Holman Ranch Wines, Vineyard, Wedding and Event Venue in Carmel Valley, CA . . .
60 Holman Rd, Carmel Valley, CA 93924 (Ranch)
19 E. Carmel Valley Road, Suite C, Carmel Valley, CA 93924 (Tasting Room)
Holman Ranch has a long and rich history of wine making and entertaining, even having guests such as Charlie Chaplin as regulars. These days, the family-owned and operated 400-acre property continues to be a place for making new memories. A few weeks ago, I received an invitation to visit this local winery in Carmel, CA with one guest.
When telling one of my sisters about it, she said, “But you don’t like wine. I like wine . . .” So, it was decided that my sister would join me on a mini ‘girls getaway’ down the coast. After a smooth drive, we arrived at the Holman Ranch Tasting room on Carmel Valley Road. Apparently, Monterey county does not allow for the tasting to be done at the winery itself. After having some wine and olive oil samples, both made on-site, we got back into the car and make our way up to the ranch.
The Hacienda (main building) was built in 1929 but much of it had gone into disrepair. Aside from the original tile floors and the wooden beams overhead, everything else was built about seven years ago. You wouldn’t know it by the old world feel and fine detailing in items such as wood carvings and similarly-themed furniture.
The gorgeous landscaping and careful placement of decorative items throughout the establishment made every corner picture perfect. It took me forever to sort through all the photos I took and even longer to narrow it down to the few you see in this post! Plus, it was so tranquil and relaxing.
Hummingbirds would often stop at the garden’s fountain for a drink and sometimes a rest. Audible buzzing could be heard as you walked by the lavender bushes, full of busy honey and bumble bees. You could even get an unobstructed view of the Santa Lucia Mountains while enjoying the breeze with a glass of wine in hand (in my case, water).
Three things make Holman Ranch unique from other wineries:
- All grapes used for wine production are grown in the Holman Ranch vineyard.
- Events of all sorts and sizes can be accommodated and are welcome.
- Outside catering is permitted.
Holman Ranch specializes in Pinot Noir and strives for a flavor closer to that of French wines, avoiding the buttery flavor of other California varieties. Fruits are picked a bit early to give a more robust, ‘earthy’ flavor. However, the family “mess with” the wines as little as possible. Rosé of Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay are also produced here. According to my sister, the wines were smooth and dry with no aftertaste. She also mentioned that they tasted nice on their own but complimented the dinner we had just as well.
I found it particularly interesting that Holman Ranch is not ‘organic’ but is working to get its Sustainability Certification, which is much more involved. The family is dedicated to caring for their vineyards in the best ways possible for both the health of the plants and the environment. No herbicides or pesticides are used on their fruit.
The next day we also got to tour the wine cave. This was where all the processing, aging, bottling, and labeling happens. Very different methods are used depending on the type of wine being made. What is the same is that grapevines are not made to produce at 100%, making less supply but providing richer flavors.
Having an Indian wedding that requires a groom to ride in on a horse? Want rose petals sprinkled down the aisle? Looking for a simple micro-wedding or 2-person wedding? Envisioning dirt pathways and an open dance floor lined with twinkle lights? Want to cut costs with a mid-week ceremony? Holman Ranch endeavors to accommodate most requests and budgets. Packages can start as low as $1000, just call to work something out. If you have an endless budget for glam, glitter, and utter extravagance? I’m sure that would somehow be doable as well.
You’ll also notice the meticulously manicured lawn in the main garden, resembling a golf green. They use the same durable grass to withstand heavy foot traffic for outside weddings and keep it at a consistent 1/4-inch length. They do hold about 60 wedding a year . . .
As only one event is booked at any one time, any affair you have will be private and intimate. All event areas of the ranch were designed for specific purposes and you’ll have access to all of that for whatever you’re planning.
Unlike many other venues, Holman Ranch does allow outside caterers and vendors to be brought in. What a wonderful way to personalize an event even more! By the way, for our hosted dinner, Michael’s Catering was used and the food was DELICIOUS! The dessert with fresh fruit, whipped cream, and lemon curd was amazing and I had no shame in getting seconds!
Several guest rooms are available but only in connection with booked events, such as corporate retreats, family reunions, etc. The decor was welcoming, the two sinks were awesome, and all essentials were provided.
Unfortunately, we found the beds very uncomfortable. The queen bed I used was as hard as a rock and I got hardly any sleep that night. As for my sister, she volunteered to use the queen-sized sofa bed. She said she could pretty much feel every spring. After she figured which springs to sleep on, she was able to get a decent rest. Replacing these would make the stay near flawless! Guests can also use the game room, workout room, and small pool.
It was truly a pleasure to visit Holman Ranch. If you’re looking for a fresh new wine to taste or somewhere to hold your next big event, be sure to look this Carmel Valley gem up! Oh, and don’t forget to visit the boarded horses at the stables for a few photo ops!