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Napa Wine Train: A Luxurious Journey Through Wine Country

Hey there! Have you heard about the super cool Napa Wine Train? It’s this awesome train that winds through Napa Valley’s gorgeous vineyards while you drink tasty wines and eat yummy food. How neat is that?

I recently went on the Napa Wine Train myself and had a total blast. I’m going to tell you all about my experience so you can see how fun it is.

Riding the Wine Train Napa Valley was one of the highlights of my whole California trip. Just picturing those scenic views and smelling those delicious wines is making me hungry! Let’s choo-choo into the details.

Chowing Down on The Wine Train

One of the best parts is getting to eat a fancy meal right on the train as you glide past the vineyards. The Napa Wine Train has a few different dining experiences:

  • Lunch Tour: This 3-hour ride includes a tasty lunch served on the train. A nice shorter option.
  • Dinner Tour: Similar to the lunch but you get a big dinner instead. You can watch the sunset over the vines!
  • Estate Tour: A 6-hour adventure where you tour a winery, have a multi-course lunch or dinner with wine pairings, and tons of time admiring the scenery.
  • Quattro Vino Tour: This 6-hour tour is all about tasting wines as you stop at four different wineries along the way. A wine lover’s dream.

No matter which you pick, the chef will cook up dishes using fresh local ingredients. The menus are different every day based on what’s in season.

I went with the dinner tour and Oh. My. Goodness. Every course was mouth-wateringly delicious. We had juicy tenderloin steak smothered in a rich, velvety cabernet sauce that was out of this world. The best part was the warm bread for sopping up every last drop!

For dessert I had this crazy good chocolate cake and sipped on a glass of port wine as we rolled under a starry night sky. So romantic!

It was really special eating off real china with crisp linens in the restored 1917 train cars. The vintage decor made me feel like I traveled back in time to the golden age of railroads. Eating while watching rows of grapevines glide by was such a fun experience!

Wine Tastings & Winery Tours On The Train

Of course, with “Wine Train” in the name, you know there will be plenty of wine tasting too! Even the basic tours let you sample some of Napa’s finest wines. But if you really love vino, you’ve gotta go for:

  • Winery Tour: You get to hop off and tour an actual winery, see how they make the wines, and try tastings right at the source.
  • Wine Tasting Tour: Similarly, you’ll disembark at multiple wineries and get to sample a bunch of their different wines. Like a mega wine tasting party!

I went with the Estate Tour which started with a half-hour stop at the historic Charles Krug Winery. A really knowledgeable tour guide walked us around the gorgeous grounds and old wine presses while telling us all about the wines.

Then we bellied up to the big tasting bar and got to swirl, sniff, and sip wines like a zippy sauvignon blanc and a smooth Bordeaux red blend. I loved hearing the backstories and fun facts about each varietal.

After getting my taste buds all warmed up, the four-course lunch with wine pairings back on the train was absolute heaven. Each part of the meal came with a glass of wine that complemented those flavors perfectly.

From light starters like the white wine with smoked salmon, to a rich chocolate dessert with port, it was like a party in my mouth with every bite. Pretty much food and wine nirvana!

Exploring Napa’s Wineries Along the Route

You can’t visit Napa Valley without stopping to tour some of the iconic wineries, right? Well the Wine Train has that covered too!

Depending on your tour, you may get to disembark and check out wineries like:

  • Charles Krug (the oldest family winery in Napa)
  • Grgich Hills Estate
  • Quintessa
  • V. Sattui
  • Castello di Amorosa (a real medieval-style castle!)

These stops let you do tastings, talk to the winemakers, stroll through vineyards, and see the wine-making process first-hand. You’ll become such a vino expert by the end!

On my tour I was able to get off in the tiny town of Rutherford and wander around to some smaller family-owned wineries too. Tasting wines made right there on the property was so cool.

My favorite part was asking the owners tons of questions about why Napa’s climate is perfect for growing grapes and hearing all the stories behind their limited-edition wines. I felt like I was getting the inside scoop!

With over 500 wineries tucked away in Napa, you could spend weeks exploring. Getting to hop off the train to experience some is such a treat. But the whole ride gives you a window into the stunning landscapes that make this region so famous.

Savoring Those Quintessential Napa Views

Sipping wine is fun but riding the train is also an awesome way to gawk at Napa’s vineyards and scenery. The big picture windows give you a front-row seat to all those postcard-worthy views!

In the spring you’ll see lush green vines and colorful flowers everywhere. Fall is pure magic with vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows painting the grapevine-covered hills.

I visited in late summer and everywhere I looked were rows and rows of grapevines heavily laden with juicy green and purple grapes just waiting to be harvested into wine. Those neat vineyard patterns rolling over the hills were so mesmerizing.

If you can, splurge for a Vista Dome ticket to ride in the double-decker car. Upstairs has a glass ceiling so you’ll get stunning 360-degree views as the train winds through valleys and over bridges. Great for photos!

Speaking of photos, the scenery made such a dreamy backdrop for all my vacation pics. I looked so relaxed sipping wine among the vineyards. The hardest part was resisting the urge to hop off and pose in front of every picturesque new vista!

All those sweeping views put me in such a chill vacation mode. I just zoned out watching the countryside glide by between bites of amazing food. It’s the perfect way to unwind while soaking up Napa’s world-famous beauty.

Stepping Back in Time on Vintage Train Cars

Riding the antique train cars adds such a fun nostalgic vibe too! Many of them date back to the early 1900s with their polished wood paneling, velvet seats, and brass details. It really feels like you’ve traveled back in time to the golden age of rail travel.

The Napa Wine Train has done an amazing job restoring these vintage cars to their original glory. As soon as you board, you’re instantly transported to a more elegant era. The clickety-clack of the rails and gentle sway of the cars makes it feel like you’ve stepped onto a real-life time machine!

My favorite was the 1915 Pullman car with its gorgeous domed glass ceilings and plush armchairs. It reminded me of the train cars you see in those classic Agatha Christie murder mysteries. I half expected someone to come walking through in a fancy fur coat and hat!

Eating off those white linen tablecloths and china settings made me feel all kinds of fancy. Like a million dollar heiress doing a leisurely tour of the family vineyards. Who knows, maybe I was in a past life!

With the soothing rhythmic rumble of the engine and all that elegant vintage decor surrounding you, it’s easy to unwind into a different era. One with more appreciation for life’s finer pleasures – like gourmet meals, good wine, and jaw-dropping scenery.

Napa Wine Train Costs

How Much This Napa Wine Train Costs

So how much does it cost to ride the Napa Valley Wine Train? That’ll depend on which tour and experience you want:

  • Lunch Tour: $134.95 per person
  • Dinner Tour: $289.95 per person
  • Estate Tour: $357.95 per person
  • Quattro Vino Tour: $359.95 per person
  • Vista Dome Car upgrade: Additional $30 per person

The prices definitely put this in the “splurge” category for most of us. But considering you get a full gourmet meal, multiple winery tours and tastings, plus that one-of-a-kind experience, many feel it’s totally worth it.

Kids’ pricing is available too if you want to bring the whole fam. Ages 2-11 pay just over half the adult price which is a nice deal for families. Under 2 years old ride for free!

You can sometimes find special package deals or discounted pricing on websites like Groupon too. Or go during the off-season like January-March for lower rates.

While it ain’t cheap, the Napa Wine Train is absolutely an amazing bucket list experience in California’s wine country that’s worth the splurge!

What Other Riders Thought About The Train

Okay, but what did other regular people think about their Napa Wine Train experience? I did some digging online and the reviews are pretty much raving about how awesome it is:

  • “An absolute must-do when visiting Napa Valley! The train is beautiful, the food and wine were out of this world, and the views are breathtaking.”
  • “Such an amazing experience – it really takes you back in time. The tour guides were so knowledgeable about winemaking. Loved every minute!”
  • “My friends and I had a total blast on the Wine Train. The scenery is stunning but the highlight was the incredible food and wine pairings. A special treat!”
  • “At first I worried it would be too touristy but it ended up exceeding all expectations. You get an authentic slice of Napa’s history and world-class wines/cuisine.”

There were really only a couple negative reviews, mostly just mentioning the high prices and that the tours ran a little long for some. But the vast majority of people clearly loved their ride through wine country.

Lots of folks especially raved about the exceptional service from the attendants and the cool historical context they provided. And pretty much everyone was in awe of the scenery.

Reading through the enthusiastic reviews, you can tell the Napa Wine Train is one of those unique, next-level experiences that creates lifelong vacation memories. No wonder it’s on so many visitors’ bucket lists!

Wine Train Napa Valley

Why You Gotta Experience This Wine Train!

After having an absolute blast myself, I cannot recommend the Napa Wine Train enough! It combines so many of the things that make Napa Valley special:

  • Incredible gourmet eats showcasing the region’s bounty
  • Expertly curated wine tastings from renowned local wineries
  • Jaw-dropping vineyard landscapes and scenery
  • A taste of California’s rich railroad history and culture

All made extra memorable by getting to relax and take it all in by train as you roll through wine country.

Whether you opt for a quick lunch tour or the full vino-themed experience like I did, the Napa Wine Train serves up a huge helping of what makes this area so special. Fresh farm-to-table cuisine, world-class wines, and those iconic Napa views makes for one sublime afternoon.

After filling up on indulgent eats, unparalleled vino, and an immersive journey into wine culture – you leave with a soul-satisfying appreciation for the art of living well. Of savoring the finer things, surrounding yourself with beauty, and celebrating life’s sweetest pleasures.

And isn’t that exactly what a visit to Napa Valley is all about? If you get a chance to climb aboard and experience it for yourself, I highly recommend taking the opportunity. All aboardddddd!

FAQs of Wine Train Napa Valley

Does the Napa Wine Train make stops?

Yes, most Napa Wine Train tours include stops to allow guests to disembark and visit local wineries. The Winery Tour and Wine Tasting Tour make multiple winery stops, while tours like the Estate Tour stop at one winery along the route.

How long is the Napa Valley Wine Train?

The total length of the Napa Wine Train’s journey is 36 miles roundtrip. It travels 18 miles from Napa to St. Helena, then turns around for the 18 miles back, taking around 3-6 hours with stops.

Is 1 day enough in Napa?

One full day allows you to experience highlights of Napa Valley like a winery tour and tasting plus the Napa Wine Train Lunch Tour. However, with over 500 wineries, most visitors wish they could spend more time exploring the region in-depth.

What is the dress code for the Napa Wine Train?

The Napa Wine Train recommends a “nice casual” to business casual dress code. Think collared shirts, blouses, dresses, khakis or nice jeans. They request no flip-flops, beachwear, overly casual attire or offensive graphics.

How much is tipping on the Napa Wine Train?

It is customary to tip around 20% of your total tour cost to the crew and service staff. For example, $25-$30 for the Lunch Tour or around $70 for the pricier Estate Tour. Gratuities are pooled and distributed among the team.