Sniff, Sniff: Smelling The Wine, And Lingering Over Its Bouquet, May Be The Key To Preventing Memory Loss

A wine’s real charm can be found in its scent. Swirling and sniffing can help you discern a wine’s primary and secondary aromas — offering a preview of what you might taste, not just initially, but also after the wine has “opened up.”


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Smelling wine in the glass is a time-honored tradition among true aficionados who realize the benefits. But now preliminary studies have revealed additional benefits of the sniff test — a healthy brain.

Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic in Las Vegas found that master sommeliers — people who arguably rely on their sense of smell more than anyone else — are less likely to get Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s than people who don’t soak in delicious smells on a regular basis.

The study compared brain scans of 13 sommeliers and 13 people with much less interesting jobs. The researchers noticed key differences in certain areas of the sommeliers’ brains.

For starters, sections of the sommeliers’ brains that deal with the olfactory network were thicker. Additionally, parts of the brain that deal with memory were thicker. Which makes sense if you think about it, since sommeliers are expected to remember not only how a wine tastes, but the region, history and year of that wine as well.

According to the study, “these differences suggest that specialized expertise and training might result in enhancements in the brain well into adulthood. This is particularly important given the regions involved, which are the first to be impacted by many neurodegenerative diseases.”

The strengthened sections of a wine-sniffer’s brain are the sections that are most sensitive to losing memory function later in life. By that logic: Smell lots of wine, build resistance to memory loss. Then once you’ve smelled it, drink it, because other studies have shown that moderate consumption of wine helps prevent Alzheimer’s as well.

It should be noted that the study is far from conclusive.

“Though we don’t know for sure, there is a possibility that when it comes to the brain, thicker is better,” Sarah Banks, one of the authors in the story, told the New York Post. “It seems like if you have more brain in those areas, it’ll take longer to feel the effects of the disease, but it’s speculation.”

Although it may just be speculation at this point, there seems to be little harm in opening up a few more bottles of wine than usual … and lingering over the bouquet. Who knows, perhaps one day in the future you will remember that moment far more vividly — thanks to the wine.

California Produces 99 Percent Of The Nation’s Olive Oil — Thanks To 18th-Century Franciscan Missionaries

Olive culture has ancient roots, as fossilized remains of the olive tree’s ancestor were found near Livorno, in Italy, dating from 20 million years ago.

Beginning in 5000 B.C. and until 1400 B.C., olive cultivation spread from Crete to Syria, Palestine, and Israel; commercial networking and application of new knowledge then brought it to Southern Turkey, Cyprus and Egypt. Until 1500 B.C., Greece — particularly Mycenae — was the area most heavily cultivated. Olive trees were planted in the entire Mediterranean basin under Roman rule.

Spanish and Portuguese explorers introduced olives to the Western Hemisphere during the 15th and 16th centuries. And by the late 18th century, the Franciscan missionaries were establishing groves throughout California.


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California’s climate is perfectly suited for growing olives. The state’s generally hot and dry summers are ideal for growing olives with optimal oil and antioxidants. California is home to a wide range of olive varieties. For example, Holman Ranch in Carmel Valley creates a delicate balance of flavor from its six olive varietals grown on property to create its Tuscan-style Holman Ranch Olive Oil. They include: Frantoio (a fruity olive oil with an even balance of pepper and bitterness); Leccino (delicate oil with a mild, fruity flavor); Mission (flavor varies depending on the time of year it is harvested); Coratina (a strong, peppery flavor with a hint of sweetness); Pendolino (a mild, delicately flavored oil that is pleasing to the palate); and Picholine (a delicate, subtle flavor with a touch of saltiness).

Of course, simply having the right climate to grow olives does not translate to quality olive oil. A lot of knowledge and care goes into harvesting, milling and storing artisan olive oil. Generally, olives are harvested between the months of November and January; but knowing when to harvest each varietal to produce the desired flavors takes skill.

For example, younger fruit that is still green will produce a bold, grassy, herbaceous, and peppery or spicy flavor; in contrast to a ripe black fruit that yields a milder, buttery, floral, and only slightly peppery taste.

All together, there are 350 different crops produced in California. Within this demographic, there are more than 100 olive cultivators. These cultivators are spread across the myriad of soil types, climates and microclimates that California has to offer, thus creating a virtually limitless range of flavor possibilities for the olive oil they produce.

 California produces 99 percent of the United States crop, a $34 million industry. It wasn’t until the turn of the 20th century that the Golden State’s liquid gold began to win acclaim, after a secular generation of growers realized that the Mediterranean-like landscapes and climate zones that led to quality wines could do the same with olives.

Now sunny, inland spots on the Central Coast such as Carmel Valley, Corral de Tierra, Paso Robles and Edna Valley are blooming with olives as well as grapes, and olive oil tasting rooms have begun to open.

And there is no stopping this oil boom.

The New Cry For Modern Brides: ‘Let them eat … pie … or ice cream!’

Throughout history we’ve celebrated weddings with a special cake.

Ancient Romans finalized their ceremonies by breaking a cake of wheat or barley over the bride’s head as a symbol of good fortune. The newly married couple then ate a few crumbs in a custom known as confarreatio — eating together. Afterwards, the wedding guests gathered up the crumbs as tokens of good luck.

 In short, our present-day wedding traditions remain firmly rooted in the past, but having an elegant, tiered cake is certainly not mandatory. And more and more modern couples have stepped out of the norm.

After all, maybe you adore ice cream, or envision a dessert table tilled with various mini treats, so guests can have a little bit of everything. There is nothing wrong with either replacing or supplementing cake with other desserts and sweets. Here are some fun alternatives to the traditional tiered cake:

1)            Cupcakes: This option provides much more flexibility. You do not have to worry about finding a flavor that pleases everyone. Instead, you can offer an assortment of flavors and fillings to accommodate all tastes. Not only are they delicious, cupcakes also act as great decoration for the reception. The cupcakes can be intricately designed with the colors blending well with the rest of the reception.


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2)            Pie: Ask your favorite bakery to help you bake fresh pies, or solicit the help of friends to bake them for you. Not only does the second option involve your friends, but it also may be much cheaper than enlisting outside help. Pies can easily be adjusted to fit with your wedding’s season and theme as well. One idea is to fill the pies up with seasonal fruits. You can even add whipped toppings or ice cream so that your guests can eat their slices in their favorite ways.

3)            A Candy Bar: Arranging a colorful, enticing buffet of candy treats is a trend rising in popularity. You can design the bar exactly to your specifications. You can buy commercial candies in large quantities or go more upscale and have a local chocolatier design custom, bite-sized creations. You can use the candy bar to complement the other decorations in the room because they can be specifically ordered in the colors you want.

4)            Ice Cream: An ice cream bar is a great choice, especially if your wedding is happening in the summer. This cool treat can please all of your guests, as they have the freedom to customize their own dessert. For an extra special treat, find a local creamery that can custom-make your own gourmet ice cream or gelato, perhaps using fresh fruit from your area. Another choice would be to hire an ice cream “bartender” to create ice cream masterpieces for each of your guests.

5)            Mini Bundt Cakes: If you like cake, individual Bundts are a small-but-scrumptious way to fill a dessert table. These can be baked a few days in advance and stored in an airtight container. They require no major decorating — they can be simply finished with powdered sugar or glaze, and sometimes a candied lemon peel. All of which makes them an easy project for a relative (with baking skills) who desperately wants to help.

Dazzle Your Wine-Drinking Friends With These Fun Facts About The World’s Favorite Beverage

Wine is one of those topics people love to discuss. After all, the first wine was discovered, tasted and then deliberately produced about 10,000 years ago — building up quite a bit of history and lore in the process.

 Here are some interesting facts about wine — great conversation fodder for your next dinner party:

  • In California, wine country tours are second only to Disneyland in popularity with tourists. According to the California Wine Institute, more than 14 million people visit California wine regions each year (wine is grown in 48 out of 58 counties in the state).


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  • California, by itself, is the world’s fourth largest producer of wine after France, Italy and Spain. Washington, D.C., consumes more wine per capita than any state in the nation.
  • But which country drinks the most wine per capita? The Vatican holds that honor, with 74 liters per capita per year, which is about 99 bottles per year.
  • The alcohol count for a celebration party for the 55 drafters of the Constitution included: 54 bottles of Madeira, 60 bottles of Bordeaux, eight bottles of whiskey, 22 bottles of port, 8 bottles of hard cider, 12 beers and 7 bowls of alcohol punch.
  • In 1801, President Thomas Jefferson spent $3,000 on wine, 12 percent of his annual salary. To put that in modern context, that would be like President Obama spending $48,000 on wine this year alone.
  • In ancient Greece, the dinner host would take the first sip of wine to ensure it was safe to drink, giving us the phrase to “drink to one’s health.”
  • The tradition of a celebratory “toast” began with the ancient Romans, who would drop a piece of toasted bread in their wine to buffer unpleasant tastes and excessive acidity.
  • The Romans also boiled wine in lead pots and mixed lead with wine to help preserve it and impart a sweet flavor. There is much debate among historians about how much lead poisoning contributed to the decline of the empire.
  • When Tutankhamun’s tomb was opened in 1922, wine jars buried alongside him were labeled with the year, the name of the winemaker and descriptions about the quality of the wine. The labels could actually comply with modern wine label laws of several countries today.
  • The Whistler Tree is the most productive cork oak tree on record. It grows in the Alentejo region of Portugal and is more than 230 years old. Harvested on a 9-year cycle, in 2009, it yielded enough cork for 100,000 bottles. As a comparison, the average cork oak produces material for 4,000 bottles. The tree is in excellent condition and is well on its way to produce a total lifetime production of more than 1 million corks.
  • During Prohibition in the United States, grape juice concentrate manufacturers took advantage of our lust for alcohol by putting a warning sticker on their product: “After you mix the concentrate with water, please do not keep the mix in a barrel for 20 days — as it will turn into wine.”

Whether You’re A Dog Person, Or A Cat Person, Your Personality Will Probably Give You Away

Humans are profoundly different from each other. It’s what makes life so interesting. We not only have different physical characteristics, we have distinct likes, dislikes and preferences.

There are toilet-paper-over and toilet-paper-under people. Vanilla ice cream people and chocolate people. And, of course, dog people and cat people.


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Many have tried to identify the different social characteristics of these two camps of animal lovers. Stereotypically, dogs are more social and easy-going, while cats are reserved, independent and unpredictable. Do their owners share similar differences?


About 6 percent more U.S. households own dogs than own cats. In survey after survey, people who say they love dogs outnumber cat-lovers by as much as 5 to 1. Only about a quarter of all respondents say they love both dogs and cats.

Here are the results of several studies on this topic over the years:

  • Dog people are far more sociable and outgoing than cat people. Dog lovers are friendlier and more extroverted than cat lovers, who prefer to be alone. Dog lovers also tend to be more confident and dominant than cat people.
  • Cat people are generally more intelligent than dog people.
  • Cat people are more neurotic than dog people, and they tend to be more prone to anxiety and neurotic disorders.
  • Cat people are more likely to live alone and in apartments than dog people. The most likely individuals to own cats are single women.
  • Dog people are more likely to live in rural areas than cat people. The East and West coasts are much more likely to favor cat owners, while dogs rule the American South. Overall, dog people are 30 percent more likely to live in the country, while cat people are 29 percent more likely to live in the city.
  • Dog people tend to be more conservative than cat people. Owning a dog correlates strongly with having traditional values. Dog owners are also generally more rule-abiding than cat owners.
  • Cat people are more open-minded than dog people, and score higher in imaginativeness, creativity, adventurousness, and holding unconventional beliefs.
  • Dog people tend to tolerate cats while cat people tend to dislike dogs. People who love both dogs and cats — the “bi-petuals” — have personalities almost identical to those of dog owners.
  • Dog owners are more willing to tolerate the idea of owning a cat than cat owners are of owning dogs.
  • Dog people and cat people have a different favorite Beatle. Dog lovers prefer Paul McCartney; cat people prefer George Harrison.

Facebook even got in on the action, studying data from 160,000 members by using facial recognition to determine whether people posted pictures of dogs or cats, then comparing their interests and lifestyles.

According to Facebook, dog people have more social media friends, on average 26 more than cat people. Like their extroverted pets, dog people make more connections online. On the other hand, cat people get invited to more events, so they’re putting their friendships to good use.

What camp do you land in — arff or meow?

The Beautiful Art Of Dressage Can Be Traced Back To The Ancient Battlefield With A Fighting Man And His Horse

Dressage is more than an odd-looking sport with well-dressed men and women prancing around on immaculately groomed horses. It’s a mastery of horsemanship, an equestrian art in which horse and rider perform from memory a series of predetermined movements.



On international display now at the Olympic Games in Brazil, dressage made its Olympic debut in the 1912 games in Stockholm. At this point in history it was more of an obedience discipline derived from military tests and not as well known as it is today.

By the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, the standard rose dramatically to include most of the modern movements seen today. Riders were also predominantly male and in the military. That’s because the seemingly dainty and elegant sport of dressage is from the ancient art of riding and controlling a war-horse.

Throughout most of history, the horse and its rider have been a weapon of war — with speed, power and maneuverability far superior to the common foot soldier. In battle, the ability to move a horse quickly from side to side, or burst into a gallop, or change direction quickly were vital survival skills. The dancing-in-place thing, called “piaffe,” where the hooves paw the ground, may actually have its origins in the need to stomp a fallen enemy.

There is some evidence that many of the maneuvers used in dressage were developed by the ancient Greeks. However, it wasn’t until the Renaissance that dressage flourished. As horsemanship became an art, the first riding school was set up in Naples in 1532 by Federico Grisone, a Neapolitan nobleman. As the horses performed intricate movements, it was from his academy that the modern form of dressage evolved.

 Every time we train our horses to carry us with more ease, and respond to subtle aids, we are training them in basic dressage. After all, dressage is teaching a horse to be supple, balanced and responsive.

The goal of dressage training is to develop a horse’s flexibility, responsiveness to aids and balance. This makes the horse stronger and more pleasurable to ride. If you compete you will always be competing against yourself, as well as others taking the test. The goal in competition is to always improve on your own score.

You don’t need much equipment for dressage:

  • Any sound horse or pony of any breed can be ridden at the lower levels.
  • An English snaffle bit.
  • An English-style saddle.
  • Braiding equipment for your horse’s mane.
  • Gloves, shirt, jacket, breeches, boots and approved helmet.

To find out more about dressage, and how to attend a clinic, visit

Millennials Are Changing Wedding Traditions Right Before Our Eyes

Nothing screams “traditional” quite like a wedding. Flowy white gowns, luscious layer cakes, the dad-daughter dance; they all help define the celebration of marriage. Go to a millennial wedding, though, and you’ll find traditions being challenged and re-imagined.

All around the world, 20- and 30-something couples are not just bending the nuptial rules, they are re-writing them, adding nontraditional or surprising elements that show open-minded and innovative tendencies — inspiring the next generation of wedding trends.



Millennial brides are designing and planning their wedding to look less like it came out of a wedding magazine from 1988 and more like it came straight off of Pinterest, with the help of Etsy, and coordinated by high-tech apps that help streamline and organize the process.

Here’s what’s happening at millennial weddings across the country:

  •  Digital domination: Millennial celebrations are all about hashtags, Snapchats and digital downloads. Get used to it. Many couples encourage guests to post their photos on social media, and they’ve created their own self-designed Snapchat filters that include themes (perhaps a Hawaiian motif) that include the couple’s name and the date of the ceremony. Wedding hashtags allow guests to post about or from the wedding in real-time. Family and friends can capture those candid, priceless moments and relive them immediately.
  •  Creating themes: Personalizing weddings in the age of Instagram is about theming a moment for a unique experience. And with millennial couples taking on more of the financial load of their weddings, they feel more empowered to customize the events. Young couples love to create a themed party for a Friday night rehearsal dinner or a Star Wars-inspired after-party, a incorporate a favorite family dish as part of the reception menu. Even the music is very reflective, incorporating favorite songs into the wedding processional, or unique performances; bagpipes, a marching band, things that are a little nontraditional or surprising.
  •  Informal dress: Weddings used to always bring to mind formal wear: black tuxes, white gowns, groomsmen in matching ties and bridesmaids in satin. But today, many millennial couples opt for a more modern dress code. For example, some brides choose not to require matching bridesmaid dresses, instead having their “besties” wear skirts and tops or jumpsuits and rompers. No need to match. Other millennials encourage guests to wear cocktail attire; perhaps flannel shirts with bow ties or bohemian-style sundresses.
  •  Dropping traditions: Many millennials forgo the old-fashioned expectations such as tossing the bouquet or cutting the cake. Some even prefer not to have a bride’s side and a groom’s side at the ceremony, or seating charts at the reception. They want their wedding to be more social, and to remove the anxiety of arranging where people sit. At millennial weddings you often won’t see major alcohol brands or beers as young couples prefer craft beer or small-batch bourbons. And gone are the days of spending a few thousand dollars on a five-tiered wedding cake. You may see multiple cakes made of pancakes, or different flavored macarons. And because millennials love brunch, many ceremonies now occur late morning, with eggs Benedict and bloody Mary/mimosa bars set up at the reception.

In the minds of millennials, such changes aren’t meant to disrespect old traditions,  just to create new ones that fit more into a changing world. It’s up to the next generation to accept and adopt them, or create new ones of their own.

Think Green: For Some Wines, The Road From Grape To Glass Can Leave A Heavy Footprint

When it comes to wine, we tend to think in colors of red and white — or even pink. But taking into consideration a wine’s carbon footprint has added the color green to the conversation. Those of us who care about our increasingly fragile planet have started to understand the impact that a particular wine has on the environment.

From farming practices, to packaging, to transportation, the road from grape to glass can leave a heavy footprint — depending on the winery and where that wine is shipped.



While sipping a glass of South American red one evening, wine enthusiast Tyler Colman began to think about the impact that particular wine had on the environment.

Colman, who teaches classes on wine at New York University and the University of Chicago and blogs as “Dr. Vino,” enlisted the help of sustainability expert Pablo Päster of ClimateCHECK to calculate the carbon footprint of wine, in terms of both its production and transportation. Their findings were first published as an American Association of Wine Economists working paper in October 2007.

The first source of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are the chemical fertilizers some wine growers use. On a global scale, fertilizers are an important contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, but for wine production, they don’t have much of an impact.

Grapes don’t require the copious amounts of fertilizers to grow that other crops such as corn do, Colman explained, making them a minor proportion of wine’s overall footprint. (Fertilizers, along with pesticides, can still pollute the local environment though, and some wine producers are moving to more organic wine-growing practices.)

Likewise, the carbon dioxide released from the fermentation of grapes makes up an insignificant percentage of the total emissions associated with wine production.

It turns out that the biggest source of greenhouse gases from wine, Colman and Päster found, was actually in transporting wine to the consumer.

The easy answer is to drink local, from smaller, regional wineries that practice sustainability. For those not living in wine regions, this becomes a complicated issue. In some cases it may actually be more environmentally friendly to buy wine sent by container ship from Bordeaux to a port in, say, New Jersey, rather than to drink wines trucked from California.

Transportation isn’t the only consideration, however, as packaging can influence the footprint. Transporting heavy glass bottles uses much more fuel, and therefore has a bigger impact, than lighter glass or other alternative packaging.

That has brought to the market wine in alternative packaging — including boxes, bags and even plastic. While boxed wine, for example, has endured the stigma of bad-tasting swill, many higher-end wineries have chosen this method for their premium wines — adding the color green to their portfolios.

‘Light’ Olive Oil Is A Sham — And Four Other Myth-Busting Realities About Nature’s Perfect Food

By now everyone knows that olive oil boasts remarkable health benefits as a staple of the Mediterranean diet. Even though olive oil is commonly found in most American kitchens, mystery and confusion still surround its use.



 Here are some common mistakes you may be making when it comes to olive oil:

  • You buy the “light” version to save calories: All olive oils have roughly the same amount of calories and fat (about 120 calories and 14g fat per tablespoon). “Light” refers to the color and flavor of this oil, which is highly refined to make it more neutral than other types of olive oil.
  • You are reluctant to cook with extra-virgin olive oil: It’s true that extra virgin olive oil has a lower smoke point than other types of olive oil. This is the temperature where oil begins to smoke and impart an unpleasant odor and flavor (peanut oil is 450 degrees, for example). Extra virgin olive oil has a smoke point around 410 degrees, so it’s perfectly safe for sautéing at medium temperatures. Extra virgin is the purest form of olive oil, and contains the most health supportive oleic acid so there’s no need to use it only for salad dressing.
  • You throw away olive oil that tastes slightly bitter: Don’t toss out that oil because it may not have gone bad. A slightly bitter taste can indicate the presence of antioxidants. With a fresh extra virgin olive oil, you should taste olives, of course, but also some grassy, fruity or even peppery notes.
  • You only use it for special occasions: If you’re saving that nice bottle of extra virgin for special occasions, perhaps to dribble onto a summer tomato salad, you’re doing a disservice to the oil — and your guests. Olive oil is best used when fresh — both in terms of flavor and nutritional value. Olives are fruit and after 3-6 months from the harvest date the oil is no longer fresh.
  • You store it in a warm place: Olive oil can quickly go rancid, so you want to store it away from heat and light. Dark-colored glass bottles or tin containers work best for storage, but don’t store next to the store, or on a window sill. If you store olive oil in the fridge, it will often solidify, which isn’t a bad thing. But don’t think that solidification means that your oil is high quality. Recent studies have debunked that myth. The best way to ensure your oil is good quality is to look for seals on the bottle from the USDA Quality Monitoring Program, the North American Olive Oil Association, the California Olive Oil Council, or the Extra Virgin Alliance.

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The fertile soils and ideal growing conditions of Carmel Valley, Calif., have spawned delectable new wines  from Holman Ranch and Jarman Wines, two of Central California’s most-celebrated wineries.

Holman Ranch vintners are proud to introduce two estate-grown wines from the 2015 growing season .5 Degrees Brix ($21 per bottle) and Rose of Pinot Noir ($22) as the newest additions to a menu that already includes 2013 Chardonnay ($27), Unoaked Virgin Chardonnay ($23), Kelly’s Press Pinot Noir ($26), Pinot Gris ($17), Sweet Love Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc ($30), and Sauvignon Blanc ($19),  2012 Heather’s Hill 12HH ($36) and Pinot Noir ($35), 2011 Hunter’s Cuvee Pinot Noir ($41) and Big Daddy Fortified Late Harvest Pinot Noir ($45).

The .5 Degrees Brix and Hunter’s Cuvee were awarded silver medals at the 2016 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.

Newest offerings from the Jarman estate include 2014 Chardonnay ($45) and Pinot Noir ($80), and 2013 Pinot Noir ($75).

All can be found at

About Holman Ranch

Holman Ranch’s 21 acres of vineyards lie between 950 and 1150 feet in elevation, rich with the root stocks and soils that are most important in producing excellent fruit from the vineyards.

The surrounding Santa Lucia Mountains play a crucial role in Carmel Valley viticulture, holding 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 wine producing methods by providing good soil drainage.

Holman Ranch “stresses the vines” of the fruit with emphasis on reproduction, which, in turn, stops growth and ripens fruit. The valley configuration allows for morning fog that rapidly moves out as the air warms — ideal for Pinot Noir grapes. The elevation  and proximity to the ocean are positive characteristics for the vines.

Holman Ranch’s vines are planted 15 degrees off due north, which allows for all-day sunlight on fruit zone and good protection from breeze.

No chemical herbicides or pesticides are used on our fruit, and we have received our sustainable and organic certification.  Holman Ranch is also 100 percent estate vineyards and winery.

Holman Ranch’s wines are unfined and crafted to deliver the true varietal of the grape from harvest to table. Purity and passion are key ingredients in the wine-making process, and this is where Holman Ranch truly stands out.

Wine Caves:

The 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 3000 square foot area maintains a constant temperature of 58˚F-60 ˚F and contains four 750 gallon tanks, four 1200 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 3000-5000 cases annually.

Vineyard & Winery Background:

Located at the north eastern tip of the Carmel Valley Appellation, the family-owned Holman Ranch resides approximately 12 miles inland from the Pacific Coast. Immersed in history and romance, the ranch has not only proven to be an excellent growing location for our vineyards but also for the Tuscan varietal olive trees which have flourished under the temperate climate.

  • Our estate-grown wine varietals are planted on approximately 21 acres of undulating terrain.
  • The wines produced are unfined and crafted to deliver the true varietal of the grape from harvest to bottle.
  • The climate and terroir of the appellation has played a critical part in the success of our wines. The warmth of our inland valley coupled with the cooling marine layer has established itself as an ideal microclimate for the production of Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. Our Burgundy Clones have thrived from the perfect blend of ideal climate, southern exposure and thin rocky soils.

Holman Ranch Tasting Room:

Holman Ranch’s Carmel Valley tasting room offers the perfect backdrop to swirl, sip and savor the different complexities of Holman Ranch Vineyard and Winery wines. There is something for everyone (4 varietals in fact), from the full-bodied Pinot Noirs to the light, fruity flavors of our Pinot Gris and lightly oaked Chardonnay. Holman Ranch also offers estate grown and bottled Olive Oil available for tasting and purchase at the Tasting Room.

The Tasting Room showcases the estate wines of Holman Ranch which includes our Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Rosé of Pinot Noir. Carefully hand-harvested, cold pressed and bottled, the Extra Virgin Olive Oil produced from the fruits of our Tuscan trees has a delightful spice followed by a buttery finish.

Three tasting flights of three wines each (White, Mountain and Pinot Noir) are available 7 days a week. The Tasting Room also holds a series of cooking demos called In Your Backyard. For more information, call (831) 659-2640.

Olive Grove:

Holman Ranch has its own distinctive olive grove located on a south facing hill of our vineyard. The grove is comprised of 100 trees with multiple cultivars planted. These cultivars consist of 25 Frantoio, 25 Leccino, 10 Mission, 25 Coratina, 5 Pendolino, and 10 Picholine, all of which were originally planted in 2194 in a Carmel Valley orchard then replanted at Holman Ranch in 2007. These mature olive trees allowed us to produce olive oil right away. They are planted in shale for the best production and harvesting results possible. We harvest our fruit by hand in December, which is then milled, producing a superb, high quality product. Although the Olive Grove is not certified organic, we do employ organic practices when farming our trees. Our mill, however, is certified organic. An interesting fact is that olive trees are alternate bearing, which means that one year they may produce 650, 375ml bottles worth of oil, while next year they may produce only 50, 375ml bottles.

Holman Ranch Background:

Holman Ranch: Where the Past is Always Present. Tucked away in the rolling hills of Carmel Valley, Californian 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 stunning Property includes a fully restored stone hacienda, overnight guest rooms, vineyards, olive grove, horse stables and more.

About Jarman Wines

Jarman’s terroir (a French word that speaks to a wine’s place of origin, its subtle nuances of traceable character, flavor, lineage and integrity) refers to a special place in Carmel Valley — and also to a special woman, family matriarch Jarman Fearing Lowder, who inspired a family to bottle the essence of a mother’s spirit.

The Jarman label reflects quality, with only the best local grapes used during an artisanal, small-batch winemaking process.

Jarman wine uses only 100-percent estate-grown, organic and certified-sustainable grapes. Aged in French oak barrels, Jarman’s vintages are held in limited supply, and are not available anywhere outside their tasting room  in Carmel Valley Village (open noon to 5 p.m., Thurs.-Sun.; or by appointment), next to Will’s Fargo Steakhouse + Bar, the restaurant the family purchased in 2014.

The tastings will feature full-fledged experiences, including tours and wine education, and each will include a food element that complements the wine. The new Jarman tasting room will provide visitors with three unique experiences: Cru Tasting, Premier Cru Experience and the Grand Cru Experience.

Jarman Tasting Lounge and Patio, 18 West Carmel Valley Road, Carmel Valley, CA.  For more information call Jarman Tasting Lounge and Patio at 831-298-7300 or email