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James Mantone of Syncline Winery has been named 2018 Winemaker of the Year in Seattle magazine’s 13th annual Washington State Wine Awards. The award is given annually to a winemaker who is known for the quality of his winemaking, contributions to the winemaking community, and for helping put Washington wines on the national stage. Syncline Winery in Lyle is one of the flagship wineries in the Gorge. It was launched in 1999 after Mantone spent six years working harvests in the Willamette Valley. Syncline’s direction focused on Rhône varieties such as Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, and Pinot Noir. Mantone said Syncline launched just as “many growers were becoming open-minded to trying new things” and moving “from conservative, commodity-style grape growing to adventurous attitudes.” Recent years have seen Mantone introduce a new sparkling-wine label—Scintillation. Seattle Magazine’s Washington Wine Awards program is produced and managed by Yashar Shayan. (Submitted photo)

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