8 of America’s Best Wine Trains, From Napa to Nashville

The famous Napa Valley Wine Train at dusk
Photo courtesy of Napa Valley Wine Train

There’s nothing like sipping a glass of wine as you gaze upon beautiful landscapes continually rolling by. Such dreams come to life on these amazing wine train rides. Learn how to step aboard and engineer one of these fantastic wine-filled journeys for yourself.

The Best Cruises for Wine Lovers

Adirondack Scenic Beer & Wine Train

Utica, New York

The Adirondack Scenic Beer & Wine Train is a three-hour ride that departs from Utica, with live music, light bites and beautiful views of rivers, wildlife and mountains. Passengers receive a commemorative glass to sample a rotating selection of local beer and wine available for purchase. First-class passengers are served an enhanced selection of gourmet appetizers. The Adirondack Scenic Beer and Wine Train chugs along from spring through fall.

The Adirondack Scenic Beer & Wine Train
Photo courtesy of Adirondack Scenic Railroad

Great Smoky Mountain Railroad Uncorked Train

Bryson City, North Carolina

The Great Smoky Mountain Railroad Uncorked train leaves Bryson City on select dates throughout the year. There are two routes: one offers views of the Nantahala Gorge, while the other highlights the countryside along the Tuckasegee River.

Passengers ride in style in cars with a private attendant and elegant seating. Tickets include a souvenir stemless glass and a four-course meal with wine pairings from local wineries. A narrator shares information about each pour.

Mount Hood Railroad

Hood River, Oregon

The Mount Hood Railroad departs from the historic Hood River Depot, about 60 miles east of Portland. Passengers can enjoy several wine-related adventures, like Parkdale Excursions, which runs from May to October, as it travels through trees, orchards and vineyards. First-class wine car passengers can enjoy light appetizers and a tasting of two reds and two whites from mthoodwinery.com, owned by a family that’s farmed in the Hood River Valley for five generations.

The Napa Valley Wine Train
Photo courtesy of Napa Valley Wine Train

Mountain Explorer Dinner Train

Elkins, West Virginia

John Denver sang that West Virginia is almost heaven, and that seems quite plausible when riding the Mountain Explorer Dinner Train, which runs from June through September. Guests who upgrade to the luxurious parlor car can enjoy a four-course meal and use their complimentary glass to sample a free pour from local purveyors like Lambert’s Winery. The four-hour round trip departs from historic Elkin and meanders through scenic West Virginia backcountry to the stunning High Falls of Cheat.

Napa Valley Wine Train

Arguably, there is no better-known wine region in the country than Napa Valley, and the Napa Valley Wine Train offers multiple options to sample the region’s best bottlings year-round. Enjoy gourmet dining experiences, or let the train be your designated driver for half- or full-day tours to local wineries.

The experience comes complete with a multi-course luncheon and a private luxury shuttle to and from wineries. Selected stops include Grgich Hills Estate, Castello Di Amorosa and Charles Krug.

Guests on the Snoqualmie Wine Train
Snoqualmie Wine Train/Photo courtesy of Northwest Railway Museum

Snoqualmie Wine Train

Snoqualmie, Washington

Only a half-hour from Seattle, Snoqualmie is packed with the kind of small-town charm that makes it feel a world away. The Snoqualmie Wine Train departs from a circa 1890 depot on select dates from spring to fall. The antique train winds through the picturesque Snoqualmie Valley and stops to take in landmarks like the stunning Snoqualmie Falls.

A rotating selection of bottles allows passengers to appreciate the diversity of Washington wine via sips from boutique wineries like Sigillo Cellars, Convergence Zone Cellars and Mount Si Winery alongside light bites.

Wine On The Rails

Nashville

Wine On The Rails beckons everyone aboard a restored 1950s train in Nashville and makes its way to the DelMonaco Winery in Baxter, Tennessee. Passengers, who are encouraged to dress in period costume, receive a commemorative glass to use while they enjoy live music and wine tastings.

Once they arrive at DelMonaco, there’s more live music, dancing, wine tasting and the chance to stroll through the vineyards. The winery produces traditional bottlings like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay, along with interesting creations like peach and blackberry wines. Bottles are also available for sale for passengers who want to savor a glass on their trip home.

A women singing and a man playing a guitar on the Wine on the Rails train
Wine on the Rails/Photo by Jeromy Reaux

Wine Train Colorado

Alamosa, Colorado

Colorado is home to America’s highest-elevation appellation and more than 150 wineries. To sample some of what the area has to offer, climb aboard the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad Colorado Wine Train.

This scenic ride departs from Alamosa and rolls through the Southern Rockies, where passengers may spot black bear, deer or large herds of elk. Each ride includes a three-course light menu with wine pairings from local winery Cottonwood Cellars. The train is in service from late June through December.

Published on February 13, 2020
Topics: Travel