Santa Barbara County region
A match made in the stars, co-owners and winemakers Lane Tanner and Will Henry craft stellar cool-climate wines from the best sustainable vineyards in Santa Barbara County.
Will Henry and Lane Tanner share a common vision: to make wines from the best cool-climate vineyards in Santa Barbara County, and to follow a regimen consistent with California's early days of hands-on, honest winemaking. The duo (no, they aren't married) teamed up in 2012 when they realized they had a distinct advantage working together - Lane Tanner was the first independent female winemaker in Santa Barbara County with a reputation for crafting world-class Old World style wines, while Will Henry was born into a family of wine and grew up in the sales and marketing side of the business. The stars certainly aligned bringing these two together and the product, Lumen Wines, is a brilliant new addition to California's Central Coast.
Lane Tanner grew up in Kelseyville, California and got her start in the wine industry working as an enologist under the legendary Andre Tchelistcheff at Konocti Winery. She then worked for Firestone Winery, where she became the first independent female winemaker in Santa Barbara County, and later made wine for Zaca Mesa and the Hitching Post. Tanner also ran her own label, Lane Tanner Wines, from 1989 through 2009, becoming the first female winemaker to dedicate her entire winery to Pinot Noir. Since the beginning, even when bolder, riper, higher-alcohol wines were all the rage, Lane Tanner held fast to her winemaking philosophy, crafting wines that were more subtle, complex and Old World in style, and built for aging gracefully. Her strategy paid off, as she now possesses a legendary reputation as a world-class, award-winning winemaker with experience dating back over 40 years.
Will Henry entered the wine business shortly after college in 1989 and first worked at Leeuwin Estate Winery in Western Australia. He then joined his family's wine distribution company, The Henry Wine Group, where he became engrossed in wine sales and marketing for the following twenty years. We should also mention that Henry and his wife own Pico Restaurant in Los Alamos, which is twice a winner of The Wine Enthusiast's Top 100 Wine Restaurants - an incredibly impressive feat!
These two wine industry veterans couldn't be better complements to one another, and it's no wonder Lumen Wines has already established an illustrious reputation on California's Central Coast.
Tanner and Henry had crossed paths several times over the years, but things finally fell into place after Tanner retired and folded her namesake winery brand. As a couple years went by, she realized she missed making wine, but didn't miss the other parts of the winery business like sales and marketing. That's where Henry stepped in - plus he wanted to learn Old World Pinot Noir winemaking techniques from the master herself. They teamed up, and the first vintage of Lumen Wines came about in 2012.
The winery's name was inspired by a very old quote by Galileo, "Wine is sunlight held together by water." Lumen means "light" in Latin.
Lumen Wines focuses on cool-climate Pinot Noir, sourced from some of the top vineyard sites in Santa Barbara County (many of which Tanner has worked with for years). The duo also recently planted a small 5-acre estate vineyard in the Solomon Hills, nestled on the western side of the Santa Maria Valley AVA. Named The Warner Henry Vineyard after Henry's late father, the special property is surrounded on all four sides by premium vineyards (including Presqu'ile, a personal favorite of Tanner and Henry's). The new vineyard, planted exclusively to Pinot Noir, should offer excellent fruit within a few years.
As Lumen Wines celebrates its 10th year, Will Henry and Lane Tanner feel blessed and excited. They are embarking on a successful venture that certainly seems destined for even more greatness in the future. We are pleased to share one of Lumen's star-studded achievements with our Pinot Noir Wine Club members. Cheers!