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by Barb B
Napa, CA and Hereford, AZ , Arizona
September 12, 2000
The Napa Wine Train is truly a wonderful experience, even if you are not a wine drinker. The vintage rail cars have been beautifully restored and offer a unique dining experience. The interiors have rubbed mahogany, polished brass and sparkling crystal throughout--reminiscent of an older, more glamorous and more opulent era. The train travels at a leisurely pace through the valley vinyards and the ride usually lasts about 3 hours.
During your trip you enjoy a fine meal of gourmet quality, prepared by an outstanding chef using only the freshest ingredients found in the valley. You will select you favorite appetizer and a salad, then choose from three entrees (usually meat, fish or chicken), and then enjoy one of the fabulous desserts. (I always choose the Chocolate Decadence!) Meals are served with style on white linen cloths with fine china and silverware. Of course, the wine selection is wonderful and you can order by the bottle or by the glass. You can view the Executive Chef and his staff preparing your meal in the glass on-board kitchen. The food is of the highest quality and truly of gourmet quality. On a few of our trips the chef has stopped at our table to visit and see if everything was satisfactory!
The train travels from the Napa Station on Soscol Avenue to the station in St. Helena and then returns. Unfortunately at this time, you cannot get on and off the train along the route. However plans are in the works for on-&-off stops in the future.
The train also offers many specialty trips such as a Mystery Dinner Train, Sunday Brunch Train, Gourmet Dinner Train, Vintners tasting luncheon, etc. During the holidays they even have a 'Kids Ride With Santa Train.'
Several dining options are offered: from the Luncheon Deli Car (serving deli sandwiches and other items), Champagne Vista Dome Car (my favorite)with a 'view from the top.' All are wonderful and the food and service are impeccable! So choose your price, but go for the BEST you can afford!!
You can see the options of the Wine Train at the Wine Train website at - www.Winetrain.com.
From journal Napa Valley -Speaking As A Local---
Mary Esther, Florida
September 8, 2004
After breakfast, we head for Napa for a trip on the Wine Train. Rumbling along past 26 wineries through lush vineyards for 36 miles from Napa to St Helena, the Wine Train has been making several three-hour journeys most days since 1989. Visitors relax in nine restored Pullman cars, such as a Champagne Vista Dome Car, Lounge Car, open air Silverado Trail car, and two dining cars.
There are brunch, lunch and dinner excursions. Family Fun Nights, allow parents to enjoy a gourmet four-course dinner, while their children are entertained by games, movies and food under the supervision of professional care providers. A Murder Mystery Theatre Dinner features a gourmet dinner and encourages the guests to become involved in the action.
With eighteen choices ranging in price from $65.00 to $140.00, deciding which excursion to book isn’t easy. We chose a lunch trip with second seating and began our journey in the lounge car enjoying champagne and light appetizers. Fellow travelers are friendly and interesting conversations flow. Our next three courses were served in the dining car. Tables are laden with white linens, fine china, gleaming silver, crystal glassware, and fresh flowers. What a delightful way to dine, savoring our salad, entrée, dessert and several glasses of champagne, and all the while watching a panorama of wine country scenery unfold right outside our window.
After lunch, there was plenty of time to check out other cars. The décor in the cars is elegant 20th century classic with rich mahogany paneling, brass fixtures, chandeliers, and etched glass partitions. Guests have open access to the entire train and it’s fun to wander from car to car. Be sure not to miss the glass-walled kitchen car. All meals are prepared onboard and it’s quite a show to see the chefs in action.
The Silverado Railcar is completely different from the other cars. It is decorated with a frontier theme and houses a historical photographic collection of Great Western Movie Stars. Slide-open windows allow guests to enjoy a fresh air ride with grilled ranch-style cuisine. The Champagne Vista Dome Car features high-backed velvet chairs and elevated seating for making the most of the scenic trip.
The Wine Train Depot is located at 1275 McKinstry Street in Napa. Reservations can be made by calling (800) 427-4124 or online at www.winetrain.com. The website is loaded with information about the history of the train, the myriad of dining options, rates, and special events. Whatever your choice, book in advance. Popular excursions fill quickly. Special event seating fills even quicker.
From journal Raising a Toast to California Wine Country
Los Angeles, California
August 24, 2000
The ride includes lunch, dinner or brunch. I went with friends on the lunch excursion. We had some of the Valley's finest drinks along with a great dinner. The food was awesome and melted in your mouth.
Outside we watch the scenery roll by and took in the beauty. This is another great opportunity in the Napa Valley Area.
From journal Napa Valley Activities
Grand Prairie, Texas
July 5, 2001
From the moment you enter the Wine Train's Station, you begin a threefold adventure...A return to the gracious era of elegant rail travel with distinguished service... A deliciously crafted culinary and complete wine experience...champagne brunch, gourmet lunch or exquisite full-course dinner... offer an enjoyable and relaxing journey through the heart of Napa Valley's picturesque vineyards past world renowned wineries.
Guests spend time prior to boarding leisurely shopping and wine tasting. The McKinstry Street Station provides a perfect opportunity for purchasing gifts for loved ones ... or yourself! The Wine Emporium features almost 200 kinds of wine and related gifts, while Baubles & Beads offers an elegant variety of jewelry and other personal items, as well as luxurious gifts for the home in the Unique Gift Express!
Every Brunch, Lunch and Dinner excursion approximately a scenic 3-hour adventure through the heart of the Napa Valley Wine Country. This is the best way to see the valley without having to drive.
From journal Weekend in the Wine Country
June 12, 2010