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Napa Wine Train

The Napa Valley Wine Train is a circa 1865 railroad with "relaxed elegance, artfully prepared cuisine, and world class wines" The train operates year-round.

The Napa Valley Wine train has toured over 1 million visitors in the region since beginning service in 1989. Rather than drive and visit various wineries-- the Napa Valley Wine train offers a vintage railroad experience combined with food and wines.

The train is "non-stop" unless you choose one of the tours available of two specific wineries at lunchtime. The train travels along Highway 29 (the main winery road) and serves a variety of wines from the region including limited production and "hard-to-find" local wines. You can view the area from the comfort of a rail coach and not worry about designated drivers (the train is your driver!) until you get off the train. We tried out the train's nighttime voyage.

The nighttime version of the Napa Valley Wine Train may not maximize the fun that a wine train can offer. At night - it's tough to see anything -- you could be almost anywhere. That said -- the food was good quality -- the service was good -- and the experience was unique. However, the price for dinner makes you wonder whether a top-end Napa restaurant might be a better use of your money. On certain weekends, the Napa Valley Wine Train offers a children's car where your children can enjoy dinner and movies while you have a romantic evening on the train.

There is usually no charge for children (only the parents pay). We'd recommend the daytime wine trains if you enjoy vintage railroads. However, the night version did not give much (any) views of the wine country. Keep in mind-- the wine train offers limited opportunities to choose wineries or wine via the tours of two specific wineries-- but is an enjoyable way to spend the day. Napa Valley Wine Train

Winery Excursions - How They Work:

If you choose the Grgich Hills tour, you will have lunch on the train on the way up the valley; disembark at Grgich and enjoy an hour long tour and tasting. You will rejoin the train (which has continued up valley without you) when it makes is southward journey, again stopping at Grgich to pick up the tour passengers. They then enjoy dessert for the last hour of the train ride back to Napa.

The Domaine Chandon tour is similar, except that passengers enjoy almost a full circuit on the train traveling fromNapato St.Helena and back, stopping at Yountville to allow the Domaine Chandon tour to begin. Those passengers take a bus up the hill to the winery, enjoy an hour tour and tasting and then take a bus back to the Napa station arriving about an hour after the train.

A particularly unique winery tour option is the new Ambassador Tour.  On the Ambassador tour, guests begin by riding the Train up to the turn around point (Saint Helena) and then back down the Valley until the Train stops at Grgich Hills.  The tour guests then board a motor coach and are transported to both Raymond Vineyards and to ZD Wines.  The tour finishes at the Wine Train station around 4:30 pm.

Napa Valley Wine Train Schedule:

Option Boarding Departure Return
Luncheon 11am 11:30am 2:30pm
Dinner 6pm 6:30pm 9:30pm

Napa Valley Wine Train Prices:

Napa Wine Train Map

Napa Wine Train Map

Option
Price
Vista Dome Lunch
$129
Gourmet Lunch
$99
Vista Dome Dinner
$129
Gourmet Dinner
$99

 

The Vista Dome is a clear dome at the top of the train allowing better views by being higher up and an open view of the skies.

Directions To Napa Valley Wine Train:

Take 80 east. Exit Napa / Columbus Parkway. Follow Napa 37 (left lane) to Highway 29. Turn right heading North on Highway 29. Exit Napa / Lake Berryessa. This road will become Soscal Avenue in Napa. Continue on Soscol Avenue -- turn right on First Street. Turn left onto McKinstry Street (1275 McKinstry - Napa).

Napa Valley Wineries

Rombauer Winery napa wine train
Rutherford Hill Winery
Clos du Val Winery
Stag's Leap Winery
Napa Valley Train Website
Napa Valley lodging
Plumpjack Winery
V. Sattui Winery
Dean and Deluca Grocery and Cafe

All photography on this page shared with permission of Napa Valley Wine Train and photo credit to Trenton McManus.

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