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Many times while traveling we may check out a personalized experience, tour, etc and end up overpaying or getting something completely different. Well at Holman Ranch in Carmel Valley we got something unexpected and it was a real treat!

We booked a picnic at the 400 acre ranch featuring a vineyard, olive grove and stables. Our day started at their reserve tasting room Jarman Wine with an amuse-bouche and reserve tasting. From there we were driven by our guide, Peter, to the Holman tasting room just down the street. We learned about the historic ranch, family and of course the wines. 

Our tasting at Holman included a side-by-side comparison of the Pinot Noirs which were delicious. Still, we chose the refreshing Chardonnay for our picnic. Our very personable and knowledgeable host drove us to the ranch. We drove by the various lots, through the gorgeous olive grove and stopped for a photo op with a majestic oak tree. 

It was a glorious visit and we still had yet to actually eat. Because of the weather we were treated to our picnic in the great room with a gorgeous view and warm fire. 


Our choice of eats included meats, cheeses, quiche, salad, pate, candied pecans, dates, French bread and macaroons. We also elected for an extra hour for our picnic so we could linger and enjoy. After our picnic, Peter treated us to a cave tour and tasting. I even got to try out the wine thief. 

We had a lot of fun over our four-hour visit and filled our bellies, all for only $200 (includes a generous and deserved tip). Check it out while in the Carmel area.