Robert H USA
This tour is over the top. One of the best experiences we ever had. It started being picked up by Bob our driver for the day in a Mercedes Luxury Bus as we headed to a wonderful winery specializing in Sparkling wines then from there on to downtown Sonoma for some shopping and sightiseeing. From there off to the Wine train commissary for a private tour with Chef Kelly McDonald, his assistant Robert and a waiter who has been with the train for 25 years. Being in the food business myself this was a thrilling experience with special orders prepared for us, crab cakes, salmom, ect. while our waiter was very attentive in pouring sparkling wine and keeping the chef on time. Chef also presented the four of us with a special bottle of wine that he autographed. We toured the preparation areas and then did a tour of the kitchen area on board the train. This is all done at the facilily that is blocks from the train station. We had a private boarding there and had a great time with the waiter assigned to us on board who gave us a variety of wines to taste. Now we started our 5 course dinner that was to die for, no kidding this was 5 star and after touring the facilities and seeing the ingredients used I knew why. Can you tell we really enjoyed it. Upon completing the approx. 3 hour train ride through the wine country we were greeted by our driver Bob for our private ride back to San Francisco. Altough it was a 10 hour day it was just amazing. It was worth every penney.
Bob H., Lisa, Melissa, John
It was great. Just a few ideas. Sonoma stop was only 20 mins, wish it was a bit longer. The Wine train tour was the best. The food was amazing. Will do it again!
Melissa H USA
I went on this to celebrate my recent engagement and had a splendid time--I really felt like a VIP. On the way to wine country, our driver was exceptionally knowledgeable about wine and gave us an education on the different types of wines and how to evaluate them during tastings. My favorite, favorite part of the entire experience was meeting the executive chef. He had prepared tasty little appetizers just for us and he went in depth on all the ingredients and methods he used as well as the history of the Wine Train. Absolutely fascinating (and delicious). The dinner was top-notch. I'm glad I went with his recommendation (a line-caught fish from Washington State)--truly sublime. We finished the evening in a club car for dessert and coffee. We even got to step outside of the car for some fresh air and to watch the scenery leisurely pass us by. I never felt rushed and everyone, from our driver, the executive chef, to the head waiter ensured the day was relaxing and carefree. A delightful, insightful experience!
Absolutely fabulous day and evening in the wine country! Tour was very smooth from start to finish and we really felt the "VIP" treatment. Seeing behind the scenes of the wine train was such a cool experience and we were even able to board the train (red carpet treatment included) at a location that is only used for celebrities. The champagne stop and the entire meal on board the train were both fantastic. Amazing experience all around.
We had what I understand to be the pleasure of being the very first people to do this tour and Its worth it in every way. The chef is fabulous to speak with, the food delicious, the wine well its a wine train for a reason. I would recommend you request on the left side on the way up and the other on the return.
The train ride was really nice, and the food was spectacular, but we expected a little more at the winery. The person who waited on us brought us the wine, poured for us and then left us. We thought that there would be interaction with the host etc. We enjoyed the tour and hearing the Chief talking about his kitchen and everything that he does!
Nothing VIP or exclusive about this tour! They picked us up at the hotel and the drive to Napa was about an hour in traffic. When we got to the winery, it was alright. There was some confusion at the reception, there was no reservation for our party. Our driver just left without explaining what was included or anything. Spent an hour there. We were then driven to the train depot. I asked about the free that we were supposed to have in Sonoma. The driver said we had no time for that. We were very disappointed as we were looking forward to that. We had no other opportunity to go up to Sonoma from San Francisco and we were leaving for LA the very next day. We spent about 20mins in the culinary arts centre. Nothing impressive, the canapes and champagne prepared for us were very good but other than that, we didn't get to meet the executive chef or sous chef or anyone. When we got to the kitchen, they were just cleaning and loading the train. We were then ushered onto the train where we were served dinner just like everyone else on the train. I paid 700 PER PERSON for this tour and it was definitely not worth it at all. My suggestion to you is just get tickets directly from Napa Valley Wine Train for dinner on the train. That was great. That cost a fraction of the price and was the best part. I honestly feel like I was cheated of my money. This was my first tour with Viator and my last.
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