Weekend Winery Trip to Carmel, CA


I shared a Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic recipe made with a fantastic bottle of Will’s Fargo’s Pinot Gris today. This post is all about our awesome weekend in Carmel, CA we were able to enjoy thanks to a great media trip were were invited on.

Holman Ranch is located in Carmel Valley and though it isn’t open to the public they are available for special events and weddings. Holman-Ranch-7

The grounds are beautiful and bountiful, with over 18 acres of vineyards, a beautiful pond, horse stables, olive groves and eight beautifully appointed rooms. They are currently producing Chardonnay, Pino Gris (which I used in my recipe) and Pino Noir (that I used in my upcoming Coq Au Vin recipe).  Holman-Ranch-6
There is also a great winery tasting room located in town just a short drive from the winery where you can go and taste all the delicious wines (Their tasting room is located at 19 E Carmel Valley Road).

The wine is hand picked, ferments in 100 French Oak Barrels and is organic. They age in a cave built into the hillside of the grounds which maintains the perfect temperature while preserving energy. Holman-Ranch-8We were led on a tour of the property and cave by proprietor Nick Elliott. Holman-Ranch-5

They also are cautious to preserve the quality of their wines, by ensuring the vines are receiving as much water as needed. In the worst of the drought just over half the same amount of wine was bottled to ensure the quality of the wine was up to the standards of winemaker Greg Vita.

We also enjoyed a fantastic modern American meal that evening at Wills Fargo Steakhouse and Bar, with Nick and his wife, Hunter Lowder, who run Holman Ranch and Will’s Fargo. Chef Greg Karjala had just taken over the reins of the restaurant and they had done a major refresh in the previous months. The food was amazing.

We enjoyed dishes like Grilled Kale Caesar Salad Holman-Ranch-4 Pinot Noir Braised Short RibsHolman-Ranch-3 corn and lime salad, housemade pickles Holman-Ranch-2and chocolate lava cake Holman-Ranchall deliciously paired with wines from Holman Ranch’s Jarman line.

Prior to our stay at Holman Ranch we enjoyed a stay at Hofsa’s House in downtown Carmel as well. Just a short five minute walk to the main part of town and short walk to the beach, Hofsa’s House was a nice hidden away gem in the hills of Carmel.

Hofsas-House-3Our room was on the top floor, with a view of the ocean. A wood burning fireplace, kitchen and quaint furnishings. It was easy to disconnect from our normal crazy lives in such a cozy, romantic atmosphere. Hofsas-House

The hotel is located three blocks north of Ocean Avenue, eight blocks from the picturesque white sand Carmel beach and one block from a child-friendly City park.Hofsas-House-2 Enjoy a continental breakfast in the morning with French Roast coffee, tea, fresh pastries delivered from a local bakery, juice and fruit. Other amenities include a heated swimming pool, dry saunas, view deck areas and free wireless Internet access. Some rooms are dog friendly.

Our weekend in Carmel, CA was complimentary but all opinions are my own.

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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  1. Pleased to read of your stay in our beautiful area..
    Growing up and now retired to this area was/is a wonderful thing… :O)