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During my visit to California's Napa I wanted to see as much of the region as possible while experiencing its fantastic wines. I began my trip by picking up a car hire in San Francisco Airport and set out to drive to my hotel in Napa.
Before navigating around the Napa Valley by rental car I decided relax and enjoy the sunset over the vineyards on the amazing Napa Valley Wine Train. This turned out to be the highlight of my trip! For the best view I chose to spend the extra $30 to ride in their Vista Dome car, which for $129 includes the best seats on the train for a three hour round trip ride, sparkling wine and an absolutely delicious gourmet dinner cooked to order.
The train departed at 6:30 and set out for its round trip route from Napa to St. Helena. As the sun began to set the fields just outside our window became bathed in the most beautiful light, first a golden glow then a glowing pink. The train moves relatively slowly, giving you plenty of time to enjoy the scenery.
For an extra charge you can select to purchase wine by the bottle or glass from the different wineries around the Napa Valley, and in this way I was able to begin my tasting tour before I ever set out to tour the wineries by car hire. I had a glass each of the Jericho Canyon Cabernet and Heron Lake Pinot Noir, both of which were memorable. My only regret is not buying the bottles from the Wine Train Store because those were two vineyards I did not end up visiting later for a tasting.
There are several options and packages available from the Napa Valley Wine Train, including lunches and events such as Murder Mystery and Trainplays. Visit the Napa Valley Wine Train website for more information.