By Lenn Thompson, Editor-in-Chief

WoTY Later today, I'm on the road again, driving up to Cayuga Lake, for the New York Cork Report's 2009 Wines of the Year tasting, which will commence tomorrow morning at Heart & Hands Wine Company in Union Springs. We have a nice group together for the tasting, including the four official judges (who will vote) who happen to also be the NYCR editors — Bryan Calandrelli, Evan Dawson, myself and Tom Mansell.

We'll be tasting 53 wines blind broken up into 19 total flights by category and region. All of New York's major wine regions are represented, including the Finger Lakes, Hudson River Region, Long Island and Niagara Escarpment. 

In the interest of full disclosure, Heart & Hands owners Tom and
Susan Higgins have been invited to join us in tasting the wines, but
they will be forced to leave the room when we are tasting the Finger
Lakes reds flight, which includes one of their wines.

During the regional flights, winners will be determined by simple majority (Finger Lakes contributor, Jason Feulner will break any ties). We'll then taste those winners against one another in a New York flight, after which a winner will only be determined by unanimous vote by the judges.

And, while we're not necessarily expecting to do so, we're leaving the door open to select a 2009 wine of the year if the judges — again unanimously — feel there is one.

That this tasting has come together is very exciting for me and I know that the other tasters are just as excited.

We will be announcing the winners on Monday morning, so keep an eye out for the announcements.

I don't want to say too much about it, but the NYCR Wines of the Year tasting isn't the only bit of excitement going on tomorrow. Evan, Tom and I have the opportunity to experience a true piece of Finger Lakes wine history tomorrow as well. Look for more on that next week too.