Napa Valley Wine Train – California USA
By Nagib Georges Araman
For a memorable dining experience while traveling through an awe inspiring landscape, hop aboard the Napa Valley Wine Train, and you will not be disappointed. Stretching 30 miles, the Napa Valley is situated in Northern California and is one of the top wine growing regions in the world. The Napa Valley Wine Train journey lasts for 3 hours, which is more than enough time to soak in the scenic views of the Napa Valley that is mainly composed of rolling hills and charming vineyards. The Wine Train mainly goes to the quaint town of St Helena and goes for a round trip around picturesque towns such as Rutherford, Yountville and Oakville.
Aside from traveling with utmost luxury, this journey is all about going back in time as you will travel on a beautifully restored vintage train while exploring the famous American wine country. Most of the cars were built in 1915 by the renowned Pullman Standard Company and were intended to be first class coaches for the Northern Pacific Railway. These days, the refurbished cars have retained their steel structure and come with modern features such as steam heat and electric lights. They are also furnished with velveteen fabric armchairs, Honduran mahogany paneling and brass accents to achieve a high degree of luxury and comfort.
But what makes Napa Valley Wine Train even more exciting is the fantastic dining experience that comes with the train ride. You can enjoy this experience in the form of a multiple course gourmet lunch or dinner. Meals are freshly prepared in the three on board kitchens on the train. Dining arrangements for lunch packages usually follow traditional rail seating. This means that you will share a table with another party. Although it is possible to book a table all for yourself and your companion, the option is limited to when you book the Gourmet Express Package.
If you are willing to pay more, you can have your meal in the Vista Dome, where all the tables are private. Dinner on board the Napa Valley Wine Train is an entirely different experience as the tables are private, the ambiance is more formal and the dishes are complemented with glasses of fine wine. If you want a romantic date night, then there’s no other ideal package than the Moonlight Escape excursion.
Meals can be enjoyed in the first or second seating section. In the first seating section, meals are served when the train goes to St Helena. You can choose between soup or salad which accompanies the main course of your choice. Your dining experience is completed with coffee and dessert, which you can enjoy in one of the lounges while train is heading back to Napa. If you choose the second seating section, you will have appetizers on the way to St. Helena, and then have your main course on the return trip. Some examples of main course meals include roasted beef tenderloin, coriander chicken breast and grilled salmon with potatoes.
Aside from having a nice gourmet meal, you will also enjoy great wine tasting opportunities at some of the premier wineries in the region as part of the train package. The Napa Valley Wine Train station is located on McKinstry Street, which is only a 5 minute- walk from downtown Napa, California.
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