Commended Merchant - feefo ATOL 2853
BOOK ONLINE OR CALL
0208 290 9751
  •  
     
    Check our contact us page for our Christmas opening hours. Call or email us for great deals.
  •  
     
     
    Our travel experts are available and ready to take your call or click to email
  •  
     
     
    Our travel experts are available and ready to take your call or click to email
  • Our experts are available weekdays 9am-6pm and Saturdays 9am-5pm
​​​​​​​​​​​
Children ages
Must select age at time of travel (each child under 18)
Children ages
Must select age at time of travel (each child under 18)
Children ages
Must select age at time of travel (each child under 18)
Children ages
Must select age at time of travel (each child under 18)
Booking an Infant?

Advanced Search Page >>

 

We are currently searching to find the best Flights and Hotels for your to holiday…

  • Florida
  • Florida
  • Florida
  • Florida

The Napa Valley Wine Train: A Wonderous and Delicious Ride

I love wine. I also love trains (without being a train spotter – which is a different thing altogether). It would have been entirely rude therefore, to pass up the opportunity to combine the two on a recent trip to Napa, California.

The Napa Valley Wine Train started life in the 1860s as the project of California’s first millionaire, who wanted to transport customers up to Calistoga at the northernmost corner of the valley. Fairly soon afterwards he went through a very expensive divorce and had to sell up. The line was bought by Southern Pacific and carried commuters up and down the Valley for less than 50 years before being abandoned, as Californians began their love affair with the automobile.

Napa Valley

The current train service carries eager visitors to the region from Napa up through the valley through Yountville, Oakville and Rutherford to the pretty town of St Helena, where the locomotive is shunted to the other end of the train for the return journey. The interiors of the gorgeous Pullman carriages endeavour to recapture the golden age of train travel with mahogany panelling, mahogany panelling, brass accents, engraved glass partitions, and plush fabric armchairs.

There are two sittings for lunch onboard, one on the way out and one on the way back. We were in the latter group so found ourselves seated in the opulent bar car where we were served our first sample of Napa Valley wine. The one thing you can do here that you certainly can’t do on the Orient Express is twirl around in your seat. One minute I was gazing out of the window at the passing vineyards, the next I could spin round and talk to friends on the other side of the train.

Napa Valley

After the initial glass of wine, further drinks are not included in the ticket price. However it was hard to resist, with all those ripening vines outside the window, and a nice appetiser to get us started. It was amazing to think that there are around 400 wineries in the Napa Valley, which covers an area of only 30 miles long by 5 miles – at its widest point. The vineyards cover almost every open space and can be considered an agricultural metaphor for the fecundity of America’s industry in general. The first commercial winery opened here in 1861 and by 1889 there were already 140 wineries in operation. Neither the curse of phylloxera nor the era of Prohibition irrevocably damaged the production of Napa Valley wine which now exceeds 41,500 gallons a year.

All this makes for beautiful scenery, which we continued to admire from the grand picture windows, and occasionally from the outdoor observation deck at the rear of the train. There was also an interesting view to be had in the kitchen car where I watched what must have been hundreds of tempting looking dishes being plated up in a space barely bigger than my airing cupboard.

Napa Valley

This vision of food made me eager for lunch which was called just as we pulled into St Helena. This for me was certainly the best order to do things – take in the scenery, have a drink and then enjoy lunch. There were so many delicious sounding options on the menu that it was hard to choose only one (one member of our party couldn’t bear to make the decision and had to plump for two main courses). Everything tasted at least as good as it had sounded and it was quite an effort at the end of our wonderful 3 hour journey to prise ourselves from our chairs. However, the thought of another scheduled wine tasting helped with motivation.



Blogger Profile - Emily Morrison

Emily joined My America Holiday in September 2014 and writes about new holiday ideas and exciting destinations for the website (all of which adds to her ever present wanderlust). New York is one of her favourite cities in the world and her American dreams include driving all the way along Route 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica in an open top Chevy and catching the Coast Starlight train from LA to Seattle: As far as she’s concerned, it’s all about the journey.
Emily Morrison
 
 

Travel Experts 

Contact Us

020-8290-9751
Request a Quote
Request a Callback
Email Us

Why book with
My America Holiday

Fully Protected
  • 100% financial protection.
  • Deposits from £59pp
  • 24 hour in-resort support.

Feefo
My Caribbean 
  
​​ ​​​ ​​ ​

©1999 - 2020 My America Holiday 20/01/2020 23:26:09 CST. CST 2009218-20

Many of the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. But ATOL protection does not apply to all holiday and travel services listed on this website. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking. If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate then the booking will not be ATOL protected. If you do receive an ATOL Certificate but all the parts of your trip are not listed on it, those parts will not be ATOL protected. Please see our booking conditions for information, or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLCertificate

We will provide you with financial protection for any package holidays you buy from us that do not include travel by air by way of a bond held by ABTA. For further information visit the ABTA website www.abta.com. Our ATOL licence number is 2853 and our ABTA Membership number is V000X


The combination of travel services offered to you is a package within the meaning of the Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations. Therefore, you will benefit from all EU rights applying to packages. My Tailor-Made Holiday will be fully responsible for the proper performance of the package as a whole. Additionally as required by law, My Tailor-Made Holiday has protection in place to refund your payments, and where transport is included in the package, to ensure your repatriation in the event that it becomes insolvent. More information on key rights under Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018 can be found here: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2018/634/contents/made

View Terms & Conditions.

Please see our terms and conditions for more information.

Keyboard Instructions
change date: Ctrl/Command + ///
previous/next month: Page Up/Down
select date: Enter
cancel and close: Esc