Evan chatting with one of his book's subjects, Red Newt's Dave Whiting

By Evan Dawson, Finger Lakes Editor
Photos by Morgan Dawson Photography

It still needs a title, but the hardest part is now over.

My posts for the Cork Report have been a bit less frequent than I'd prefer over the past month, and I wanted to explain why that is. I've been in the final stages of writing a book and it has monopolized my time. My publisher set a manuscript deadline of March 15.

I'll submit it several days before that date. 

On Saturday I wrote the final words. This week I'm making final edits. Soon I'll be liberated, able to concentrate more time on the Cork Report, and we have big plans.

For those who are not aware of the book, it's not exactly a wine book. I wrote the book to tell the story of Finger Lakes winemakers who have come from around the world — and around the state, and country — to make a life here. Why the Finger Lakes? Why not Germany, or Tuscany, or Provence, or Australia, or Napa? What events in their lives pushed them in this direction? How have they overcome tragedy and adversity? 

Most importantly, how do their stories weave together to foreshadow the future of this wine region?

The cynical take on blogs and non-mainstream wine writing is that no one takes time to research anymore; no one travels and interviews and listens. No one investigates. I've tried to blow up those notions, and it's taken almost two years to create this book. Countless people have allowed me inside their homes and invited me to witness watershed moments in their lives. I am grateful. 

This will not be a wine guide. I would love to tell the story of every person in this fascinating industry, but of course that's not possible. Instead, I looked for common themes and compelling backgrounds.

In the months to come we'll attempt not to deluge our readers with book news. However, we're going to have fun with it. Pre-ordering will commence later this year, with a tentative release set for roughly one year from now. The publisher, the great folks at Sterling, will carve it up in editing — probably reduce me to tears while I beg futilely, "Don't cut that!" — and they'll decide on a title and cover art. 

We've already shot video for a book trailer. Yes, we're going to create a trailer for the book much like you would see for a movie. Check out the photo of Fred and Maressa Merwarth of Hermann J. Wiemer, taken by my wife on the day we shot part of the trailer. 

We'll also be creating a book website that will offer all kinds of details. 

This isn't an acknowledgements page, so I'll stop now, but thanks for your patience and thanks to Lenn and the NYCR staff for their support with the book.

Oh, and there's still time: Do you like the proposed title? Current iteration is "The Fingerprints of Wine: Journeys With the World's Next Great Winemakers." Thoughts?