We were already in California, so…

The Napa Valley Wine Train

The Napa Valley Wine Train

We looked on the Internet and checked northern California tourism and discovered the Napa Valley Wine Train. What a treat! There are several options, but the one we chose was the lunch trip. Arrive at 10:30 AM to check in and listen to a short lecture with wine tasting. The white was a Pinot Gris, the French equivalent of Pinot Grigio, using the same grape — quite tasty. I liked the syrah that followed but Lia didn’t.

A view of some vineyards from the train

A view of some vineyards from the train

Then on to the train for an 11:30 AM departure and a 3-hour trip through several towns of the Napa Valley, starting in Napa, traveling to St. Helena and returning to Napa. The trains are restored 1915-17 Pullman dining cars with air conditioning and compressed natural gas engines in some of the locomotives. It’s a delightful relaxing ride.

Philip and Lia in the dessert car

Philip and Lia in the dessert car

I was quite surprised by the quality of the food and the service. Michell was our fine waitress and tour guide as we passed various wineries. I expected cafeteria food but got gourmet, restaurant quality food. The special was ribeye steak, which was excellent. The pork chop was almost as good. I misread the details of the trip, so I thought the wine pairings were included in the cost, but unfortunately, they were additional. My wine, a Zinfandel blend, called “The Prisoner”, was excellent. I’ll be looking to buy more when we get back to NY. After lunch, we proceeded to another car where we got dessert and coffee. My brownie was delicious.

A stop at the Grgich Winery is possible on another tour

A stop at the Grgich Winery is possible on another tour

So, if you find yourself in the San Francisco area, looking for a day’s entertainment, I highly recommend the Wine Train. For $15 additional, there’s even a boat that takes you to the train directly from San Francisco. That would have been fun, had we actually started our journey from there.


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Call or write and let me know what you would like to buy, sell, or trade. philchasen@gmail or 516-922-2090. And please visit my website. chasenantiques.com

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