Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Napa Valley Wine Train


The Napa Valley Wine Train is one of the most unique and delicious Napa Valley restaurants housed in an antique train that runs on 25-miles of track in the heart of the Napa Valley, California. (all photos will enlarge when clicked on once and then again when they reopen on a new page)


The train has two engines, three kitchens on board, and a collection of early 20th century rail cars that are pure Americana. It offers guests great regional food and fabulous wines.


The Wine Train depot is located at 1275 McKinstry Street, in Napa, California. There are various dining packages available for lunch or dinner and special events. My husband and I chose the gourmet lunch that included a stop to visit the Grgich Hills Estate Winery.


We were seated in a refurbished 1915-1917 Pullman Car.

Our menu

Executive Chef Kelly Macdonald prepares the meals in a specially fabricated kitchen car located immediately adjacent to the dining area.


We had a salad as an appetizer and I chose the salmon entree special.....


....while my husband the roasted tenderloin.


As you can see by our clean plates, both entrees were delicious!


As we dined we enjoyed the beautiful views of Napa Valley passing by outside the moving train.


We past many beautiful vineyards.


We arrived at Grgich Hills Estate Winery where we depart the train for a one hour tour and wine tasting that was included in our special Wine Train lunch.


Grgich Hills Estate is a family owned winery. Founded in 1977 by Miljenko “Mike” Grgich in partnership with Austin Hills and his sister, Mary Lee Strebl, from the Hills Bros. Coffee family.
Grgich is now 87 years old, and still sports his signature blue beret.  He was inducted into the Vinter Hall of Fame in March 2008 in honor of his many contributions to the wine industry.  Grgich Hills owns all of its own vineyards, all of which are certified organic and Biodynamic.


Time to reboard the train for the return trip.


We were now seated in comfortable swivel lounge chairs .......


...that looked out of large picture windows.


As we enjoyed coffee and desserts...


There is a wine tasting bar on the train, and they allow guests to stroll through the cars to watch the meals being prepared, but we preferred to relax and talk and enjoy the views. You can watch a short video about the Wine Train gourmet lunch experience at this link.


It was a wonderful and memorable experience. If you have the opportunity to spend a few hours riding the Wine Train when you visit Napa Valley I'd highly recommend it!



I'm linking up with Susan's blog  A Southern Daydreamer for "Outdoor Wednesday." and Cathy's blog A Bit of the Blarney for "Adventure Tour." Please visit their blogs and join in all the fun!




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39 comments:

GrandmaK said...

Oh yes, the romance of the train! What stories they could tell! Thank you! Cathy

Ginny said...

I am sorry to get to the end of this post!! Man!! Of course I had to watch the video, too! I love that little outdoor observation deck, it looks like the caboose. Did you stand on it? This would be my idea of heaven!! I recognize Robert Mondavi wines, they advertise them on P.B.S. here. Your husband's tenderloin looks like there is also another kind of meat on the plate, maybe chicken? It all looks just fabulous!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Wow Pat... That is incredible... I'd love to visit there --and I'd definitely take that train ride. Your dinner and dessert looked yummy... AND--those comfy chairs... My My... How special is that!!!!

Thanks for sharing such beauty.
Hugs,
Betsy

Sarah said...

Like Ginny, I didn't want this one to end. What a delightful experience, Pat. I so want to do this the next time we visit the wine country. The food looks fabulous, but I think the entire experiece would be amazing. ~ Sarah

PEA said...

What a fantastic experience that must have been! I've never been on a train in my life but I know I would enjoy something like that. The scenery you were seeing out of the windows was breathtaking. xoxo

Sue said...

Hi Pat...I have been enjoying your trip to California and your train trip looked wonderful...especially eating in the fancy dining car!
I was suppose to go to California for my 6oth. this year but couldn't get anybody to go with me so I have to enjoy my vacation through your eyes...thanks for taking me along!!

Pondside said...

That's definitely one for the list. A vintage train, marvelous food, outstanding views and my husband....I'm there!

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

What a neat experience! It all looks fabulous...the scenery, the food, the train itself...and in good company as well.

Lily Hydrangea said...

Wow! this sounds wonderful - I am so doing this one day.

Cheryl D. said...

That looks like so much fun! And so yummy! I only went up that way once, and it was an intense business trip, so I wasn't able to do anything touristy. The food was so amazing, though! You couldn't get a bad meal. Even the sandwiches from the grocery store were amazing!

M.Kate said...

WOW! Romantic and very nice. I definitely wishing I was there...esp the food, I am drooling ;)

M.Kate said...

WOW! Romantic and very nice. I definitely wishing I was there...esp the food, I am drooling ;)

Gracie said...

It seems you had really a great time, look at your husband face, what a big smile!!!!

Old Kitty said...

WOW!!! What a great way to enjoy a train ride, good food, wine and beautiful scenery!!!

It's a brilliant trip! I love the menu - especially the suggested wine per course!! What better way to appreciate wine?

I love those swivel chairs!! I'd be there the whole trip gazing out the window with my glass of wine and soome nibbles. Oh ok, maybe feel "the wind in my hair" and go exploring and do some wine tasting too! Oh what a fantastic ride! Thank you!

Take care
x

Mary said...

Thanks SO much for the train ride! I had to watch the video, now I'm longing for a return trip to Napa that includes lunch on the train~ what fun to travel with you :-)

My Carolina Kitchen said...

Pat, I've been ooh and ahing over these posts from the wine country. What a fabulous place to visit. The train is traveling in real style.

We've always said we would someday go to the wine country, but I don't think I had any idea how absolutely gorgeous it really was. It's right up there on our bucket list now.

You could sell your wonderful photos as postcards.
Sam

Sea Witch said...

WOW! that's all I can say...WOW. Amazing photos, what a restaurant and such lovely countryside. I have never been to the Napa region and it is on my list of places to visit in our beautiful country. You have only moved this choice to the top of my list. always enjoy your posts. Sea witch

diane said...

What a fabulous trip and of course you had to have the Gourmet lunch. Sounds delicious and scenic. This is my kind of trip.

nanny said...

What a wonderful ride....
You just have so much fun....I am so happy to get to see the pictures...where is your next adventure going to be???? Can't wait.

Tracy said...

Oh, my goodnes... the romance, the food, the wine--this is heavenly, Pat! Your CA posts have just been outstanding and marvelous fun, Pat! I LOVE that photo of you & Vinny--plates cleaned, wine close to hand... oh, so good! Mondavi wines are wonderful. We can get some here sometime at the equivalent of "State stores" What a fantastic experience! Lots of memories on this trip for you... Happy Days ((HUGS))

Claudia said...

Trains remain my favorite mode of travel. Even cramped trains beat a cramped airplane. The post is a reminder of a romantic, gentle time. How lovely one can still experience it.

Vee said...

Oh this just looks delightful and much better than a trip to Boston on the Downeaster. Ha! I took a good look at that menu...very interesting and everything sounds so divine. I think I might have gone with the tenderloin as Vinny did.

Penny @ The Comforts of Home/Lavender Hill Studio said...

We didn't do that when we were there, but it looks like something we might do the next time! The menu looked delicious. How nice to sit back and let someone else do the driving too!

black eyed susans kitchen said...

Stunning scenery Pat! This must have been such a romantic meal....I have got to get to the other side of the country and experience this...just wonderful.
♥, Susan

Grace said...

Thank You! I have printed all these posts and hope to visit a few of these places. You are amazing. The food looks so wonderful and your trip sound fabulous. Grace xoxoxox

Farmchick said...

This looks like such a great time. I would love to take a ride on that train and enjoy the food...and wine!!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

My husband and I both read this post! We appreciate good wine and even toured a winery yesterday! But what's even more of a coincidence is that we watched 2 programs on trains on PBS over the weekend and I went to the library and checked out the movie, Murder on the Orient Express and we watched it last night! We are SO wanting to take a train trip! The one you took would be a dream come true! Thanks for sharing! ♥

Fifi Flowers said...

oooh I would love to ride that train... I've lived in California my whole life and I've never been to Napa... I think I am overdue!

Melanie said...

What a fabulous journey on a wonderful train and then to visit a winery too. Oh wow what a day!

I love train journeys and that was a very special one. The thing memories are made of.

Ms. Bake-it said...

It sounds like it was a fantastic experience! I have always wanted to take a train trip. Thank you for sharing your adventure with us!

~ Tracy

Oliag said...

More fun! Love that shot of you and your husband! What a wonderful trip!

Willow said...

I love trains and I enjoy wine! Win-win! Thanks for the fascinating tour.

steviewren said...

You and hubby find so many unique things to see and do while on vacation. I feel like I get to tag along when I read your posts about your adventures. Thanks.

My name is PJ. said...

The food looks delectable and I love the long narrow menu!!!

Ann said...

wonderful post. I felt like I was with you.

Was there any Napa cabbage for me to make kimchi?

KarenHarveyCox said...

Pat,
What an amazing trip, an amazing place, and an amazing couple. Your photography as always is a dream. Everyone like a painting.
Karen

Edie Marie's Attic said...

You & Vinny look so at home on that gorgeous train!! What a posh train to spend time on. You had to feel like royalty! I am really enjoying going along with you through Napa Valley... the wines had to be so much fun to try & sip on.

Hugs, Sherry

Sara said...

Thanks for the ride, and you narrated it so beautifully!

RNSANE said...

So glad you got to enjoy the Wine Train, Pat, and that you got to enjoy Miljenko Grigich's winery which is one of my favorites - I've stopped there so often over the years and have talked to Miljenko ( I should send you my picture with him ). I think he is eighty now and at the winery for a short while most days. His is one of my favorite chardonnays of all time. Recently, on a cruise which stopped in Croatia, I even bought a bottle of chardonnay from a vineyard he has there!!!

-Check out the link for info on my blogaversary giveaway:
http://rnsane.blogspot.com/2010/09/flash-55-friday-happy-anniversary-to-me.html#links