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Jun 18, 2008 11:04 AM

Napa Valley Wine Trains?

Hi, I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions/recommendations for some type of wine tour on a train? My friend told me about it. Supposedly, it's a train that stops at a couple of wineries and then includes lunch or dinner on the train at the end? It sounds a little cheesy but it could also be a blast. I just don't wanna get suckered into going to some bad vineyards or being served a bad meal.

Anyone ever heard of a really good one?

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  1. Three words... Don't Do It
    Horrible food. Doesn't stop at wineries.

    2 Replies
    1. re: vliang

      Concur. I heard it's beyond bad...might be better to rent a limo and drive around if the idea is to not drink and drive.

      1. re: ML8000

        Third. Bad, bad food. Waste of time. Better money spent on limo and a better meal.

    2. There is 1 train tour company.. Search this board for reviews. Or not, vliang is fairly concise.

      3 Replies
      1. re: wolfe

        To summarize, make that 3 votes no.

        1. re: wolfe

          I vote NO also, but that said, our friends from Amsterdam (and he knows good food and wine) loved it. They said the food wasn't good, but the experience had a fun Disneyland-ish element to it that they could brag about to friends back home. He's also very rich, so he didn't mind the waste of money for those bragging rights. Obviously, he didn't mind the waste of time, either, but I wouldn't do it. My husband and I made them take that trip by themselves while we ate at Bistro Don Giovanni.

          1. re: Claudette

            This is how much I would not go....
            The first time we had gotten these tixs as a gift and went. It was really bad food. The train goes on one straight track (meaning you go on the EXACT same road up one way and then down it later). It's not as if these tracks stop off in front of the wineries either.
            Then about a year later, we won tixs again for this from a raffle. We thought so poorly of our previous experience that we simply threw the tixs away. We didn't even want to give the tixs away because we didn't want to inflict the experience on anyone else.

      2. I'll be the odd one out and say that I went two years ago and had a pretty good time. Granted, it was a company event and I walked in expecting the worse food on the face of the earth. Instead, we had a pretty nice meal, and a dessert that I still remember- the creme brulee was great!
        I don't know if it had to do with low expectations, or maybe two years ago it was still good and went South, but I found it unexpectantly pleasant. That said, if I had my pick of spending a day in Wine Country, I would head for lunch at Ad Hoc or Bouchon, and drive around the wineries!

        1. I wouldn't recommend it either. We went a few years ago, it seemed over priced for what you get. I thought the food was fine, but the appetizers were weird. AND wine is not included, you'd think if they called something a Wine Train, it would include wine! Wine tasting on the train was only $5 for 2-3 wines, the train ride was nice, but like others have said it doesn't stop at any wineries. Also, they had two lunch services, one earlier and one later, which we didn't realize, so we were really hungry by the time we got to each lunch during the later service. It was okay, but I wouldn't do it again.

          1. I went a number of years ago (free tix) and enjoyed the view from the train (and a lot of the scenery has been cleaned up since then... there are some really ugly areas in between the pretty ones)... it was a company event and we had really bad apps with wine... however the train itself was nice.

            though I can't speak for certain, I have had the exec. chef's food at other events and liked it, not sure how long he has been there (so can't say if prior bad experiences were with his food). another point, you don't have to eat.. they have tasting car.... though wine is separate from cost of ticket. I understand they do stop at domaine chandon & grgich (sp?) winery, but I think it is some kind of lunch/package deal... not a come and go shuttle deal.

            and last, but not least I'm sure it is a lot nicer now that the locals don't honk and flip off the train as much these days.

            1 Reply
            1. re: withalonge

              Oh, I am bursting with laughter at your last line as I write!