On a wine-tasting trip to Carmel Valley, we stopped at the Holman Ranch tasting room and sampled some beautiful wines, including their estate-grown 2012 Pinot Noir.

Fruit-forward with soft tannins, this everyday wine pairs nicely with pork, veal or chicken. A warm layer of characteristic earthiness rounds out this well-made Pinot ($26), which is abundant with aromas of strawberries and cherries. Flexible and easy-drinking, this wine paired nicely with some turkey breast and potatoes I sautéed in olive oil and served with a simple spinach salad.

Tucked away in the beautiful hills of Carmel Valley, the 400-acre Holman Ranch, established in 1928, is a stunning spread of property. It is home to stables, horse trails, a historic hacienda, olive groves, and perfectly tended vineyards. Weddings, retreats, private parties, and corporate and wine events are held in this bucolic setting. And this is where longtime winemaker Greg Vita ages Holman’s wines in “The Caves,” a 3,000-square-foot underground facility which is kept at a constant temperature of 58 degrees Fahrenheit. The Caves contain four 750-gallon tanks, four 1,200-gallon tanks, and four open-top tanks that hold up to two tons each. Vita also maintains 100 French oak barrels year-round.

On a recent tour of Holman Ranch, I noticed some impressive old photos of movie stars—Charlie Chaplin, Theda Bara and others—who favored this amazing place as a regular retreat.

Two levels of wine club membership are available, but the perks of joining the Grand Estate Club include a complimentary two-night stay on the property in one of Holman Ranch’s hospitality cottages, as well as two free tickets to the annual Fiesta de los Amigos in September, which is also a benefit for the Alzheimer’s Association.

Holman Ranch Tasting Room, 19 E. Carmel Valley Road, Suite C, Carmel Valley, 659-2640. holmanranch.com.


Step Into Fashion

This California designers’ sale comes with a boxed lunch ($15) or without ($10), and wine will be available for purchase. The event comprises 30 designers selling clothing, handbags, accessories, jewelry, and more at affordable prices. Proceeds benefit the Palo Alto Medical Foundation’s Cancer Care and Survivorship programs. The event is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 2 at the Elks Lodge, 150 Jewell St., Santa Cruz. For tickets contact Sigfrid at PAMF by March 23, 458-6391.

To Top