Dinner and Wine Tasting at Holman Ranch


After our trip to Carmel by the Sea and the Hofsas House, we decided to take a trip up to Holman Ranch, a gorgeous estate in Carmel Valley. We first visited their tasting room, and were introduced to nine different wines. Yes, you read that right, nine different wines. So many!

Let me break down the tasting for you.

The first wine we tried was called the 2013 Estate Grown Virgin Chardonnay. It had a floral aroma and was citrus to the taste. Cost: $23 per bottle. 

The second wine we tried was The 2012 Estate Grown Chardonnay. It had a strong oaky smell and taste that was mixed with aromas of orchard fruit like apples and pears. The finish was crisp and light. Cost: $26 per bottle. 


The next wine was the 2013 Estate Grown Sauvignon Blanc. It had a subtle note of the musque clone and had a light citrus taste, mixed with a unmistakable minerality. Cost: $19 per bottle. 

The fourth wine was the 2013 Estate Grown Pinot Gris. This was a smooth and crisp wine with lovely aromas of ginger and honey. Cost: $17 per bottle. 

The 2014 Estate Grown .5 Degrees Brix was the next wine we tried.  I have to say that this wine was our favorite, by far. We ended up buying a few bottles to bring back home with us. It had lots of tropical fruit intensity and a beautifully pleasant citrus nose. Cost: $19 per bottle. 

The 2012 Estate Grown Kelly’s Press Pinot Noir was next on the list to try. It smelled of light fruity and earthy notes. It had a strong taste of red apple and a slight peppery taste. Cost: $26 per bottle. 

2012 Estate Grown HEather’s Hill Pinot Noir was next. This had strong notes of black pepper and black cherry, with a hint of black licorice at the finish. It was quite tasty! Cost $36 per bottle. 

The eighth wine we tried was  a simple 2011 Estate Grown Pinot Noir. Dried cherries and light oak waft from the glass, and it had a bright acid up front to the taste. It offered a creamy finish as well. Cost $34 per bottle.

And finally, the last wine we tried was the 2011 Estate Grown Hunter’s Cuvee Pinot Noir. It had a soft and creamy nose with hints of cherry licorice and eucalyptus. It had a very velvety texture and a warm spiced finish. Cost $41 per bottle. 


After trying all 9 wines, we decided to head to the room to get settled in.And to compose ourselves, for we were a bit tipsy after all of that wine!

The room was quaint and filled with rustic, western interior. We loved the theme!

After getting settled and freshened up, we took a tour of the grounds with the rest of the group of media that was there.


The game room was equipped with a pool table and nice furniture. Perfect for a guys get together before a wedding event. DSC_0291

We tried more wine on the tour, one of the chardonnay’s which was quite delicious. DSC_0294 DSC_0304 DSC_0318

The interior was filled with art and statues of horses and the like. DSC_0320 DSC_0321 DSC_0325 DSC_0345 DSC_0346

Next up was a trip to Will’s Fargo, the Holman Ranch restaurant, as well as a visit to the Jarman tasting room. Their Jarman wine is brand new and it is more of a premier wine.


We tried both the chardonnay and the pinot noir. I have to say, while both are delicious, the pinot is my favorite. DSC_0357The Jarman lounge is quaint and offers many seating arrangements. Great for a small party. 
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Next up was dinner. And I have to say I was extremely impressed by their spread of food. DSC_0384

First up was a bowl of classic french onion soup. It was creamy, and each spoonful had a strong taste, easy to consume.

We, of course, grabbed some Jarman wine, their pinot, to go along with our dinner. DSC_0386

A will’s relish tray was also served as an appetizer. Equipped with cucumbers, carrots and olives. Very refreshing.


Next was the entree. Which was a delicious combination of roasted free range chicken, potato au gratin and mixed greens. The potatoes were creamy, and cheesy. Delicious!

They also offered goat cheese ravioli, tomato, garlic, cream and Parmesan which also looked quite tasty. DSC_0390

And then, of course, you can’t forget dessert. We had a warm truffle chocolate cake with Holman ranch ice cream and caramel sauce. It went down smooth and was a nice finish to a large meal. DSC_0392

Before heading off in the morning, we decided to take a walk around the estate. The grounds are truly beautiful. DSC_0393 DSC_0397 DSC_0399 DSC_0401

The estate is 400 acres and includes a fully restored historic stone hacienda, overnight guest rooms, vineyards and wine caves, olive groves, horse stables, and two tasting rooms. It’s quite a large estate!
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There are many opportunities and locations to set up for a wedding or other large event. Quite picturesque. DSC_0407 DSC_0410 It was really fun to walk through the vineyards and see the large assortment of grape vines. DSC_0412 DSC_0413 DSC_0415 DSC_0417 DSC_0418 DSC_0420

After touring the estate and saying our goodbyes, we headed off to breakfast. They recommended that we try From Scratch, so off we went.
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I have to say, that hands down, the breakfast from From Scratch was my favorite of the entire trip. I got the biscuits and gravy (I know, I’m a bit obsessed with this dish). And chad got corn beef hash and potatoes and eggs. DSC_0426 DSC_0429 DSC_0430

(Caught Instagramming my breakfast. Haha)

This post has been brought to you by Holman Ranch. I truly recommend visiting their estate, or at least trying their wine. It’s quite good! You’re missing out if you pass this up.

More about Holman Ranch:

The story of Holman Ranch is truly unique; a special story about a wonderful place that began when California was still part of Mexico. Under the Crown of Spain, the ranch was part of the lands bestowed to the Mission San Carlos Borromeo del Rio Carmelo. When the Mexican government secularized the mission lands, one of the first ranchers in Carmel Valley, Don Jose Manuel Boronda, was granted the Los Laureles Rancho—6,625 acres that included what is now Holman Ranch. Their ranch passed through many hands until the Pacific Improvements Company acquired it in 1882.

In 1928, a San Francisco businessman, Gordon Armsby, was attracted to the rich farmland and leisurely pace of Carmel Valley, and purchased 600 acres in the Los Laureles area of the Valley, including what would be Holman Ranch.

Armsby hired Clarence Tantau (of Del Monte Hotel fame) to design the home that would reside on his new property. Tantau and Armsby chose a classic Spanish-style hacienda, which proffered impressive stone walls—all built from local Carmel stone. They installed handmade Mexican terracotta roofing and hand-carved oak-beamed ceilings. Nestled in a stand of mature oaks, nicknamed “Casa Escondida”, or “Hidden House”, the estate served as an exclusive hideaway for many Hollywood celebrities including Charlie Chaplin and Theda Bara.

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