"Steve and Carol Girard have been owners of Benton-Lane since 1988. Carol and Steve shared a passionate desire to produce great Pinot Noir but decided their native California was probably not the best place in which to make it. Instead, they headed to Oregon where the cooler climate offered the possibility of producing Pinot Noir with better balance and structure.
After countless months of looking at possible properties, Carol and Steve discovered an old sheep ranch called "Sunnymount" in the southern Willamette Valley. It was immediately apparent Sunnymount held great potential as a vineyard site. The property is in the foothills of the costal mountain range on the west side of the valley with hillsides sloping east by southeast, a perfect orientation for planting Pinot Noir.
Sunnymount straddled the border between Benton and Lane counties with some of the land being in each, and so the name Benton-Lane was born. Carol and Steve purchased the property in 1988 and planting of Pinot Noir commenced in 1989. Benton-Lane’s first vintage was 1992 which was custom produced at another local winery. This process continued until 1997 when the Benton-Lane winery was constructed.
Benton-Lane produced Pinot Noir exclusively until 2003. In 2004, the winery began full-scale commercial production of Pinot Gris from grapes purchased from carefully selected Willamette Valley growers." - Winery Notes
Benton Lane Pinot Noir 2014 Tasting Notes
"Balance is when all the components in a wine are in harmony. If your palate can isolate the flavors of the wine then they haven’t fully fused. But when this happens, when all the pieces come together, then the wine is one and is pure heaven. The 2014 Estate Pinot Noir is there. The aromatics are smoky cedar and floral notes. They are delicate and not over powering. The perfect balance of this wine is apparent immediately. No one component stands out. There is rich, black cherry flavors, candied fruit sweetness, a slight hint of black licorice, and rose petals. The wine is amazing in its balance. You really have to taste it to get it." - Winery Notes