Grape Train Escape
Verde Canyon Railroad has long been a venue for viticulture appreciation. Since 1990 train passengers have enjoyed raising a toast to the Arizona wilderness from well-appointed rail cars, harkening back to a time when relaxing travel by train was recognized as a hallmark of sophistication and class. In 2002 raising that toast became a highly-requested event called the Grape Train Escape. Now in its 17th year, this great grape celebration has spanned the planet – Italian, Chilean, Spanish, German and French wines have been served to thousands of awe-inspired train passengers. In 2019, the celebration of award-winning wines moved closer to home.
Savoring wine while soaking in the scenery of the Southwest is a relatively new pairing for Arizona’s Verde Valley, but it is quickly gaining notoriety as a fine region for grape growing. In addition, it is a region where the appreciation of these varietals becomes more enjoyable while basking in high desert beauty. What would be more appropriate than to make 2019’s Grape Train Escape events all about Verde Valley wines?
The first Grape Train Escape took place on May 25, and featured the outstanding, sustainably-grown wines from Alcantara Vineyards. On June 15 the quirky names and delicious flavors of Clarkdale’s favorite wines by Chateau Tumbleweed were featured.
The small batch, boutique wines of Burning Tree Cellars will be highlighted on July 20.
On August 17 the Grape Train Escape shares the award-winning wines of Sam Pillsbury and the Pillsbury Wine Company of Old Town Cottonwood.
Arizona-grown wine that expresses the highest quality and value of our wild and fierce region will be presented by Arizona Stronghold September 14.
Departing the depot at 5:30 p.m., the train returns by 9:30 p.m.. During the Saturday Starlight Tours, passengers experience a spectacular blend of light and color in the canyon ranging from bright daytime to rich sunset, from twinkly twilight to magnificent moonglow. Paired with an award-winning wine in hand, any of the 2019 Grape Train Escape runs make for a sensory adventure suitable for every palate.
What to Expect with Your Wine
- Luxurious style and attentive beverage service right to your seat
- Appetizers paired perfectly with wine selections
- Adjoining open-air cars where the lush riparian landscape of summer, including canopies cottonwoods, moody monsoon afternoons and deep crimson cliffs, compliments a great glass of wine
- Bottles of your favorite wines available for purchase at Boxcar Gift Store in the depot following the ride