By Lenn Thompson, Editor-in-Chief
Each of these finalists was hand-picked by our regional editors from the hundreds of wines each has tasted throughout the year.
These finalists will be tasted blind by our editors, first within regional-style flights to determine regional Wines of the Year (by simple majority vote), and then against other regional winners for possible New York Wine of the Year status.
"New York Wine of the Year" will only be awarded if there is a unanimous choice.
Congratulations to each of our 2009 finalists:
Heart & Hands Wine Company 2007 Barrel Reserve Pinot Noir
Hermann J. Wiemer 2007 Reserve Cabernet Franc
Keuka Spring Vineyards 2007 Lemberger
Ravines Wine Cellars 2007 Cabernet Franc
Shalestone Vineyards 2007 Cabernet Franc
Lenz Winery 2002 Old Vines Merlot
Lieb Family Cellars 2004 Merlot Reserve
Raphael 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon
Roanoke Vineyards 2005 Merlot
Shinn Estate Vineyards 2007 Cabernet Franc
Wolffer Estate Vineyards 2005 Christian's Cuvee Merlot
Arrowhead Spring Vineyards Meritage Reserve 2007
Eveningside Vineyards Cabernet Franc 2007
Freedom Run Winery Estate Cabernet Franc 2007
Freedom Run Winery Estate Pinot Noir 2008
Leonard Oakes Estate Winery Meritage 2007
Channing Daughters Winery 2008 Ramato
Channing Daughters Winery 2007 Vino Bianco
Lenz Winery 2006 Gewurztraminer
Paumanok Vineyards 2008 Chenin Blanc
Raphael 2008 Naturale
Anthony Road Wine Company 2008 Semi-Dry Riesling
Billsboro Winery 2008 Riesling
Fox Run Vineyards 2008 Reserve Riesling
Hermann J. Wiemer 2007 HJW Vineyard Riesling
Ravines Wine Cellars 2008 Argetsinger Dry Riesling
Red Newt Cellars 2007 Curry Creek Vineyard Gewurztraminer
Arrowhead Spring Vineyards Chardonnay 2007
Eveningside Vineyards Unoaked Chardonnay 2008
Freedom Run Winery Chardonnay 2008
Freedom Run Winery Estate Riesling 2008
Leonard Oakes Estate Winery Chardonnay 2008
Sherwood House Vineyards 2004 Blanc de Blancs
Sparkling Pointe 2000 Brut Seduction
Dr. Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars 1999 Prestige Cuvee
Hermann J. Wiemer 2006 Cuvee Brut
Macari Vineyards 2005 Block E Sauvignon Blanc
Paumanok Vineyards 2008 Late Harvest Riesling
Anthony Road Wine Company 2008 Riesling Berry Selection
Hermann J. Wiemer 2007 Bunch Select Late Harvest Riesling
Leonard Oakes Estate Winery Vidal Ice Wine 2008
Schulze Vineyards & Winery Block Three Ice Wine 2008
You'll note that two regions, the Hudson River Region and Chautauqua-Lake Erie, aren't on this list. Chautauqua-Lake Erie will not be represented this year because we simply don't have enough experience with those wines to feel comfortable choosing finalists. We will be adding Hudson Valley wines — 3 whites and 3 reds — to the list later this week.
The blind tasting will take place on December 30 at Heart & Hands Wine Company in Union Springs, NY on Cayuga Lake, a central location for the editors to meet. Because Heart & Hands is also a finalist in the Finger Lakes – Red Wines category, owners Tom and Susan Higgins will not be permitted in the room during that flight.
The winners will be announced sometime during the first week of January, though they will likely leak out via Twitter not long after the tasting.
Look for a post tomorrow about our "2009 Readers Choice" award kick-off as well!
Note: There are 6 white wine finalists from the Finger Lakes and 6 red wine finalists from Long Island because the editors wanted to recognize an added wine. We also did not include any sparkling wine from the Niagara Escarpment region because there aren't enough producers.