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Napa Wine Train - Domaine Chandon Lunch - Friday, Saturday, or Sunday

Enjoy a three course gourmet lunch in an elegant dining car as you journey northbound through the Napa Valley.

Freshly created desserts are served while traveling southbound in our lavishly restored 1915 Pullman Lounge car.

Disembark at Yountville where a private shuttle awaits to transport guests to Domaine Chandon. After enjoying a one hour tour and tasting directed by a Domaine Chandon staff member, guests return to the Napa Valley Wine Train Station for an afternoon tea and shopping.

The Wine Train Experience

Your Wine Train experience features a return to the gracious era of elegant rail travel with distinguished service. Your outing consists of a relaxing scenic journey through the heart of Napa Valley's picturesque vineyards past world-renowned wineries. It's a 3-hour, 36-mile excursion from the historic town of Napa through one of the world's most famous wine valleys to the quaint village of St. Helena and back. You'll enjoy a deliciously crafted gourmet meal for brunch, lunch, or dinner -- served in a lavishly restored vintage 1915-1947 Pullman Dining, Lounge, or Vista Dome Railcar. And you may enjoy excellent wine.

The 1915-1947 Pullman Dining, Parlor Lounge, Vista Dome, and Wine Tasting Cars are lavishly restored and appointed with hand-rubbed Honduran Mahogany, polished brass, and grape-motif etched glass. During your time on the train, you may visit the Wine Tasting Car to enjoy a relaxing and informal wine education.

Enjoy a brief and informative "welcome" Wine Tasting in the lobby of the McKinstry Street Station prior to boarding Luncheon excursions. This special welcome is open to all guests and is included as a part of the packaged pricing. This informal seminar provides a sampling of two varietals and lasts approximately 15 minutes. This affords guests an opportunity to have fun learning about wine, the Napa Valley, and the Napa Valley Wine Train! Brunch guests may stay for the wine tasting on the weekends upon their return.

The Food

The dedicated kitchen staff of the Napa Valley Wine Train believes wholeheartedly that "anyone can cook." However, being able to see the entire picture is what makes a great chef. The entire picture you ask? Let us explain. The Wine Train uses:
~Fresh local produce
~Natural hydroponic vegetables and lettuces
~Fresh native California farm raised fish and shell fish
~Fresh, line-caught fish
~Humanely raised meats

The Wine Train does not use:
~Chemically enhanced products
~Meats enhanced with growth hormones

Additionally, by taking an aggressive approach, the Napa Valley Wine Train is a one of the Valley's leaders in recycling. Not only does recycling save landfill space, it also saves energy and water, conserves natural resources, and reduces pollution.

Doing these things, along with serving safe, beautiful, appetizing gourmet meals is what makes the Napa Valley Wine Train kitchen extraordinary and without equal.

A vegetarian entree option is available for either Luncheon or Dinner. Special dietary needs can be accommodated in most cases with advance notification of at least 72-hours.

The Wine

On board the Napa Valley Wine Train, we offer a special and unique opportunity for our guests to sample boutique wines from 30-40 local wineries on any given day. In our beautifully appointed and historic tasting car, our guests may visit and taste with our knowledgeable wine educators, as they take in the breathtaking vistas of the Napa Valley. The cost for the tasting experience is just $10 to try four great wines. We offer selections to please any palate, from the novice wine drinker to the seasoned oenophile. From off-dry white and dessert wines to rich and robust reds, and everything in between, there's something for everyone to enjoy. All of the wines poured at our tasting bar are available after the journey back at the rail station in our wine emporium.

Wine, cocktails, soft drinks, and mineral waters are available at additional charge aboard all cars. Wine with your meal will be charged on the train based upon your selection. All beverage charges are paid on board the train and are subject to service charge and sales tax. Coffee and tea are included with the meal packages.

Seatings

Lunch or Dinner has two seatings. Passengers spend half of the trip in a Dining Car and half in a Lounge Car. All guests are always invited to visit the Wine Tasting Lounge Car. Brunch has one seating. Passengers purchasing transportation only for Lunch or Brunch are assigned only to the Silverado Car.

Passengers choosing First Seating will begin the excursion in the Dining Car for the soup/salad and main course for the northbound trip to St. Helena. Approximately 1-1/2 hours later, passengers completing their first two courses are then escorted to a Lounge Car to enjoy dessert and coffee for the return trip to Napa.

Passengers choosing Second Seating will begin the excursion in the Lounge Car for appetizer course (and optional cocktails) for the northbound trip to St. Helena. Approximately 1-1/2 hours later, passengers are then escorted to the dining Car to enjoy their soup/salad, main course, dessert and coffee for the return trip to Napa.

The McKinstry Street Station in Napa

Your journey will begin in the Napa Valley Wine Train station. After checking in at the reception desk, feel free to explore the station. Visit the Wine Store and discuss some of the rare, boutique wines with the Wine Train's knowledgeable Director of Wines, Ryan Graham. See the story of the train's founding in the photographs on the wall or just sit and relax with wine, coffee, or friends. Wireless Internet service is available free of charge.

The station offers a variety of services for passengers:
~Wine Emporium - over 250 rare and hard-to-find wines and souvenirs
~Unique Gift Express - features wine-related gifts for entertaining with flair
~Baubles and Beads 'N Things - exquisite and affordable jewelry and personal gifts
~Art Gallery - featuring several regional painters and sculptors
~Artist's Corner Cafe - snacks and beverages for passengers awaiting boarding
~Souvenir Photography by Sharpshooter Spectrum Photographic Images
~Ample Free Parking for Automobile, Motorcoaches or Recreational Vehicles
~Amtrak Bus Connection Depot
~Visitor Information Brochures
~Restrooms

The station is open between the hours of 9:00 am and 5:00 pm on most days, and until 6:30 pm on nights when a dinner train is scheduled.

The Napa Valley station is within walking distance of Copia and the new Oxbow Market, and only two blocks from downtown Napa. There are many wine tasting venues nearby, so allow time to stroll around after your return to the Napa Train station.

Route

A 3-hour, 36 mile, excursion from the historic town of Napa through one of the world's most famous wine valleys to the quaint village of St. Helena and return. Government regulations do not permit the train to stop or disembark passengers enroute, except at designated stops or stations.

Travelers with Mobility Restrictions

The Napa Valley Wine Train, although not required by the ADA (due to historic renovation), can be somewhat accessible to travelers with minimum mobility limitations. Wheelchairs measuring no wider than 26" can be accommodated onboard via our wheelchair lift. Advance notification and specific discussion of mobility restrictions is necessary in order to facilitate serving limitation needs and Boarding. Due to the unique boarding timing procedures, advance notification is critical to insure comfort for all guests.

No Smoking

Consistent with California State Law, there is "No Smoking" aboard any area of the Napa Valley Wine Train.

Napa Wine Train Schedule

Please Note: Regularly scheduled Wine Train events are not available on Valentines Day, Mothers Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve. The Wine Train does not operate on Christmas Day or New Year's Day.

Luncheon Excursions:

10:30 AM .......... Check In
10:45 AM .......... Wine Tasting Seminar
11:00 AM .......... Board the Luncheon Train
11:30 AM .......... Luncheon Train Departs Napa
2:30 PM ........... Luncheon Train Returns to Napa

Dinner Excursions:

5:30 PM ........... Check In
6:00 PM ........... Board the Dinner Train
6:30 PM ........... Dinner Train Departs Napa
9:30 PM ........... Dinner Train Returns to Napa

History of the Napa Valley Wine Train

The Napa Valley Wine Train's history is almost as long as the state of California's. The rail line upon which the train travels was built in 1864 by San Francisco's first millionaire, Samuel Brannan, in order to take visitors to his spa resort of Calistoga. Shortly thereafter, Brannan was forced to sell many of his holdings in order to pay for his divorce, and the railroad became the property of California Pacific Railroad. Southern Pacific bought the Napa Valley Railroad in 1885. During the late part of the 19th centuary and the early part of the 20th century, the railroad played a vital role in the economic and agricultural development of the Napa Valley, and provided regular passenger service to the communities of the valley.

With the birth of the automobile, however, the train began to lose much of its former importance. Passenger service was discontinued in the 1930s. Southern Pacific abandoned the right of way north of St. Helena in 1960. And by 1984 Southern Pacific ran only one frieght train a week on the tracks. In an effort to make a profit on the faltering rail line, Southern Pacific chose to abondon the line and sell the property in 1984.

In 1987, a group of concerned citizens founded the Napa Valley Wine Train, with the goal of preserving the transportation corridor for future use and reducing traffic congestion in the valley. The Napa Valley Wine Train purchased the rail line from Southern Pacific, restored vintage 1910-era Pullman rail cars, and hired a team of food service experts to provide visitors with an unmatched luxury rail experience. Over the last 20 years, the Napa Valley Wine Train has been improving the right of way, and has made modern improvements to some of its antique equipment.

The Cars

In 1915, the Northern Pacific Railway bought 33 new First Class Coaches from the Pullman Company. These cars, numbers 1200 through 1232, were put into service on the Northern Pacific's premiere trains, the North Coast Limited and the Northern Pacific Express/Atlantic Express. The new cars were just under eighty feet long and were built entirely out of steel. An all steel car offered significant improvements in safety to rail travelers, a fact which had led passengers to demand that cars be made out of steel instead of wood. Wood cars were more likely to break up, burn, or be telescoped in an accident. The trade-off was that these newly built steel cars were heavy. Each weighed about 141,100 pounds and rode on six-wheel trucks. Other amenities of the newly built cars included electric lights, steam heat and arched windows. A single car contained seating for eighty four passengers.

In 1935, after twenty years service that included the heavy traffic loads of World War I, the railroad began rebuilding the cars. The United States was in the middle of the Great Depression, and passenger traffic was down significantly from twenty years earlier. Competition among the railroads was great, each trying to outdo the others to attract a smaller number of travelers. In order to remain competitive, the NP decided to install better seats, to give the passengers more room, and more significantly, to add air conditioning equipment. This was the general state of the cars in 1960, when the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad purchased eight of these cars for its Ski Train service from Denver to Winter Park. NP 1214, 1217, 1225, 1227, 1216, 1213, 1210, and 1218 became D&RGW 1011-1018.

In 1987, they were traded to the Napa Valley Wine Train. The Napa Valley Wine Train began an extensive restoration project to restore and recreate the cars. Using the Orient Express, Andalusian Express and other luxury railroads as a model, the train was furnished with Honduran mahogany paneling, brass accents, etched glass partitions, and velveteen fabric armchairs. Great effort was exerted to ensure that the interior of the railcars evoked the spirit of luxury rail travel at the beginning of the twentieth century

Another 1915 Pullman Car, originally built for the Southern Pacific Railroad, serves as the Napa Valley Wine Train "Chef de Cuisine" kitchen car. Guests are invited to observe the chefs in action from the windows of a mahogany-paneled passageway that passes by the onboard kitchen.

The Locomotives

FPA-4 Diesel Locomotives
What does FPA-4 mean? "F" for Freight, "P" for Steam Generator, and "A" for Cab Unit. DIESEL LOCOMOTIVE means that diesel engines drive an electric generator which provides electricity to the traction motors that turn all four sets of wheels on the locomotives.

The ALCO FA was a family of B-B (two identical trucks, or wheel assemblies under the locomotive) diesel locomotives designed to haul freight trains. Our locomotives were built in Montreal Canada at Montreal Locomotive works, the Canadian equivalent to the American Locomotive Company (ALCO). NVR70 was built in 1958 and 71, 72 & 73 were built in 1959. They are a dual passenger-freight version of a Cab Unit design. Geared to operate at over 90 mph, they were originally equipped with a steam generator for heating passenger cars. The steam has been replaced by our Head End Power (HEP) units that provides electricity for the passenger cars.

Newer mechanical design and models manufactured by General Motors Electro-Motive Division (EMD) and General Electric (GE) ultimately led to the retirement of the locomotive model from service. Several FAQs still exist in a preserved state in railroad museums. In addition to our operating FAQs, a few are in operational status for the Grand Canyon Railroad.

Locomotive 71 (Compressed Natural Gas)
The Napa Valley Wine Train started a program for the experimental conversion of a Napa Valley Wine Train Alco locomotive to 60% natural gas and 40% diesel fuel mixture. In 1999 the conversion became permanent. A total conversion of locomotive 71 was completed and it was put into service using 100% Compressed Natural Gas on 5/14/08. The four ALCO FA4 diesel locomotives were purchased from the Canadian National Railroad.

Wine tasters must be at least 21 years of age.

This tour does not provide hotel pick-up or drop-off; you must meet the tour at the train depot in Napa. Please reserve online, or call us toll-free at 888-881-3309.

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