In her late 40s, Jarman began showing signs of dementia. She was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s and succumbed in 2011 at the age of 60. “She was an amazing woman who led an amazing life” Nick told me. She loved food and wine and jumped at the chance to travel. After her death, Nick thought is was only fitting to take the best Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes from the Holman vineyards and produce a wine with the Jarman label. Under the guidance of head winemaker Greg Vita, Nick helps craft the Jarman wines as well as the wines bearing the Holman Ranch label. Vita has divided his time between the Napa Valley and Monterey making wine and has his own consulting business. The Jarman wines are exceptional and $1 from each bottle sold goes to the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation.
We dined right next door at Wills Fargo Steakhouse + Bar. Originally a stop on the milk run between the valley and the coast, it became The Carousel restaurant in the 30s. Will Fay bought it in 1959 and gave it the name it bears today. I visited with restaurant manager Mike Zinn and Executive Chef Jerome Viel before we sat down to a fabulous dinner. Jerome is a classically trained French Chef whose wife and daughters are vegetarians. Not only does the restaurant offer exceptional beef, pork, chicken and lamb, it also has perhaps the best vegetarian fare in the valley. We savored each sip of French Onion soup, shared bites of roasted free-range chicken and goat cheese raviolis and succumbed to the allure of the warm truffle cake with house made olive oil ice cream.
I’ve fallen in love with Holman Ranch and can’t wait to return.If you’re looking for a place to hold a wedding, retreat, business meeting or corporate event for up to 400 people, Holman Ranch is an ideal venue.
Tom Plant launched WINEormous in 2009 and is a member of the International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association. Based in Temecula, California, he offers intimate winery tours for no more than seven people. Tour details and pricing are available at www.temecula-tours.com. Call now to book your Temecula Winery Tour at (951) 907-9701. Ask about special discounts.