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August 3, 2010 > All aboard for Wine Tasting Special

All aboard for Wine Tasting Special

By Fina Mora
Photos By courtesy of Bob Bradley

Sit back, relax, and enjoy some wine on the Niles Canyon Railway. The Wine Tasting Special is a series of relaxing two-hour trips through Niles Canyon offering over 30 different selections from six local wineries. Each special train will explore the secrets of wine tasting and food and wine pairing.

"Everyone will get two ounces of each wine served and it is served at your seat so you don't have to get up," says Bob Bradley of the Niles Canyon Railway. A typical selection will include two whites and three reds with foods that highlight their unique characteristics. Riding the train once won't be enough as different wines are featured every week along with carefully selected cheeses, breads, or chocolates to compliment each offering. Sparkling cider is also available for those who prefer a non-alcoholic beverage.

"Our primary goal is to represent the Livermore Valley wineries," says Bradley. "We will showcase five wines per train ride." On the Wine Tasting Special passengers will learn more about one of the Golden State's oldest wine regions, as well as the history and style of many great wineries of the Livermore Valley. They will also learn about the history of the rail line, traveling along the original route of the transcontinental railway where trains first rolled through Niles Canyon in 1869.

"We also have a wine professional talk about each wine to add to the history of Livermore," says Bradley. Wine Educator Steve Ferree will walk you through a flight of Livermore wines. Ferree is a Certified Wine Professional with the Society of Wine Educators, and has earned certificates in wine from the Culinary Institute of America and the Wine & Spirits Education Trust. He writes about wine for the online newspaper and his blog,

In addition to tasting delicious wine and cheese, "everyone receives a highly collectable commemorative wine glass and special buffet tray to keep," says Bradley. Make sure to come back every week and collect enough to host your own wine and cheese party!

Choose one or all of these delightful afternoon excursions departing each Sunday from August 8 through August 29. Ticket price is $37.50 per person and proceeds go to support Niles Canyon Railway preservation activities. Passengers must be 21 or older to ride and reservations are required. Reservations can be made online at Event dates are August 8, 15, 22, and 29th. Boarding starts at the Sunol Depot station at 3 p.m. with all Wine Tasting Special trains departing at 3:30 p.m.

Niles Canyon Railway Wine Tasting Special
Sundays, August 8 through August 29
Sunol Depot Station
6 Kilkare Road, Sunol
(510) 910-7024
Tickets: $37.50 per person
Reservations required

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