One of the most interesting wineries in Carmel Valley is Holman Ranch. Not only is Holman’s tasting patio an upbeat place to visit, but right next door is also a newly vamped-up dining spot called the Holman Ranch Tavern (formerly Will’s Fargo Restaurant).
This very tavern is where we stopped for lunch one day and ordered a bottle of Holman’s 2016 .5 Degrees Brix ($22). Packed with tropical aromas and flavors—melon, banana and papaya—this versatile straw-yellow wine also comes with a burst of fresh spring honey, lemon and apple—adding an abundance of appeal. Made from the citrusy Pinot Gris grape harvested in Carmel Valley, this delicious white wine goes well with pasta, meats such as turkey and chicken, and some fish. Our Cheese Board for Two ($14) and Trio of Salads ($14) paired beautifully with the Brix. For lovers of a lighter wine, this lively Brix is the answer.
Holman Ranch Tavern offers Plates to Share & Pair, which come with their own wines as well as some of their Carmel Valley neighbors’ wines, such as Bernardus, Morgan, Chesebro, as well as Jarman, which is another label of Holman’s. Beers are served up, too. A plate of Medjool dates stuffed with blue cheese and wrapped in bacon ($9) comes with the suggested pairing flight of Mad Otter Ale ($8).
In a nutshell, the Tavern is a nifty little spot for light dining and trying out a variety of wines and ales along with some tasty bites.
Holman Ranch Tasting Patio & Wine Shop, 18 W. Carmel Valley Road, Carmel Valley, 659-2640. Holman Ranch Tavern, 16 W. Carmel Valley Road, Carmel Valley, 650-659-2774.
Bruzzone Family Vineyards
Berna and John Bruzzone recently announced that they have closed their Bruzzone Family Vineyards tasting room to the public. They will continue to farm their beautiful vineyards in the Santa Cruz Mountains but will sell their grapes to other wineries in California rather than making their own wine. As of writing this, they have cases of wine on sale, so contact them if you’re interested. Call 332-0909 or email [email protected] .