As I’ve worked to expand this site’s geographic footprint – adding states like Michigan and Idaho and Colorado of late – it’s become clear that even if I continue to taste the wines and remain the site’s chief wine critic I still need people living in these regions to write about them and cover them in a more comprehensive fashion. It’s important to have people who can actually accept some of the invitations I get to tastings and other events of interest. People who are experiencing the same weather that the vines in the ground are. People who can build face-to-face relationships.

The wines I’ve been tasting from Michigan have been up-and-down, but there is without a doubt some great wine being made there. I want to learn more. I want to taste more.

And today I’m happy to report that we’ve found the right woman for the job of Michigan correspondent – my friend Gina Shay.

Gina is a certified sommelier and Certified Specialist of Wine with 17 years of experience working with wineries in cooler- and cold-climate regions, first as a supplier of corks and other top-of-the-bottle packaging; then with Petraea Plus, the first cool climate-dedicated barrel company in the U.S.; and now with Tonnellerie CADUS as Business Development Manager for the eastern U.S., Midwest U.S. and Canada.

She has served since 2016 on the board of the Michigan Wine Collaborative on several committees and as the chair of the Membership/Communications committee, helping to grow awareness of Michigan wines throughout the state and across the nation. She lives in metro Detroit with her husband and two children.

She and her husband also have a house on Seneca Lake that I’m hoping to convince her we should have a team meeting at soon.

Please join me in welcoming Gina to the team. And don’t worry – she knows what she’s getting into.

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 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 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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