With air travel becoming increasingly expensive and more annoying with each passing year, we’ve been pining over the opulent train travel of yore—which some companies are reviving, to our delight. And if your idea of a good time is touring a winery rather than kicking back in a bar car, then there are plenty of train travel experiences designed specifically for the vinophile. Here, five of the best wine trains across the world to make traveling way more fun.
Fans of California’s delicious wine offerings will find a perfect vino-filled journey from the Napa Valley Wine Train’s list of adventures. Choose a dining journey, which lets riders enjoy fresh California cuisine and plenty of local wine as the lush Napa Valley vineyards pass you by. Or there’s even a murder mystery-themed dinner if that’s your thing. For the true oenophile, there are the Quattro Vino Tours—six-hour excursions that include visits to three different wineries, as well as a delicious gourmet meal. If that’s too much, the Day Tripper tour takes you to one specific winery for an in-depth tour and tasting, along with a multi-course lunch. Look out for special events like the Santa Train, which combines the magic of the holidays with tasty, tasty wine.
If SoCal is more your scene, hop aboard this coastal train, which delivers breathtaking ocean views along with plenty of vino for you to enjoy. Revelers who book a journey will get to experience VIP tastings at local wineries, as well as a behind-the-scene view of the winemaking process. They serve a light Italian lunch that’s paired with some of their favorite bottlings. Between tastings, the tour includes guided, historic walks through San Diego’s villages, each of which lasts about 15 minutes before you’re back on the train, heading to the next winery.
Aussies who want to scratch the itch for wine-filled adventure should consider the all-inclusive trip from Sydney to Perth aboard Great Southern Rail’s Indian Pacific train. The four-day, three-night journey transports travelers from coast to coast with gourmet meals (think lamb shoulder slow-cooked in honey and black vinegar), Outback excursions and plenty of cocktails in the train’s plush bar car. But day two brings the real fun when travelers are able to explore the boutique wineries of the Barossa Valley. The day wraps when you return to your train cabin where a nightcap awaits on your bedside table.
This adorable open-air tram offers a hop-on, hop-off journey that transports you through some of the most lovely scenery in the world. Hop aboard the double-decker tram, and you’ll be shuttled around South Africa’s Franschhoek wine region with a selection of eight wineries to explore. The tram passes each stop once an hour, so passengers can hop on and off at their convenience and stay at any one winery as long as they’d like. In addition to wine tastings, the wineries boast delicious restaurants and gourmet picnics for your lunchtime needs.
If you find yourself touring Spain’s gorgeous Mallorca island, then you should definitely spend an afternoon sipping vino on the Mallorca Wine Train Gourmet Tour. The four-hour excursion stops at two vineyards, including the island’s oldest winery, where you can sample red, white, rosé and dessert wines. Come hungry because you’ll also get to snack on some of the region’s best snacks on your journey. We’re talking about mouthwatering aged cheeses, jamón ibérico, rich sobrasada and coca de trampo, a Majorcan flatbread with vegetables.