Editor’s Note: I’ve been writing a biweekly column for northforker.com since November 2014, but this is my first piece after taking over the wine column space in the print editions of The Suffolk Times and Riverhead News-Review from long-time wine columnist Louisa Hargrave. I’ll be publishing an excerpt of each column here on NYCR and linking over to the full piece.

How do you replace a pioneer — an icon, really — who was literally there when a wine industry was born? You don’t because you can’t. I can never fill Louisa Hargrave’s shoes, but I do hope to fill her old column space with stories that will inform, inspire and celebrate.

Everyone on the East End knows Louisa — or at least knows of her and how she and her then-husband, Alex, created the region’s first winery.

I’m the new guy, so many of you don’t know anything about me, other than I apparently have something to say about wine. And I do. Plenty.

I’m not directly involved in the wine industry in any way, but I’ve been writing about Long Island wine almost as long as I’ve lived here, which is just under 15 years. I started a wine blog, which is now called the New York Cork Report (newyorkcorkreport.com) 13 years ago and have contributed stories to several local publications, as well as to BevMedia, Vineyard & Winery Management and Wine Enthusiast.

In part, wine writing is a hobby of mine — I have a day job in online community management and marketing — but I also take it quite seriously. My integrity is of the utmost importance to me, which is why I’m thrilled to be writing this column for one of the few possible places where I won’t be forced to write (or not write) about something because of advertising or other business concerns.

Read the entire column on northforker.com