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Discover the Wines of Holman Ranch


Six wines from Carmel Valley, California.

Holman Ranch is located in the Carmel Valley, California. It was originally part of Mexico and the land was bestowed to the Mission San Carlos Borromeo del Rio Carmelo during the Spanish era. One of the first ranches was the Los Laureles Rancho that included property which today is Holman Ranch. In the 1920's the Ranch served as a retreat for Hollywood celebrities; including Charlie Chaplin and Theda Bara. By the 1940's Holman Ranch became one of the first resorts in the Carmel Valley and host to another generation of Hollywood celebrities. Some of the famous actors you would have seen included: Clark Gable, Vincent Price, Joan Crawford and Marlon Brando.

In 1989 estate vineyards were planted on the property. In 2006 the property was purchased by Thomas and Jarman Lowder. They refurbished and updated the Ranch, fulfilling their dream of making estate grown and bottled wines and olive oil.

The 400 acre property at Holman Ranch has become a venue for weddings, special events and corporate retreats. And they have 19 acres of estate vineyards. Varietals grown on property include: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc. As I discovered, the wines they produce are unfined to express true varietal characteristics (don't worry if you notice some settling or crystallization in bottle if you refrigerate the white wines).

Before agreeing to review their wines, I visited Yelp to read the reviews of their facility and their wines. They rated 5 STARS. Customer feedback was strong and positive. The facility and property are unanimously rated as “gorgeous” and “peaceful” and “out of the way.” Service was also unanimously reported as “exceptional” and “professional.” The glowing customer comments about Holman Ranch and their wines was all the motivation I needed.

It was my pleasure to enjoy six bottles of Holman Ranch Estate wines. Reviews follow.
  • Holman Ranch Vineyards 2011 Estate Pinot Gris Carmel Valley
Color: Straw with green tint.
Nose: Grassy, mineral, green apple, oregano.
Palate: Bright, grassy, granny smith apple tart with pear, creamy finish.
Day Three: The wine remained extremely crisp with a lot of minerality and tartness on the finish. Reminded me of a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. A huge amount of life in this wine. Suggested pairing: This wine would be fantastic with raw oysters, sashimi, tuna and halibut. Recommended.

ABV 12.5%
Closure: Natural Cork
SRP: $20
Sample provided by the winery
  • Holman Ranch Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Color: Straw
Nose: Toasty, fig, tangerine skin.
Palate: bright, grapefruit peel, with lemon zest on the finish.
A zesty wine, suitable for sushi, sashimi, shrimp cocktail, and grilled chicken kabobs.
Day two notes.
Nose: Grassy with peach blossom
Palate: Still bright, creamy, gooseberry, grapefruit, tart back palate, finishes fresh front palate. Lovely. My speed for cooking dinner, sun streaming through the kitchen window, songza playing Swingin London. Groovy. Recommended.

Closure: Natural Cork
ABV 12.5%
SRP: $20
Sample provided by the winery
  • Holman Ranch Chardonnay 2010 Carmel valley
Color: Gold, too cold in fridge, some settling in bottle.
Nose: toast, ginger, pear, nutty, petrol, honey.
Palate: good mouth feel, bright, honey, kiwi, melon. Good long honeyed finish. Best served gently chilled, not cold.
New word style Chardonnay, fresh, not heavy, not buttery, not over oaked, almost elegant. Food ready, poultry and seafood, and perfect for the patio or beach. Recommended.

ABV 12.5%
Closure: Natural cork (tartric crystals on end)
Cold fermented 3 months new French oak.
SRP: $28
Sample provided by the winery
  • Holman Ranch 2011 Rose of Pinot Noir
Color: Pale strawberry pink, glossy.
Nose: Soft strawberry, orange blossom
Palate: Strawberry, orange peel, dry, fresh, clean finish.
Another well done wine. Great sipping wine, California summer in a glass. Recommended.

ABV 12.5%
Closure: Natural cork
SRP: $22
Sample provided by the winery
  • Holman Ranch 2010 PinotNoir
Color: Ruby color
Nose: Earthy raspberry
Palate: Bright up front, clean at opening, red fruit
After 30 minutes.
Color: Garnet color
Nose: Cinnamon, cherry, candy, floral,
Palate: Cherry, bright peak mid palate, soft tannin, balanced acidity, rhubarb tart leading into a strawberry finish. Classic Pinot Noir. Food worthy. Recommended. Paired with steak, pea pods, salad with feta and strawberries. Very enjoyable sipping wine at sun set.

Closure: Natural cork
ABV 12.5%
SRP: $33
Sample provided by the winery
  • Holman Ranch Vineyard 2011 Estate Grown Pinot Noir Heather's Hill
Color: Bright, clear, ruby.
Nose: Just picked strawberry, soil, vanilla
Palate: Strawberry, raspberry, vanilla, a little heat on the clean finish.
An hour later.
Color: Deeper red.
Nose: Dried strawberry, pencil shavings.
Palate: Richer mouth feel, strawberry, raspberry, cherry, gently dry, balanced acidity with a medium finish. Bang'on at the one hour mark. Serve at 55 – 60 degrees.
After three hours.
Color: Garnet.
Nose: Berry fruit leather, raspberry dominant, earthy.
Palate: Strawberry, cherry, almost chewy on the rich, long finish. Really showing off at this point and a big lip smacker. I enjoyed this bottle of wine, it was interesting after an hour and especially good at the three hour window. Recommended.

ABV: 14%
Closure: Natural Cork
SRP: $37
Sample provided by the winery

I encourage you to seek out Holman Ranch wines. If you are anywhere near Carmel Valley a visit to their property is mandatory. They are on my must visit list.

*Since Holman Ranch is a private residence, all visits are by appointment only. Please call in advance.

Holman Ranch
P.O. Box 149
Carmel Valley, CA 93924
Tel (831) 659-2640
Fax (831) 659-6055

Tasting Room
19 E. Carmel Valley Road
Suite C
Carmel Valley, CA 93924
Tel (831) 659-2640
Fax (831) 659-6055
Tasting Room Hours
Mon–Sun - 11am–6pm
Private Tasting - Call for information


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