Best Trains Through Wine Country
Enjoy the romance of the rails as you indulge in fine wine and food on these terrific winery trains and tours.
Photo By: Photo courtesy of San Diego Beer; Wine & Spirits Tours
Photo By: Photo courtesy of The Presidential Train
Photo By: MARTIN BERNETTI
Photo By: Photo courtesy of Great Southern Rail
Photo By: Photo courtesy of Franschhoek Wine Tram
Photo By: Photo courtesy of Belmond
Photo By: Photo courtesy of Package Korea
Photo By: Photo courtesy of Napa Valley Wine Train
Photo By: Photo courtesy of Mallorca Wine Tours
Photo By: Robert George
San Diego Winery Train, California
Hop aboard the Coaster commuter train with San Diego Beer, Wine & Spirits Tours for the Winery Train Tour, which makes several stops at wineries and wine bars along Southern California’s coast. Each tour includes tastings of 15 wines as well as a fine dining-wine pairing light luncheon.
The Presidential, Portugal
Twice a year, for fifteen days each time, The Presidential Train, once known as the Portuguese Royal Train, comes out of retirement from the National Railway Museum in Lisbon to embark on a gourmet travel experience through Portugal. The nine-hour round-trip journey through Portugal’s Douro Valley wine region includes a four-course meal prepared by a Michelin starred chef, as well as wine pairings, unlimited spirits and a stop at a vineyard for special events and a port tasting.
Tren Sabores Del Valle, Chile
The Sabores del Valle train travels from Santiago, Chile to San Fernando, where visitors board a bus for Santa Cruz to visit one vineyard and the museum. Tastings of three wines are included on the two-hour train journey, as is live music.
Great Southern Rail’s Indian Pacific, Australia
The four-day, three-night transcontinental journey from Sydney to Perth on Great Southern Rail’s Indian Pacific passes through Australia’s major wine regions, including a stop for a wine-tasting tour in the Barossa in South Australia. On the train itself travelers enjoy gourmet wine menus that reflect each of these regions.
Franschhoek Wine Tram, South Africa
This hop-on, hop-off tour by open-air tram and bus trolley travels through the Franschhoek Valley wine region in South Africa. The tour stops at eight vineyards allowing passengers to visit as many or as few as they like at their leisure. Basic tour packages include complimentary tastings at two vineyards. Visitors are encouraged to make their own lunch reservations at the vineyard of their choice.
Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, Italy
The legendary Orient Express travels overnight from London to Venice and includes brunch with bellinis, a four-course dinner and half a bottle of wine per guest, breakfast the following morning, a three-course lunch with wine, and afternoon tea, all in vintage luxury Pullman rail cars. Upon arrival in Venice, passengers may add on a boat tour through Venice’s secret lagoon wineries or the Collio Wine Tour, moving from tasting to tasting in a motorcycle’s sidecar.
Korean Wine and Cinema Train, Korea
This one-of-a-kind train ride runs along the Seoul to Chung-buk Yeongdong trainline, offering unlimited wine tasting, live performance and movies. Upon arrival at Yeongdong Station, travelers take a bus to the Wine Korea garden where they can enjoy a buffet luncheon, visit the traditional music museum, and enjoy a wine foot bath.
Napa Valley Wine Train, California
Billed as a restaurant on rails, the Napa Valley Wine Train runs a collection of restored early 20th-century Pullman cars on 25 miles of tracks across northern California’s Napa Valley. Travelers may select from an array of themed lunches and dinners or opt instead for a winery tour, which includes transfers to local vineyards.
Mallorca Gourmet Train Tour, Mallorca, Spain
On the Mallorca Gourmet Train tour, visitors travel via tram to two vineyards where they may sample eight local wines as well Jabugo ham, regional cured cheeses, Mallorca sobrasada sausage, and coca de trampo, a traditional flatbread.
Looking for a gourmet rail adventure closer to home? You can find wine train experiences in Colorado, Texas, New Jersey, New York, Tennessee, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Many of these excursions are offered only seasonally or on specific dates, so make sure to check with the tour operator before making any travel plans.