ABOUT US | WINEMAKER TOM LANE
"Enjoying a great bottle of wine among friends, over good conversation and laughter is the essence of what makes winemaking rewarding."
Great sensory abilities and highly developed winemaking skills are the hallmarks of a distinguished winemaker - add in an unrelenting dedication to quality, enthusiasm and sense of adventure, and you have Tom Lane, the Director of Winemaking at Bianchi Vineyards. To Tom, crafting a bottle of wine is a holistic journey that begins in the vineyards, carefully progresses through the winery and triumphantly culminates in the glass. Tom believes that "Enjoying a great bottle of wine among friends, over good conversation and laughter is the essence of what makes winemaking rewarding."
Originally from Pleasanton, California, Tom credits his early affinity for winemaking to playing in abandoned wineries when he was a child and later helping local home winemakers with their Zinfandel harvests. It would be many years later that Tom would be able to make his passion for winemaking his career.
Tom's remarkable educational background spans more than 10 years and includes Bachelors degrees in Biology and Chemistry from Chico State University, a Master's degree in Biology (Plant Taxonomy) from Kansas State University, and further graduate studies in Botany at Ohio State University. His adoration for plants and wine eventually led him to the graduate program at U.C. Davis where he studied winemaking/Enology, concentrating his studies on the differences in aroma compounds among 20 clones of Pinot Noir.
Tom began his professional winemaking career at Navarro Vineyards in 1985, where he was responsible for winemaking and enjoyed producing fine Alsatian and Bordelaise-style wines. In 1992, he joined Concannon Vineyard, taking on winemaking and managerial duties. While at Concannon, Tom helped the winery earn hundreds of accolades, including Wine and Spirits Magazine Winery of the Year in 1995 and 1997. Through his 25 years of winemaking, Tom himself has earned several prestigious accolades including a Dan Berger Winemaker of the Year, 1997 and Jerry Mead's Winemaker of the Year in 1996.
No stranger to Paso Robles fruit, Tom appreciates the opportunity to work with the Winery's Estate Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. Utilizing Bianchi's modern winery facility featuring the latest equipment and a high quality barrel program, Tom feels he can reach Bianchi's goal to make the highest quality wines. Tom experiments with different vineyards, harvest times, yeast strains, fermentation and aging regimes, as well as spicy barrel types to produce the excellent, complex and layered wines for which he strives. "The finished wine is an amalgam, a synergy of layers and flavors, a blended whole which is more than the sum of its parts." Tom states, "You can't entirely predict what the wine will be like once until it's blended, that keeps winemaking interesting."
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