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May 23rd
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Holman Ranch Vineyards

dining holmanPinot Noir 2010–and Fiesta Time in Carmel Valley

Tucked away in the beautiful hills of Carmel Valley, the Holman Ranch is a most amazing spread of property. It is home to stables, horse trails, a historic hacienda, olive groves and perfectly tended vineyards. Weddings, retreats, corporate and wine events are held in this bucolic spot, as well as the estate’s annual Fiesta de los Amigos every September, which is also a benefit for the Alzheimer’s Association.


Filled with flavorful food trucks providing all kinds of eclectic fare, the fiesta is a marvelous event to experience. But the best part of the evening is to taste all the wines offered by Holman Ranch–from Rosé of Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris early evening, to a couple of different Pinot Noirs as the night cooled off. Fortunately, my husband and I were staying overnight in one of the lovely cottages on the property so we didn’t have to worry about driving.

One wine I particularly enjoyed was the 2010 estate-grown Pinot Noir ($33). This delicious beauty excites the senses with aromas of sour cherry and a hint of tobacco–and the first sip reveals the nuances of a well-made Pinot, complete with warm layers of characteristic earthiness. Aged for 12 months in French oak, winemaker Greg Vita–who we were fortunate enough to meet–has done an admirable job with this particular wine. The Rosé of Pinot Noir is also a superb wine to try when you’re headed to Holman Ranch Vineyards’ tasting room.


Holman Ranch Vineyards’ tasting room is conveniently located in Carmel Valley Village (not on the property itself) at 19E Carmel Valley Road, Suite C, Carmel Valley, (831) 659-2640. Open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.


Wine Events

Artesana Fine Wines Pours at Sockshop & Shoe Company on First Friday The Sockshop & Shoe Company is holding a fundraiser for Hospice of Santa Cruz County from 5:30-8:30 p.m. on Nov. 2–to coincide with the First Friday event. As well as wines from Artesana, there will be food from Nut Kreations, Harley Farms Goat Dairy, and Buttercup Cakes & Farm House Frosting. Donations from UGG Australia and Ecco USA will be raffled to those customers who wish to personally donate to Hospice.


Sockshop is donating 8 percent of sales to Hospice. Sockshop & Shoe Company, 1515 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz, 429-6101. Sockshopandshoecompany.com. 

Wine Events

Vinocruz Don’t miss Vinocruz on First Friday, Nov. 2. They sell only local wines, so this is an opportunity to taste something you haven’t tried before, and also check out their Dias de los Muertos installation.


Vinocruz, 725 Front St., #101, Santa Cruz, 426-8466. Vinocruz.com.

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