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 which harken back to a time when relaxing travel by train was recognized as a hallmark of sophistication.
In 2002, raising that toast became a highly-requested event called the Grape Train Escape. Now in its 17th year, this celebration of fine grape blends has spanned the planet – Italian, Chilean, Australian, African, Spanish, German and French wines have pleased the palates of thousands of awe-inspired train passengers.
Aside from aboard the train, savoring wine while soaking in the scenery of this beautiful Southwest region is a relatively new pairing for Arizona’s Verde Valley, which is quickly gaining celebrity as a fine region for grape growing. What would be more appropriate than to make 2019’s Grape Train Escape events all about Verde Valley wines?
This summer, on select Saturday night starlight trips, Verde Canyon Railroad will feature a selection of sips from some of the Verde Valley’s top wineries. The first Grape Train Escape takes place on May 25, and features the outstanding, sustainably-grown wines from Alcantara Vineyards. On June 15, the train will feature Clarkdale’s favorite Chateau Tumbleweed. The excursion will highlight the small-batch, boutique wines of Burning Tree Cellars 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.
Departing the depot at 5:30 p.m. and returning by 9:30 p.m., the Saturday Starlight train rides provide passengers with a 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 taste.
A stone’s throw from the hillside mining town of Jerome, Verde Canyon Railroad’s Clarkdale depot is in the heart of the Verde Valley, a diverse crossroads featuring amazing adventures in every direction. Only two hours from Phoenix and 25 minutes from Sedona, Verde Canyon Railroad is the perfect Arizona day trip. Reservations may be made at verdecanyonrr.com or at 800.293.7245.
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It’s not the destination; it’s the wine-tasting journey