PROSSER -- Mercer Estates is losing its winemaker.
David Forsyth, the Washington winemaking veteran, announced Tuesday that he will leave the 25,000-case winery in May.
Forsyth, who completed his 30th vintage last fall, was the longtime winemaker for Hogue Cellars in Prosser.
In 2001, the Hogue family sold the winery. Five years later, founder Mike Hogue teamed up with the Mercer family to launch Mercer Estates, and Forsyth joined the winery as head winemaker in 2007.
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He said he will focus on his own small family winery, for which he has three vintages of wine bottled. He also plans to be a consulting winemaker and perhaps do a bit of teaching.