Tucked away in the rolling hills of Carmel Valley, historic Holman Ranch provides a unique and memorable setting for weddings, special events, family gatherings, corporate retreats, and team-building events. With its charming gardens, stunning mountain views and serenity, this private estate affords old-world charm while providing modern day conveniences. This impressive property includes a fully restored stone hacienda, overnight guest rooms, vineyards, olive grove, horse stables and a tasting room where guests can sample our wines.
Completed in August 2012, the estate winery at Holman Ranch, located in The Caves, is completely underground in order to take advantage of the natural cooling and humidity held below. The 3,000 square foot area maintains a constant temperature of 58°F and contains four 750 gallon tanks, four 1,200 gallon tanks, and four open top tanks that can hold two tons each.
One hundred (100) French oak barrels are maintained year round. Winery operations such as destemming, pressing, fermenting and aging take place within the cool environment of The Caves, while bottling is done directly outside using a mobile bottling line.
During harvest, 6 to 8 tons of grapes a day are processed. This may seem low but it is due to the fact that harvesting hours are between 7am to noon on any given day. Grapes are hand picked and loaded into half ton bins, transferred to the winery by tractor and then moved by forklift to the destemmer. White wines take around three weeks to ferment at 50°F and are bottled in February, while red varietals ferment for two weeks and are bottled in early June. All skins, seeds and stems are composted and returned to the fields. Slow months for our winery are June, July and August with the busiest time being September.
The winery will produce 3,000–5,000 cases annually.
Holman Ranch’s vineyard lies between 950 and 1150 feet in elevation. The rootstocks and soils are most important in producing excellent fruit from our vineyards. We use the French philosophy in our approach to producing fine wine. Winemaking starts with people. People make the decisions and those decisions determine the quality of the wine.
The surrounding Santa Lucia Mountains are very important to Carmel Valley viticulture. The local hills hold back the marine layer and broad breezes, which is beneficial to producing consistently good fruit. Sedimentary soils, such as, chock rock and Carmel stone also play a major role in our wine producing methods by providing good soil drainage. We “stress the vines” of our fruit with emphasis on reproduction, which in turn, stops growth and ripens fruit. The valley configuration allows for fog in the morning but with it rapidly moving out as the air warms which is great for our Pinot Noir grapes. Our proximity to the ocean and our elevation are positive characteristics for our vines.