By Lenn Thompson, Executive Editor

LFE2I think I can speak for my fellow editors and contributors when I say that our 2011 Wines of the Year tasting was a fun, challenging and inspiring day of 16 wine tasting flights.

I always come away with myriad story ideas swirling in my head after this tasting. This year is no different. Look for pieces from the team over the next few weeks.

But today, we announce the winners — including our first-ever New York Wine of the Year, Peconic Bay Winery 2007 Lowerre Family Estate.

Our 2011 Regional Wines of the Year are:

White Wines

Hudson Valley White Wine: Oak Summit Vineyard 2010 Chardonnay
Finger Lakes White Wine: Hermann J. Wiemer 2010 Riesling Dry Reserve
Long Island White Wine: Paumanok Vineyards 2010 Sauvignon Blanc
Niagara White: Eveningside Vineyards 2010 Reserve Chardonnay

Sparkling Wines

Finger Lakes Sparkling: Chateau Frank 2006 Blanc de Noir
Long Island Sparkling: Lenz Winery 2005 Cuvee

Red Wines

Hudson Valley Red: Tousey Winery 2010 Cabernet Franc
Niagara Red: Arrowhead Spring Vineyards 2010 Pinot Noir
Finger Lakes Red: Billsboro Winery 2010 Syrah
Long Island Merlot: Paumanok Vineyards 2007 Merlot
Long Island Other Red: Peconic Bay Winery 2007 Lowerre Family Estate

Dessert Wines

Finger Lakes Dessert Wine: Atwater Estate Vineyards 2010 Celsius
Long Island Dessert Wine: Wolffer Estate 2009 Laica

After we tasted each of these flights, the style winners were re-poured and tasted together to choose state-wide winners — but only if the voting wine editors were unanimous. That happened twice this year:

New York Sparkling Wine of the Year: Chateau Frank 2006 Blanc de Noir
New York Red Wine of the Year: Peconic Bay Winery 2007 Lowerre Family Estate

Then, after a lengthy discussion, we decided unanimously that the Peconic Bay Winery 2007 Lowerre Family Estate was deserving of being named the 2011 New York Cork Report Wine of the Year. We’ll have a post later this week about the discussion and why we chose this year and this wine.

Congratulations to all of the winners — and keep an eye on the site for most post-tasting coverage.