslings, but it has evolved into an appreciation for various styles of wine – from the cooler climates like the northeast to the sherries of Southern Spain. Growing up in Queens, his family often traveled east – to Long Island. Once he became interested in wine, the vineyards of Long Island were the first he visited. Since then, he has traveled to Spain, Italy and the Willamette Valley of Oregon. While he enjoys writing and tasting wines, his true passion is photography. He is never without his trusty Nikon, trying to capture the emotion of the moment. Some of the photography can be seen on his website – www.LipyanskiyPhoto.com.

He is passionate about the local culture and especially the farms, wineries and breweries of the northeast and hopes to bring that photographic passion to The Cork Report.

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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