Sustainable Wine Farming Is About Everything That Touches The Winemaking Process

In the book “Down to Earth,” author Janet Fletcher outlines the sustainability movement among winemakers as a “comprehensive set of environmentally sound, socially responsible and economically viable best practices that encompass every aspect of the vineyard, winery, surrounding habitat and ecosystem, employees and community.”

In essence, sustainable wine farming isn’t just about the grapes; it’s about everything that touches the winemaking, from lighter bottles and composting to protecting air and water quality.

 Those principles will be on display April 23 at the annual Earth Day Food and Wine extravaganza at Castoro Cellars in Templeton, Calif., where visitors gather to eat and drink for the greater good ( The Earth Day Food and Wine main event delivers a top quality food and wine experience paired with a casual, low-key atmosphere, all while celebrating the passionate people behind a sustainable food movement.

Earth Day Food and Wine is the brainchild of The Vineyard Team, a nonprofit that has worked with growers on sustainability issues for the past 20-plus years. Each year the team educates growers (in English and Spanish), along with administering the rigorous  Sustainability in Practice (SIP) Certified Vineyards and Wines program, launched in 2008 (

  The Vineyard Team worked a lot with vineyard growers, and thought: “There are other people doing cool stuff in terms of sustainability, and there are eaters and drinkers that care about the same things we do. Why don’t we have a party that highlights the great work being done and celebrates the farmer for Earth Day?”

What does food and wine have to do with Earth Day? The Vineyard Team believes there’s nothing earthier than a farmer, and there’s nothing better than giving folks a chance to meet the creative chefs and winemakers behind it all.

Earth Day Food & Wine is officially presented by Sustainability In Practice. SIP helps growers, vineyards and consumers consider their approach to sustainability. More than 34,000 vineyard acres are SIP Certified, and 1.5-million cases of wine carry the SIP seal. Growers and winemakers in the SIP program recognize that mindful fruit production and care for workers’ well-being are important components of quality wine.

Nestled under the oaks at Castoro Cellars, VIP entry begins at 1 p.m., with general admission at 2 p.m. Event proceeds benefit educational scholarships for relatives of farmworkers and spanish education programs of The Vineyard Team.

 Holman Ranch will participate in the event, a day after it celebrates Earth Day (April 22) at its tasting room at 19 E. Carmel Valley Road. The winery is SIP Certified, and on Earth Day visitors to the tasting room can buy one glass of earth-friendly wine and get one glass free. And the first 22 customers in honor of Earth Day will receive a complimentary tasting.

Earth Day Began In 1970, And Continues To Resonate Today — Even In The Wine World

The year 1970 marked the height of counterculture in the United States, and the beginning of real social change. War raged in Vietnam and students marched in protest. Industry belched out smoke and pollutants with little fear of legal consequences — with mainstream media largely oblivious to environmental concerns.

The year before, a massive oil spill off the coast in Santa Barbara prompted a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, Gaylord Nelson, to organize the first Earth Day — which eventually took place on April 22, 1970. Inspired by the student anti-war movement, Nelson realized that if he could infuse that energy with an emerging public consciousness about air and water pollution, it would force environmental protection onto the national political agenda.

 It worked, and today Earth Day is a vital cog in a steamrolling machine of environmental change. It’s observed in nearly every sector of America, from schools, to businesses, to government institutions — to even wineries.

Holman Ranch Vineyards in Carmel Valley will celebrate Earth Day on Friday, April 22 at its tasting room at 19 E. Carmel Valley Road. The winery is SIP Certified, meaning it’s Sustainable in Practice, and works hard to build community between vineyards, workers and the land. On Earth Day visitors to Holman can buy one glass of SIP-certified, earth-friendly wine and get one glass free. And the first 22 customers in honor of Earth Day will receive a complimentary tasting.

Holman Ranch will also participate in the Earth Day Food & Wine event, a joyful reminder on food sustainability and the planet. Held on California’s Central Coast, the event celebrates its 10th anniversary on Saturday, April 23 at Castoro Cellars in Templeton.

Earth Day Food & Wine shines a spotlight on high quality, locally grown food and wine, emphasizing the importance of being environmentally conscious. It provides an unique opportunity for the attendees to directly connect with the local farmers, winemakers and chefs in a casual and fun environment.

The event will also feature a Tesla auto exhibit, a Guerrilla Gardening Club, a SIP Pop-Up Bar where guests can enjoy SIP Certified wines, the KRUSH radio Beer Garden, and much more.

Earth Day Food & Wine will also help raise funds for educational scholarships and assist children of farmworkers to attend college. Ticket prices start at $75 and it is all inclusive for unlimited tastings of food, wine, and beer. Designated driver tickets are available for $50.  Parking on-site is $25 and shuttle price range from $10-$15 per person from various pickup sites. For more information and to purchase tickets to this event held under the oaks on the grounds of Castoro Cellars, visit

A Cost-Effective Company Retreat A Sound Investment That Pays Huge Dividends

With the economy in a steady uptrend, companies once again realize that investing in the right kind of retreat is a proven business tool. Corporate group travel to resort locations continues to grow following the “AIG effect” — public outcry surrounding AIG’s 2008 lavish retreat taken just days after the insurance giant accepted $85 billion in federal bailouts.

Group business travel fell off dramatically during the recession and has been slower to rebound than individual business travel. Group retreat trips are now smaller, shorter and with much fuller agendas than before. But no one can dispute their effectiveness in bringing together “teammates” in the work environment.

The time away can help solve a specific company problem, explore new strategies, evaluate performance, or train in new areas. A corporate leader should also consider using a retreat for input, support, and creativity from their partners or employees.

A retreat’s self-contained nature reduces wasted time, and even cost-effective retreats without the fluff can be fun for employees. In the last couple years, corporate retreats have transformed into an important service for businesses by minimizing wastefulness while helping to generate long-term revenue.

Following are proven benefits for businesses:

  • Retreats facilitate real friendships among employees. In an office environment there are often few shared interests among employees, which can prevent them from ever forming bonds. Time spent at a corporate retreat is an opportunity for people to connect through participation in common activities. This allows employees to get to know one another and laugh together.
  • Retreats facilitates training. Any business success depends on having well-trained employees to get the job done effectively. The environment of a retreat develops team coordination, group problem-solving skills, and creativity. Skill-building training can also be used at a retreat as a way to focus in-office training throughout the rest of the year. While fun activities are essential to a great retreat, productive activities that apply to your business goals can help generate long-term revenue.
  • Retreats boost morale. Retreats are not simply a vacation for the whole corporation, they are a place for employees to renew their excitement and enthusiasm for work. They can be held in beautiful outdoor environments that reduce stress and give people an opportunity to refresh their thinking and come back to work with a new drive. A successful retreat will leave employees more excited and productive when returning to work.

Done correctly, retreats can be an effective way for an organization to bring about positive change. Done poorly, however, and companies can end up with a wasted weekend and the possibility of worsening the mood and functionality in the office environment.

An investment in a company retreat is an investment that could pay huge dividends in the near future. Isn’t that what business is all about?

Tips On How To Get The Most Out Of Your Wine Tasting Room Experience

The arrival of spring means many things, but in wine country it signifies the end of winter slumber as people head out in earnest once again to follow the wine trail. Tasting wine is a fun pastime, an adventure that will give you a deeper appreciation for wine and help you better understand and evaluate it. So don’t fret. The basics of tasting are simple, and should be followed closely within the tasting room.

Before you taste, remember the three S’s — sight, smell and swirl.

One of the first things you should do with a glass of wine is look at it. Color and opacity of wine can help you approximate the age, grape varieties, acidity and sugar content. If it’s a red wine, is the color maroon, ruby, garnet, brick, or even brown? If it’s a white wine, is it clear, pale, yellow, light green, golden or even orange?

 Finally, look at the “legs.” Wine legs are the droplets of wine that form on the inside of a wine glass. This can tell you whether the wine has a high or low alcohol and sugar content.

 Don’t underestimate the power of your nose, as it is the main part in evaluating wine. In fact, 80 percent of wine tasting relates to the sense of smell, which contributes to your perceived taste.

Next, swirl the wine in the glass several times to release particular aromas into the air. Take a quick whiff to gain a first impression. What scent or aroma do you smell? Finally, stick your nose into the glass and take a deep inhale through your nose.

Now for tasting, but first things first:

  • Choose a winery wisely: Major wine regions have many different wineries from which to choose. Pick just one or two that appeal to your tastes. Do some research, and zero in on wineries that produce estate wines, or wines in smaller batches.
  • Taste on an empty stomach: You may be concerned that tasting too much wine without eating first will cause inebriation, but think again. Experts recommend not eating for at least an hour prior to a tasting in order to properly clear your palate. If you do eat, avoid anything with too much garlic, onions or anything with a lingering smell or taste.
  • Eat the crackers: Though you’re advised to not eat beforehand, feel free to help yourself to the crackers during the tasting. The bland snack can help with cleansing your palate in between wines, especially if you are going from tasting big, tannic reds to whites.
  • Try different varietals: Wines offered during a tasting are a general representation of what that winery offers, but they’re certainly not the only options available. Don’t love the chardonnay? Ask for something else, and be as detailed as you can.
  • Ask questions: To get the most out of the tasting experience, don’t be afraid to ask questions. The whole point of visiting a winery is to taste and learn about the wine. Wine should spark conversation, so ask lots of questions and learn as you enjoy.
  • Remember to spit: Even the most seasoned wine taster can forget that multiple tastings add up, and can lead to some fuzzy thinking and wobbly walking. Not good. Make the spit bucket your friend. Rolling the wine around your palate is enough to taste the intricacies of any wine. It could lead to a purchase of something you can bring home and enjoy — without the spittoon.

Holman Ranch Vineyard & Winery Tasting Room in Carmel Valley Celebrates Earth Day

Wine, Wine, Wine.  There is nothing more relaxing than a glass of Holman Ranch Vineyards wine to celebrate Earth Day – the vineyard is SIP Certified.  Join us on Friday, April 22nd at our tasting room at 19 E. Carmel Valley Road and enjoy buy one get one complimentary glass of our SIP certified, earth-friendly wine.  The first 22 customers in honor of Earth Day will receive a complimentary tasting.

“While many consumers are dedicated to looking for wines labeled as ‘green wine’ or ‘organic wine’ SIP Certification is a unique combination beyond those two labels. Imagine a wine that builds community between vineyards, workers and the land.”

The tasting room is open daily from 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and is available for private events. 831-659-2640


From Wearing White To Obnoxious Smartphone Behavior, The Top DONT’S For Wedding Guests

Weddings are steeped in tradition and etiquette, with centuries-old rituals that define proper decorum for guests. Some are more obvious than others. Now that we’re heading into prime wedding season, here is a list of the Top 8 DONT’S to keep in mind when you attend your next wedding.

Please don’t:

Wear white: This one should be a no-brainer, but please don’t be that girl who upstages the bride. You’ve got a million color combinations to choose from; you don’t need to wear white. Even if the bride isn’t wearing white, that doesn’t mean you can. This is her day, after all.

  1. Crash the bride’s room: Friends outside the immediate bridal party love to crash the bride’s dressing room to wish her well. The gesture is gracious — but the timing isn’t. If you weren’t invited to hang out with the bride, wait to share your congratulations at the wedding.
  2. Misuse your smartphone: Common sense says that guests should leave their smartphone at home. From snapping photos during the ceremony, to posting pics of the bride and groom on social media without asking, guests with phones can be disruptive and rude. Memo: Switch your phone to airplane mode and just watch.
  3. Bring a date without permission: Unless it says “plus one” on the invitation, go solo. And no, do not call the bride and ask if you can bring a date. If it were in their budget, the bride and groom would extended the extra invitation.
  4. Assume kids are welcome: Because it’s considered bad etiquette, a couple usually won’t write “adults only” on their invitations. Instead, the onus is on you to interpret the wording on the envelope. If it’s addressed to “The Smith Family” or if the names of the children are listed individually on the inner envelope, you are free to bring the rugrats. If not, splurge for a babysitter.
  5. Bring a large gift to the wedding: The last thing the bride and groom — and their families — need to worry about at the end of the reception is figuring out how to fit all their gifts in the car. Save them the trouble by shipping yours directly to their home.
  6. Change your seat: Some guests sift through the seating cards to find out who is sitting where. Figuring out a seating plan is difficult enough having to deal with musical chairs (or requests for a change). Stay put.
  7. Drink too much. Weddings are celebrations and many guests get carried away with all the free alcohol. The bridal party doesn’t want to manage your lack of management, or face the embarrassment of a slobbery drunk acting like an imbecile. Watch how much you drink, and if you plan on letting loose, at least arrange for your own transportation.

Hold Your Horses! Here Are The Top 10 Books With Equestrian Themes

No one can deny that horses are majestic creatures of beauty, and have inspired writers through the ages. Few have not been awed by the sight of these powerful, independent beasts galloping through a field. This can inspire us to live our lives at a higher level, and that theme has run through books old and new.

Following is a thoughtful list of the Top 10 books ever written (for adults) about horses:

10) “The Horse and His Boy,” by C.S. Lewis

This classic is for those who loved the “Chronicles of Narnia” but thought they needed more talking horses. “The Horse and his Boy” tells the story of young Shasta and his companion, the talking horse Bree, who journey together to Narnia in search of freedom. This tale is the only one set entirely in the world of Narnia and featuring only Narnian characters.

9) “Black Beauty,” by Anna Sewell

This quintessential horse book may be more geared toward children, but the life of Black Beauty, the cruelty he suffered and his unbreakable spirit will tug at the heartstrings of adult readers as well. First published in 1877, the book holds up well in modern times, especially among those who value animal rights.

8) “Horse Heaven,” by Jane Smiley

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Smiley describes the world of horse-racing in almost anthropological detail. She sheds light on a world full of intrigue, danger, risk, and gambling, and while the people may be fascinating enough, it is her loving description of the horses that makes this book a keeper. You’ll be cheering for every horse and will never watch a horse race in the same way again.

7) “National Velvet,” by Enid Bagnold

This is a classic underdog story that touches upon wider themes of family loyalty and ambition. Largely eclipsed by the 1944 film, starring Elizabeth Taylor, Velvet in the novel is a little grittier and less glamorous, but her determination is just as inspiring as she fights to win England’s Grand National Steeplechase. It’s a fun read for kids and adults alike, full of general horse knowledge, action, and a charming coming- of-age story.

6) “Summer of the Redeemers,” by Carolyn Haines

For readers who are a bit older and ready for a little mystery, romance and danger with their horses, this is a fast-paced, gripping read. Set in a small Mississippi town where several suspicious newcomers — including a mysterious young woman who seems to love horses more than anything else, and a secretive religious group — have arrived to shake things up, this creepy, well-written tale is a page-turner.

5) “Horse People,” by Michael Korda

This New York Times Notable Book is part memoir and part non-fiction examination of horse people and their culture. The author takes the reader through the horses in his life, all over the United States, from English to Western, broken-down nags to expensive show horses, and everywhere in between. Using knowledge, dry humor and rich portraits of horses and their people, this book will appeal to everyone. 

4) “Seabiscuit, an American Legend,” by Laura Hillenbrand

The underdog always wins us over, and Seabiscuit is no exception. The unlikely trio of the little crooked-leg horse, the half-crippled jockey, and the mysterious cowboy horse-trainer makes for an unexpected success story. Hillenbrand creates a gripping nonfiction tale that will have you on the edge of your seat cheering. 

3) “King of the Wind: the Story of the Godolpin Arabian,” by Marguerite Henry

Everyone knows that Thoroughbreds are lightning-fast horses we see on race tracks. But not everyone knows that they are descended from a handful of Arabian horses, including Sham, the star of “King of the Wind.” Sham was sent from the Middle East to England as a gift, and considered worthless for most of his life. This underdog story will worm its way into your heart. 

2) “The Black Stallion,” by Walter Farley

The series chronicles the story of an Arab sheik’s prized stallion that falls into the possession of teenager Alec Ramsay. In the series’ first book, Alec, returning from India and a visit to his uncle, becomes stranded on a desert island with an untamed, apparently wild black stallion, after their ship sinks. Dependent on each other for survival, the boy and horse learn to trust and love each other as they establish an amazingly strong and close lifelong emotional bond. 

1) “The Red Pony,” by John Steinbeck

While at first glance this short novel may seem like just another children’s pony book, Steinbeck’s will prove just as mesmerizing to adults. One of Steinbeck’s earlier novels, the story is broken into four distinct parts following a period in the life of young Jody, a boy growing up on a ranch in California. Jody loves horses, and he learns some of life’s hardest lessons from them, a hallmark quality of Steinbeck’s work.

Is “Natural” Wine An Unadulterated Nod To The Past, Or Just A Marketing Gimmick?

vineyards slice

Consumers believe that food products labeled “natural” are better and healthier than others, but are often confused about what the label actually means. Does it mean it’s organic, with no artificial ingredients? Is the food unprocessed? Is it pure?

Truth be told, the lack of a definition, and the lack of quality standards, keeps everyone in the dark.

When it comes to wine, natural has grown to mean: “without chemical and minimum technological intervention in growing grapes and making them into wine.” The term is used to distinguish such wine from organic wine and biodynamic wine because of differences in cellar practices.

Most good winemakers see themselves as non-interventionist, or natural. They try to use as few additives or manipulations as possible. But using the strict definition, natural wine practitioners insist the product is made,

  •  in small quantities,
  •  by an independent producer,
  •  on low-yielding vineyards,
  •  from hand-picked, organically grown grapes,
  •  without added sugars or foreign yeast,
  •  without adjustments for acidity,
  •  without micro-oxygenation or reverse-osmosis.

Natural wines go beyond their organic and biodynamic counterparts, landing in a “non-industrial” category. The difference is in the process. Organically certified wines indicate that the process of growing the grapes is organic. What happens afterwards is up to the winemaker. This is the stage where things get added: manufactured yeast, additives and sulfites. Natural wine is concerned with what happens after the grapes are picked, adding little or no sulfites, and avoiding commercial yeasts.

As the world of marketing brings us terms such as organic and artisan, natural might sound like yet another marketing ploy. Proponents say this isn’t a new trend, but rather a return to traditional winemaking standards from the past.

Others argue that without sulfur, wines spoil. Italian gastronomy magazine Gambero Rosso wrote: “We sincerely hope that Italian wine lovers will not be subjected to what has been happening in France: an invasion of so-called ‘natural’ wines — in other words, so called ‘zero sulfur’ wines — with the complicity of numerous sommeliers, wine merchants and irresponsible journalists …”

Since there is no official certification for natural wines, the definition of the term can be interpreted differently, and there are plenty of viticulturists of natural wine who choose not to brand their product as natural, instead opting to highlight the fact that their wines are produced by smaller, artisanal growers.

A better alternative may be certification by independent groups such as SIP Certified. When consumers see the SIP seal on wines such as those produced at Holman Ranch in Carmel Valley, they know that growers are preserving and protecting the natural environment, treating their employees and community with care, and have sound business practices with a long-term view that protects both the present and the future. Conscientious consumers have a choice they can make — one that supports both the land and the people that create their favorite wines.

From The Fridge Test To Deep-Frying, Five Surprising Answers To Common Questions About Olive Oil

American consumption of olive oil has been rising steadily for decades, but how much do we really know about this wonder food? Here are answers to five common questions about one of the world’s most healthful foods:

  • Does the fridge test work? There is much debate about whether much of the extra virgin olive oil on the market is authentic or fake. To test the legitimacy of a supposed olive oil, folks swear by the fridge test, that calls for chilling the bottle for a few days. The belief has long been that if the oil begins to solidify, it’s true extra virgin olive oil. Pure monounsaturated fat, also known as oleic acid, solidifies at 39 degrees. Since olive oil is primarily oleic acid (about 70-85 percent, generally), the fridge test should work. Certain original olive oil adulterants, including sunflower and safflower oils, are mostly polyunsaturated, so adulterating olive oil used to be easy to spot. Now, with high-oleic canola, sunflower and safflower oils,, adulterated olive oil can still solidify in the fridge. So toss out any oils that fail the test, but it’s no longer full-proof.
  • Does light olive oil have fewer calories and fat than regular olive oil? Unfortunately, no. This marketing term does not refer to the calorie or fat gram count, but rather the ratio of extra-virgin olive oil to refined olive oil. All olive oil has 14 grams of fat per tablespoon, even if the label describes it as light or extra light. Light refers to the color and flavor of the oil, not its calorie or fat content. If you look closely at the label on the bottle, it should say this.
  • What does the color of the oil tell us? Olive oil naturally comes in a range of colors, from pale yellow to deep golden to green, and might change slightly over time as it oxidizes. The more chlorophyll present in the oil, the greener the product. Green oils tend to be higher in antioxidants and have a more intense peppery flavor with just a hint of bitterness. Color also depends on the olive cultivars, the degree of maturation of the olives and factors relating to the production processes. The bottom line? Color is not an indication of quality.
  • Are cloudy olive oils safe to consume? Olive oil can appear cloudy for many reasons, but mostly it’s indicative of an unfiltered oil (which just means the sediment and pulp was not removed). Cold olive oil also can take on a cloudy appearance. The sediment in unfiltered olive oils is nothing more than pieces of olive that actually add flavor to the oil, and poses no threat. To clear olive oil that has become cloudy because of temperature, just leave out at room temperature. The saturated fat that congealed in the cold will settle naturally.
  • Is it possible to fry foods in olive oil? Most people will not fry with olive oil, warning of its lower smoke point compared to peanut or corn oil, which are more often used for frying. Once oil reaches its smoke point, it can release toxic compounds that should not be consumed in large quantities. However, refined olive oil has a smoke point of 486 degrees, making it suitable for deep frying, but it’s not advisable to fry using extra-virgin olive oil.

Sip, Swirl, Savor and Learn The Fifth Annual “In Your Backyard” Series Brought To You By Edible Monterey Bay And Holman Ranch Announces Its March 16th Class

Sip, Swirl, Savor and Learn

The Fifth Annual “In Your Backyard” Series Brought to you by

Edible Monterey Bay and Holman Ranch

Announces Its March 16th Class 

March 16th, 6:00 PM – Chef Brandon Miller from Mundaka in Carmel-by-the-Sea will celebrate National Paella Day by taking you on a culinary journey through Spain and teach you the tips and secrets of how to make traditional Spanish Paella.   The charity partner is the Food Bank for Monterey County.  The Food Bank for Monterey County is the largest provider of emergency supplemental food in Monterey County. Our mission is “to lead community efforts in the awareness and elimination of hunger in Monterey County.” The food bank solicits, collects, stores, and redistributes food to individuals as well as non-profit agencies that serve the aged, ill, and needy.


CARMEL, CA (February 2016)  Inspired by the culinary bounty of California’s Central Coast, Holman Ranch Tasting Room, located at 19 E. Carmel Valley Road in Carmel Valley Village, is working with Edible Monterey Bay to invite local culinary chefs and artisans to demonstrate how wine can be best complemented with fresh culinary products found throughout the Central Coast.

The “In Your Backyard” series brought to you by Edible Monterey Bay and Holman Ranch will have chefs, farmers sand foragers sharing their tips and techniques for finding the perfect, fresh ingredients for preparing truly memorable meals, side dishes as well as understanding flavor pairings. From paella to abalone and sea vegetable demos, the series will showcase local experts’ knowledgeable on everything from how to select the best meats to creating savory pastries with ingredients from the local Farmers Market. Each demonstration will offer recommendations for the best wine to pair with the featured culinary item.

Here is a sneak peek at our 2016 schedule, partners and charity beneficiaries:

  • March 16th, 6:00 PM – Chef Brandon Miller from Mundaka in Carmel-by-the-Sea will celebrate National Paella Day by taking you on a culinary journey through Spain and teach you the tips and secrets of how to make traditional Spanish Paella.   The charity partner is the Food Bank for Monterey County.  The Food Bank for Monterey County is the largest provider of emergency supplemental food in Monterey County. Our mission is “to lead community efforts in the awareness and elimination of hunger in Monterey County.” The food bank solicits, collects, stores, and redistributes food to individuals as well as non-profit agencies that serve the aged, ill, and needy.

  • April 20th at 6:00 PM – Chef Brad Briske from La Balena in Carmel-by-the-Sea will do a grass fed nose-to-tail, cooking demo!  The charity partner will be MEarth.  MEarth is an environmental education nonprofit with roots in Carmel Valley, California, that is growing the next generation of environmental leaders through education, collaboration, partnerships and community action. We educate and inspire through environmental stewardship.
  • May 18th Aubergine’s Ron Mendoza will lead you in creating fabulous desserts. The evening will benefit Everyone’s Harvest, bringing people and healthy food together through certified farmers’ markets and community food programs.
  • June 15th will feature Kenneth Macdonald from Edgars at Quail Lodge in Carmel Valley who will take you from garden to table, discussing how to plant your garden with your menus in mind and providing tips for cooking your harvest. The evening will benefit Ag Against Hunger, which channels surplus fruits and vegetables from farms in our area to those in need.
  •   July 14th, 6:00 PM – John Cox with Sierra Mar at Post Ranch in Big Sur and Trevor Fay of Monterey Abalone Co. will take up the theme “Cooking the Big Sur Coast,” showing you how to cook our local abalone and sea vegetables, and sharing how Monterey Abalone raises the iconic gastropod and forages for sea vegetables and rare seafood in Monterey Bay.   Charity Partner is the Grower Shipper Foundation.  The Grower-Shipper Association Foundation is a non-profit 501c(3) organization that provides education and information on the agriculture industry as well as offering innovative programs to our community outreach.  We are here to make our community aware of the positive impact agriculture makes to all our lives.  Help us to be a part of the solution to educate, inform and inspire.

Reservations are required for all classes and the cost for each event is $25 per person. Classes are $10 for wine club members.  Class size is limited to 25 attendees.  This includes the class, wine tasting, small bites, and meeting, learning and sampling from a local artisan. A portion of the class proceeds will benefit the local charity organizations. To make reservations call 831-659-2640 or email

Holman Ranch’s Carmel Valley Village Tasting Room is the perfect backdrop to swirl, sip and savor the different complexities of Holman Ranch Vineyard and Winery wines while learning about the culinary bounty available in your own backyard. The tasting room is open daily from 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and is available for private events.

About Holman Ranch Vineyard and Winery:

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. Holman Ranch estate-grown wine varietals are planted on approximately 19 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 their wines. The warmth of the inland valley coupled with the cooling marine layer has proven to be an ideal microclimate for the production of Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. The vineyards’ Burgundy Clones have thrived from the perfect blend of ideal climate, southern exposure and thin rocky soils.

The estate wines of Holman Ranch include: 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 trees has a delightfully distinctive flavor.

Holman Ranch: Where the Past is Always Present. Tucked away in the rolling hills of Carmel Valley, 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 Edible Monterey Bay

Founded in 2011, Edible Monterey Bay produces a beautiful quarterly magazine and weekly email newsletter celebrating the local food cultures of Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties, season by season. It also promotes local and sustainable regional food cultures through outstanding food and wine-themed events. For more information, go to or call (831) 298-7117.