Today we’re pleased to announce that Kevin Welch has agreed to join the New York Cork Report team, focusing primarily on our Finger Lakes section. I’ve known Kevin for several years — mostly via Twitter and Facebook, but we have met in person as well — and have always admired his passion for and knowledge of Finger Lakes wines.

Kevin grew up in Rochester, NY and his interest in wine started 15 years ago as he bartended his way through Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in upstate New York at various bars, pubs, night clubs and even a yacht club. When he graduated however it was time to move on and start a career where he could apply that college degree and more importantly start paying it back. Luckily for him, the road he started upon, working at an international logistics company, included the opportunity to travel the world and with it the chance to eat and drink along the way.

Just a couple of years out of college Kevin had the opportunity to live abroad in Switzerland, just over the border from Alsace in France and a short drive to the Rheingau in Germany. After a number of weekend adventures in France and Germany he quickly began to appreciate many more dimensions of wine such as the history, the locations, and the people.

Once he returned to the U.S. he began exploring the Finger Lakes region of New York State on visits to the area and through its wine, diligently searching for what he had found abroad. The similarities to the regions in Europe he had traveled were striking and the level of recognition the Finger Lakes garnered, although growing, seemed to only scratch the surface and point to an extremely bright future.

Kevin jumped on a recent opportunity to relocate back to Rochester and return to where he grew up close to friends and family and a short drive to the Finger Lakes. Last year when it came time to get married a vineyard on Seneca Lake was a perfect fit. Kevin has enjoyed his time in the Finger Lakes and hopes to spend even more in the region and further grow his experiences, knowledge and friendships.

Please join me in welcoming Kevin to the team. In addition to helping Evan cover the Finger Lakes beat, he’ll also be working on various projects related to the website itself.