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The Ultimate Ranch Experience At Holman Ranch

We stayed as a guest of Holman Ranch

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Carmel is a favorite destination for wine lovers and nature lovers alike. With coastal area, a charming European style village full of restaurants, shops and galleries, vineyards set in the rustic valley, and Pacific Coast Highway beckoning it’s the perfect getaway weekend or vacation for couples or with a friend.

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Recently, my sister and I took a three-day trip up the coast spending our first afternoon and evening at Holman Ranch. After a leisurely drive up from Orange County, we checked in to our room, one of 10 on the ranch, caught up on a couple of emails and freshened up a bit.

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The rooms are bunkhouses that have been converted to ranch themed rooms in a beautiful rustic setting amidst dirt roads and trees. A very nice and peaceful getaway from the everyday grind! Our room was a one of four Queens with an extra pull out sofa. There are four double Queen rooms available as well and two cottages with two bedrooms, two baths and a full kitchen, making this a nice spot for a small retreat or family reunion.

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Our stay began with wine tasting at Holman Ranch Tasting Room just down the road from the ranch, where we were offered a White Wine Flight for $8 and Pinot Noir Flight for $12 or a custom tasting. We went for the custom flight, which included their 2013 Sweet Love, a dessert wine. Oh! And the wines are organic! I am still kicking myself for not buying a bottle or two of their dessert wine. I did however, walk away with a bottle of their olive oil made from their olive trees.

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After a few sips of wine, we headed back to the ranch, yep I said it… and went on a tour. Set amidst 400 acres, the grounds are gorgeous with expansive breathtaking views making it the perfect location for renewing vows or a second wedding!

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The Hacienda, once host to luminaries such as Charlie Chaplin and Marlon Brando, has been lovingly restored using as much of the original materials as possible and decorated with leathers, metals, and woods keeping the architectural significance of the house in mind.

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I could imagine an intimate cocktail party in the charming courtyard surrounded in stone and terra cotta. Sigh.

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Or a wonderful reception dinner on the Rose Patio.

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The inside of what what once was a stable is now home to a game room and bar, a chapel, and a meeting room perfect for board meetings.

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Our evening ended with a beautifully prepared dinner of classic dishes at Will’s Fargo, including:

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A luxurious French onion soup

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A succulent roasted free-range chicken with Sauce Marchand De Vin, potato gratin and salad

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And a decadent warm truffle cake with Holman Ranch Olive Oil ice cream

It’s funny how even a few hours in a magical setting can completely erase the stress of day-to-day life. Kind of makes me wish I were planning a wedding!

Holman Ranch is located at 60 Holman Road in Carmel Valley.

Dana Wilde grew up playing “sous chef” for her father as he churned out one amazing meal after the next for family and friends. She inherited her father’s life long passion for cooking and has spent the past two decades studying, reading, practicing, experimenting, and creating in the kitchen.
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