Napa Valley + Wine + Trains = All Kinds of Yes

By: Mackenzie Schieck

Hop on this posh train for the ultimate Napa Valley experience.

 

When it comes to visiting Napa Valley the only possible "problem"—if you could call it that—is there's so much ground to cover, and never enough time. Well, it's as if the Napa Valley Wine Train said, "Oh, about that—yeah, we've got you covered."

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Napa Valley Wine Train
(The Vista Dome offers passengers reserved seating—and killer views. | Image by Napa Valley Wine Train.)

Originally part of the Southern Pacific, this railway transported passengers and freight from 1885 until the 1930s when passenger service began to die down with the rise of the automobile. It eventually stopped altogether, leaving just one freight train traveling the line once a week. With the looming possibility of the land being sold and the railway being abandoned completely, the community pulled together and found an investor in San Francisco resident Vincent DeDomenico (inventor of Rice-A-Roni). Once DeDomenico purchased the rail line from Southen Pacific, the Napa Valley Wine Train began to grow into the company it is today. And cheers to that!

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With tours that range from under two hours to pretty much all day, passengers these days get to sip Napa Valley wine alongside multi-course gourmet meals (roast beef, lemon thyme roasted chicken and brown sugar-glazed pork tenderloin, anyone?), with a front-row seat to unmatched scenery as the train travels between wineries. Perhaps even from the Cabernet Sauvignon Lounge Car. Because that is a thing that exists!

Napa Valley Wine Train
(Who wouldn't want a seat in the Cabernet Sauvignon Lounge Car?? Swoon. | Image by Napa Valley Wine Train.)

Choose from tours like the Romance on the Rails trip that includes a private booth in the glass-topped Vista Dome, or a Quattro Vino Tour that takes you on a six-hour trip through the Napa landscape, visiting some of the most celebrated wineries in the area. They also have special event tours that could have you wrapping up a day of sipping wine with VIP seating to a concert on a Rock the Rails tour. Or book the Murder Mystery tour if you like a little whodunit with your vino. A fan of natural mood lighting? Check out a Private Twilight Tour—a sort of "after dark" experience that keeps the party going after everything else has officially shut down. With so many different experiences available, you might need to make this an annual trip. Or biannual? We'd definitely toast to that.

Check out the Napa Valley Wine Train menu of tours to see which one would really have you raising a glass.