Hubby and I have been married 36 years and when we started discussing what to do to celebrate our anniversary in September we both immediately thought of the Napa Valley Wine Train. It was something we wanted to do last year but we ended up leaving to late in the year so on our anniversary this year hubby booked us tickets. This is the main reason we came to Napa but all the other fun things there are to do here have pleasantly surprised us.
This morning we began our Wine Train tour with a bus ride to Raymond Vineyards where we were given a tour of the vineyard and fermentation plant … along with tastings of four wines while touring.
After our tour we took the bus to Grgich Hills Winery were we boarded our train.
We were seated in a dining car with a fellow from Tokyo, who fortunately for us spoke excellent English (There are four people to a table so you will be sharing your meal with others). While enjoying a glass and a half of wine and an excellent meal we spent two hours on the train riding through the Napa Valley.
After three and a half hours we arrived back at the station with a souvenir tin container of fine dark chocolate, which we were given as an anniversary gift, and our one bottle of wine that we purchased at Raymond Vineyards.
So our overall impression … we had a good time and the scenery and food was excellent but overall it is a little pricey for what you get, $334.00 for the two of us. Our tickets included the tour of Raymond Vineyard, the Wine Train, one small glass of red or white wine, and a five star restaurant lunch. When booking the tickets we purchased an additional two glasses each of wine for an extra $40.00. Originally we had booked the Saturday evening train where we would have a romantic dinner in the dome car and a three hour train ride, with no stops at wineries, so two glasses of wine each didn’t sound unreasonable. After arriving in Napa we decided to exchange those tickets for the lunch tour, which included a tour of the winery, so that we would see the valley during the daylight hours and get in a winery tour. It turns out that the extra wine tickets we purchased give you two glasses each of the Wine Train wine, which you receive a small glass of upon arriving on the train and I didn’t think it was very good. Hubby and I each had a glass of wine that was recommended to go with our meal and of course those two glasses were twice the price of the house wine … a whopping $19.00 for the merlot and $16.00 for the chardonnay! So we got two glasses for the price of four glasses and to be honest in our opinion the wine wasn’t worth what they charged.
Now I could be very biased in my opinion as we come from an award winning wine region in British Columbia and we have done many wine tours and tastings. I have to say that, while winning many awards, our wines do not cost anywhere near what they charge for wine in Napa.
However, all in all, we had a great time and are glad we did the tour.
Until next time …