Lodging and meals provided for review
Holman Ranch is a vineyard, olive grove, stable, and event venue in Carmel Valley, California. This quiet town is close to Monterey, and about 2 hours south of San Francisco; in addition to housing several wineries, it’s also home to a country store, a couple of art galleries, and an absolutely amazing thrift shop.
I was invited to visit Holman Ranch in mid-March. Nestled in the hills of northern California, the ranch is a perfect place for a secluded, intimate wedding or corporate event, though they can host galas for up to 450 people. They’ve hosted many, many events, and you can rest assured that this isn’t their first rodeo, so to speak: they have a lengthy, vetted list of preferred vendors whom they know act professionally and can deliver whatever you can dream up.
Holman Ranch, unsurprisingly, sits on former ranch land; it became a vineyard in the 1920s, and the ranching history is apparent in the very Western styling – leather, pictures of cowboys, and rawhide fringe abound. The venue features 10 guestrooms for the bridal party (or people attending the retreats); these feature decorative leather pillows, rocking chairs on the porches (pictured above), and the most beautifully tiled bathrooms you’ve seen in your life.
The main area for weddings abuts a beautiful vista, and contains a stunning patio, the Great Room, and a small private chapel. All have wood and leather detailing, with many ranching and early California flourishes.
One of Holman Ranch’s main sidelines is its winery. Their wines – mostly pinot noir and chardonnay – are naturally cooled in their cave, which was dug into the side of a hill, reducing the need to artificially cool or air condition their cave. Conservation is a big theme at Holman Ranch: the wines are all grown organically.
You can include Holman Ranch wines as part of your event, or even make wine tasting a part of the festivities. I know nothing about wine, but I was interested to learn more about the history of the ranch, and wine making in general.
This being northern California, there is a tranquil Mediterranean climate – the weather is generally clear, and between 60 to 80 degrees. It’s unlikely that your event will be rained out, or be too chilly.
It really is difficult to overstate the beauty of the venue. As you can see above, there’s a heck of a vista of the hills; at night, the sky is covered with stars, and you feel snugly alone, with only your favorite people for company.
Holman Ranch is a solid, professional venue, dedicated to giving you a sense of seclusion and comfort. As only one event is booked at a time, any event you reserve means that the entire 400 acre property is shut down for you. Sometimes, everyone needs privacy, wines, and starlight, and Holman Ranch provides all three in spades. I highly recommend them.