This was my second trip to California in 4 years , covering different areas each time. This journey took me from San Francisco to the State Capitol Sacramento, to the beautiful wine region of Napa Valley and then south to San Diego.
I had really been looking forward to visiting the Napa Valley area, and especially sampling the wines and fine foods that the area is renowned for. I was not disappointed in any way!
Our group were staying at the Westin Versara Hotel, which backed onto the Napa River and was opposite the terminal for the old Napa Valley Wine Train. Very handy as this is a must do for the area.
We experienced the gourmet express service, starting off with bubbly and cocktails or wine in the rear lounge carriage as the train slowly made its way northwards towards St Helena. You pass miles and miles of vineyards and wineries whilst relaxing in the old refurbished carriages. There is also a higher category with a domed viewing carriage. You can get off for tastings at some of the vineyards, always worth doing as you will learn about the grapes used and the processes utilised for the production, which can vary a lot from winery to winery.
There are a number of small towns in the area with fantastic dining and wine pairing opportunities.
The small town of Yountville, famous for its world-class restaurants and award winning chefs, has earned the unofficial title of “Culinary Capital of the Napa Valley.” There are small boutique inns, and some amazing dining. I would have loved to spend more time here for sure.