By Lenn Thompson, Editor-in-Chief

Cork-map Six years ago today, I launched this website without any idea that it'd grow and evolve into what it is today.

What started as a way for me to share — with friends and family — what Nena and I were cooking at home and tasting in Long Island wine country has become a bit of an obsession for me and my merry band of fellow New York wine enthusiasts.

Six years. I think that puts me amongst the "old timers" of wine blogging but as I pause today to look back, I also want to announce a bit about the future of the site.

First, you may have noticed a few changes here on the site over the last week or so. You're not crazy and you're not in the wrong place. we've re-branded the site as the New York Cork Report with a new logo and color palette. This change has been a long time coming and I'm happy to have my first name out of the site's name. It's long overdue really.

I'd like to thank PJ Sedgwick, the designer behind the new logo who has dealt with my many whims and terrible art direction along the way. Inexplicably, she has agreed to join the team as our Creative Director too. She also fills our vegan quota at the one and only permitted on staff.

The new logo and face lift are just the first of many changes that are coming, though.

We've already expanded to cover wine (and beer) made throughout the state. This year, we hope to write even more about the lesser-known regions. Soon, we will so be adding information and stories about New York-made spirits to round out our beverage coverage.

I've also been speaking with several food writers about providing us with stories about those that grow, raise and make great food in New York. 

Adding new content is easy though compared to what we are doing in the background — a complete edesign of the site from the platform it sits on down to the design and interface. The list of features we're going to have ready at launch is fluid to say the least, but we are hoping to pull together:

  • Searchable Wine Review Database. Every New York wine reviewed over the last 6 years will be migrated into this and be easily searchable by region, type, variety, etc.
  • Comprehensive Winery Listings and Interactive Maps. Best of all, we think we can keep these up to date, unlike many that are already published out on the Internet.
  • User Ratings for Registered Users. Anyone who registers as a member of the site will be able to rate wines, tasting room experiences, etc.
  • Events Calendar. The hope is that individual wineries that sign up for access will be able t upload their own events for NYCR readers to see.
  • Tourism Information. Our editors and contributors will be tasked with finding the hotels, B&Bs, restaurants and retailers that support local wines the best. They will get the NYCR "seal of approval" and be listed on the site.
  • Vintage Charts. We've already started talking with veteran growers and winemakers (and tasting older wines when possible) to start building vintage charts for Long Island and the Finger Lakes regions. 
  • 100-point Rating Scale. We're moving away from the 5-star system we employ now and will move to the 100-point scale. Despite its inherent shortcomings, it can be a valuable tool for consumers, so we're going to try it.

Is there something you want to see us do more or less of? We want this site to be better for you, our readers, so let us know in the comments.

In the meantime, thank you to all those who have read and contributed to the site over these 6 years. It's been a lot of fun and it's going to be even more fun going forward.