Saturday, October 24, 2015

My day trip to Napa Valley

So last week I had to be in San Francisco for a day of meetings for work, and since I was going to be taking such a long flight, I thought why not go a day early and spend the weekend in the Bay area?  Better yet, why don't I spend a day in Napa Valley!  A few google searches later and I had tickets for the Napa Valley Wine Train, combining two of my favorite things, wine and trains!

The interior of the dome car where I enjoyed lunch with a view!
I opted for the wine ambassador tour, so I was able to have lunch in the dome car, cooked to order along with some wonderful wines,  I have to admit, having taken the Acela express between New York and Boston, I was not expecting the food to be this good!  I had an appetizer of grilled shrimp, an green and red apple salad, and the rack of lamb, all cooked on board.  A wonderful opportunity to get your foodie and wine fix all at once.  It's also such a social experience, since I was by myself, I sat at a small table across from two lovely couples celebrating a birthday, and we explored the train while they were kind enough to share some of the wine they brought on board (did I mention you could bring your favorite wine for a $15 corkage?).

My place setting and menu along with a glass of Napa sparkling wine to start the meal.

Of course, riding through Napa Valley to St. Helena, you see some marvelous scenery, and with some new friends we enjoyed the views from the dome as well as from the observation car at the end of the train, which featured and open platform to enjoy all of the sight, smells and fresh air of the valley.

You just couldn't beat the scenery on the train!

After lunch, we arrived in St. Helena, and the train would soon head back to the town of Napa Valley, but I was on a different route, boarding a charter bus to tour and taste at two very interesting wineries in Napa, Charles Krug, which traces its roots back to the gold rush days and its founding in 1861, and Raymond Vineyards, which is a leader in sustainable vineyard practices and a few other odd things.  More on these two visits on my next post!

Another option for next time is a stop for a tasting at Grgich Hills, a wonderful winery.  Maybe next time!

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