Lane Tanner

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Lane Tanner is an American winemaker and consultant. She was the second woman winemaker in Santa Barbara County when she started working in the industry in 1981.[1] She goes by the nickname "Pinot Czarina."[2]

Personal life and education[edit]

Tanner grew up in Kelseyville, California. She graduated from San Jose State University with a degree in chemistry in 1976.[3] After graduating, she started working in the air pollution industry. One winter she worked in Glendive, Montana. After Glendive, she quit her job and moved back to Kelseyville.[4] Tanner was married to the owner of The Hitching Post.[2] Tanner is now married to winemaker Ariki Hill.[5]


In 1980, Tanner started working as on the bottling department, putting wine labels on bottles, at Konocti Winery in Kelseyville.[2][3][4] When the winery learned that she had studied chemistry she became a lab technician.[2] She worked there for one year and worked with Andre Tchelistcheff. She was suggested by Tchelistcheff for a job at Firestone Winery. She joined Firestone in 1981 as a winemaker.[5] At Firestone she was able to improve her skills at wine tasting and in 1984 she started her on consulting firm. Her first client was making wine for The Hitching Post.[3] She was one of the first winemakers to use Pinot grapes from Bien Nacido Vineyard.[5] In late 2010 she retired from the wine industry.[1] In 2012, Tanner was named winemaker for Sierra Madre Vineyard.[4][6] At Sierra Madre, she makes Pinot noir, Chardonnay and Pinot blanc wines.[4]

Lane Tanner Winery[edit]

Tanner started her own winery in 1989, Lane Tanner Winery.[3][5] The label became the first in the Central Coast region to devote itself to Pinot noir.[1] The winery is located in the Santa Maria Valley AVA and the first wine was a 1989 vintage.[3][5] The label made approximately 1,800 cases a year and specialized in Pinot noir. They also made Syrah. The Pinot noir grapes came from three vineyards in Santa Barbara County: Julia's Vineyard, Bien Nacido Vineyard, and Melville Vineyard. The Syrah grapes came from French Camp Vineyard which is located in San Luis Obispo County.[3] Tanner's wines aim to stay low in alcohol content and sulfites.[2][5] The latter is because Tanner is allergic to them.[5] The Pinot was fermented for over two weeks with yeast. It was then aged for eleven months in 46 percent French oak barrels.[5] The last vintage was in 2009.[4] The back of her Pinot bottles had the motto: "laugh more- flirt often," written on them.[7]


  1. ^ a b c Hardesty, Kathy (February 2011). "Lane Tanner Pinot noir -- a 30-year history". Santa Maria Sun. Retrieved 11 December 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Gaffney, Rusty. "Lane Tanner Winery". PinotFile. The Prince of Pinot. Retrieved 11 December 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Lane Tanner". People and Institutions. Calwineries. Retrieved 11 December 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Gilbert, Lucia and John. "Lane Tanner". Winemakers. Women Winemakers of California. Retrieved 11 December 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Gaffney, Rusty. "Lane Tanner’s Enticing Pinots". PinotFile. The Prince of Pinot. Retrieved 11 December 2012. 
  6. ^ "Sierra Madre Vineyard Hires Lane Tanner as Winemaker". People News. Wine Business. Retrieved 11 December 2012. 
  7. ^ Virbila, S. Irene. "2006 Lane Tanner Pinot noir". Wine of the Week. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 11 December 2012. 

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