Holman Ranch in Carmel Valley, California: The Perfect Place to Unwind and Celebrate
The lovely manicured lawn and veranda lends to the best place for weddings or special events as it overlooks the towering mountains that surround the valley. We enjoyed our stroll through each section of the property and noticed the original Carmel stone work and tile that was carefully retiled in the restoration of the property. Keeping the property as historically true as in its glory days was a must for the Lowders. The first original in-ground swimming pool built in 1920s is still as pristine and inviting as it was back in its original setting.
We traveled through the undulating hills of horse property into the small town of Carmel Valley. Next, a stop at the Jarman wine tasting room to sample wines from the ranch itself.
Greeting us with a warm welcome and a refreshing glass of the Holman Ranch Chardonnay was the gregarious owner Hunter Lowder. Enthusiastically, Lowder told us about the history and the passion of the vines, wines and of course the newest addition to their hospitality portfolio, Wills Fargo, the adjoining restaurant that has been a local culinary icon since the 1950s. the adjoining restaurant that has been a local culinary icon since the 1950s
Upon entering Will’s Fargo you can feel the history and the ambience of a time that has passed but a place that has kept pace with today’s demand for exceptional food and overall experience. Outside boasts an intimate courtyard patio offering seasonal outdoor dining. After enjoying some of the Holman Ranch award-winning wines, we were escorted into this rustic restaurant that has been serving locals’ favorite steaks, chicken, and seafood for many since the days of bobby socks and Edsels.
The times may have changed but the quality remains as Will’s Fargo is still bringing in droves of locals and tourists alike to feast upon locally sourced proteins and seafood. Tonight we started with the customary Will’s relish tray and the classic French onion soup that came with a heaping amount of gruyere cheese atop of golden onions in the rich classic broth. This was indeed great way to start the palate in a good fast forward motion right into the entrée of roasted free range chicken, moist and tender, with a creamy potato au gratin.
For our second entrée we enjoyed the goat cheese ravioli with tomato, garlic, and Parmigiano-Reggiano cream. The pasta was tender and plump with the fresh goat cheese. The Parmigiano-Reggiano cream added the textural richness. We always try to leave a little room for the dessert and we were glad we did. The warm truffle chocolate cake along with homemade ice cream form the Holman ranch and decadent caramel sauce was excellent.
Contentedly feed we bid farewell to our kind and generous hosts and made our way back up the hilly road to our cabin that was now under a blanket of twinkling stars. We were well on our way to the start of another California adventure and were glad to have started with this piece of California history that has stood the passing of time and is now ready to engage the discriminating traveler of today.