A few weeks ago I received an invitation for a one-night stay, property tour, dinner and wine tasting at Holman Ranch in Monterey County. There were about 15 people attending the event – other bloggers, journalists and travel writers. In exchange for our stay, we were asked to write and photograph our experience and share it with our readers. Here you go – I hope you enjoy it!
Holman Ranch is located in Carmel Valley, about a two and a half hour drive from San Francisco. Not to be confused with it's tempermental neighbor; Carmel-by-the-Sea where the weather is typically overcast and the climate cooler. Carmel Valley has on average 300 days of sunshine per year.
Located 12 miles inland from the coast, and nestled among the Santa Lucia mountains, this region is prime for grape growing, mostly Pinot Noir.
The ranch produces many other varietals on approximately 19 acres. All wines produced by Holman Ranch are 'Estate' meaning they are made strictly from grapes grown on the property. The wines we sampled were all excellent, but the Pinot Noir was exceptional. I purchased several bottles as well as the Pinot Noir Rose which I can't wait to try!
In addition to Holman Ranch, there are several other tasting rooms all located next door to one other along the main street in town (separate from the vineyard and ranch). Monterey County was named a “Top 10 Wine Destination” for 2013 by Wine Enthusiast magazine.
The property was purchased by it's current owners — the Lowder family– in 2006. A complete renovation, refurbishment and landscaping overhaul is now complete. It is one of the most breathtakingly beautiful places I have ever seen.
There are 10 cabins like the one I stayed in (above and below) on the property that each sleep up to four people. There is one larger cabin with a full kitchen that can sleep up to six. When an event is booked at Holman Ranch, the entire property — all 11 cabins, hacienda, game room and grounds — are reserved exclusively for your group.
This is the larger cabin below.
The landscaping is informal and cared for impeccably. For example, the lawn is the same grass variety as the PGA uses and a special lawn mower was purchased to keep it at 1/4".
At the end of the lawn is an overlook where wedding ceremonies take place. It is just about the most romantic place I could imagine getting married.
Wedding receptions are held just a few steps from the lawn in this gorgeous courtyard. This converted carriage house is now a deluxe game room with a full bar set-up, comfortable furniture, billiards, and other activites.
After dinner, the barn is ready for dancing all night.
In every direction there was something beautiful to look at.
Surrounded by gardens.
Inside this hacienda is a conference space, a chapel and grand living room with stone fireplace.
To contact Holman Ranch, click here.
Thank you to gracious hosts Hunter and Nick!