Valerie Kathawala Joins The Cork Report as a Correspondent-at-Large

We seem to be entering a new era in The Cork Report’s history and I couldn’t happier about it.

When I retired the New York Cork Report in late 2016, I wanted to get back to basics. I wanted to expand my coverage beyond New York, yes, but I wanted to get back to this being my blog (with Todd’s help of course). I felt like I wasn’t doing a very good job managing the team of writers over there and that they deserved better.

The Cork Report may have started off as just me and Todd, but it’s grown again. I’ve come to realize that the real value of this site and of everything I do related to wine is the community of interesting and interested wine lovers – writers or not – that has grown around it. This tribe is a loyal one and it’s a wonderful one.

Our newest contributor, Valerie Kathawala, and I found one another via Instagram. She’s given me some great restaurant and wine bar recommendations in New York City. We’ve even been in the same room at NY Drinks NY this year. But we haven’t met. I think that sums up how life today can be in the social media-driven world of wine.

Anyway, when she reached out to me earlier this week – via Instagram of course – with a story idea that she wanted to write for The Cork Report, I wasn’t going to say no. Valerie isn’t the kind of writer you pass on working with.

She’s based in New York City and brings a focus on the wines of Germany, Austria, and northern Italy and a particular interest in biodynamics to the Cork Report. How does that all fit together, you ask? By factoring in her fascination with riesling, blaufränkisch, teroldego, lagrein and zweigelt — established and increasingly important varieties for American cool-climate producers — and her sense that ever more East Coast growers are finding ways to farm holistically.

Valerie is also convinced that understanding the wines of your own extended backyard is as essential as studying the Old World regions you have crushes on.

Valerie’s recent work has been featured in the print journal Pipette as well as on WineFolly, The Vintner Project, and Grape Collective, where she is a regular contributor. She is WSET 3 certified, at work on WSG Italian Wine Scholar training, and has hands-on winemaking experience in various capacities in the Finger Lakes.

She lives with her husband and three children in Manhattan.

You can follow her explorations on Instagram @valkatnyc

Please join me in welcoming her to the team.

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