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. Going in to its 19th 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.
Offered during the 5:30 p.m. Saturday Starlight Trains on June 6, July 18, August 1 and September 5, a number of the train cars are dedicated to The Grape Train Escape event. Regional purveyors of fine Arizona wines showcase their award-winning vintages on the rails. Wine tasting coupled with harmonizing appetizers takes one back to a time when relaxing train travel was recognized as a hallmark of sophistication.
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.
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 Grape Train Escape will contribute to 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