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The Napa Valley Wine Train Celebrates 25 Years as Napa Valley’s Most Distinctive Restaurant and 150 Years of Railroad History

April 7, 2014 Rail No Comments Email Email

The Napa Valley Wine Train, one of the most distinctive restaurants in the Napa Valley, announced that 2014 marks the 25th anniversary of this unique Wine Country treasure, offering the best of Napa Valley dining, wine, scenery, history and lifestyle in one memorable experience.

“The past 25 years have been magical, and my staff and I are delighted every day to celebrate our rich Napa Valley history with visitors from throughout the Bay Area and around the world,” said Tony Giaccio, CEO of the Napa Valley Wine Train.  “We feel so lucky to afford guests an authentic, memorable experience that echoes the glory days of train travel, with fine dining service, multi-course meals, Napa Valley scenery and ultimate relaxation aboard exquisitely restored antique trains.”

While 2014 marks the silver anniversary of the Napa Valley Wine Train, the history of the rail line is almost as old as the State of California.  The rail line upon which the train travels was built in 1864 by San Francisco’s first millionaire, Samuel Brannan.  Brannan’s vision was to bring travelers from San Francisco to a spa resort in Calistoga.  In 1885, Southern Pacific bought the rail line, which went on to play a vital role in the economic and agricultural development of the Napa Valley.  However, with the arrival of the automobile age, the rail line began to lose much of its importance.  In 1984, Southern Pacific decided to sell the railroad.

The decision to sell the railroad spurred Dr. Alvin Lee Block to become the founder of the Napa Valley Wine Train Incorporated, with the objective of creating a railroad that would preserve the transportation corridor for future rail use and reduce traffic congestion in the Napa Valley.  The search for investors led the organization to a San Francisco resident named Vincent DeDomenico – inventor of Rice-A-Roni® and former owner of Ghirardelli Chocolate® and Golden Grain Pasta®.

DeDomenico loved the concept of the Napa Valley Wine Train and offered to buy the whole operation.  With DeDomenico involved, the Napa Valley Wine Train purchased the rail line from Southern Pacific and began the transformation into the company that it is today, with one consistent goal: to provide Napa Valley visitors with an unmatched luxury rail dining experience.  On September 16, 1989, the Napa Valley Wine Train set off on its inaugural passenger trip and has been running steadily ever since.  In 2007, Vincent DeDomenico and his wife, Mildred, passed away, but the company is still run by his family.

“The Napa Valley Wine Train is considered a rolling museum and is a treasure in the valley,” said Napa Valley Wine Train Proprietor and Director of Marking Kira Devitt.  “Visitors from all over the world come to Napa just to experience the magic of this one-of-a-kind culinary journey.  It has been a pleasure offering our genuine Napa Valley hospitality to visitors these past 25 years, and we look forward to continuing the Napa Valley Wine Train tradition for years to come.”

The Napa Valley Wine Train is located at 1275 McKinstry Street in downtown Napa, California.  Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling (707) 253-2111 or visiting the website www.winetrain.com.

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