Lane Tanner is a Lake County native, and grew up in the town of Kelseyville. In 1976, she graduated from San Jose St. University with a degree in Chemistry. Tanner did not immediately enter the wine industry, but after returning to Kelseyville in 1980, she was hired by Konocti Winery to do lab work.
Though she only stayed at Konocti Winery for a year, Lane Tanner made an immensely important contact when she worked under consulting enologist Andre Tchelistcheff. Tchelistcheff clearly saw talent in the young lab technician because he recommended her for a job at Firestone Winery in Santa Ynez Valley.
Tchelistcheff also consulted for Firestone, so Lane Tanner continued to benefit from his expertise. She honed her palate and skills to the point that she was confident enough to start her own winemaking/consulting company in 1984. She took on Hitching Post (of Sideways fame) as her first client, and made wine for the restaurant’s label.
In 1989, she established Lane Tanner Winery which is based in the Santa Maria Valley wine region in the northern part of Santa Barbara County. She currently produces 1,800 cases of wine a year, most of it Pinot Noir, but also a bit of Syrah.
Lane Tanner vinifies grapes from some of Santa Barbara County’s most well-known and respected vineyards. Her Pinot Noir comes from Bien Nacido Vineyard, Julia’s Vineyard, and Melville Vineyard. She purchases Syrah from French Camp Vineyard in San Luis Obispo County.