My wife and I are planning a trip to Napa Valley with another couple in October. My wife was inspired by the episode of The Big Bang Theory in which they ride on the Napa Valley Wine Train, since I’m a train buff, and she and the other woman are wine buffs. The other guy is probably between me in the ladies WRT his love of wine and trains, i.e., not as much of a train buff as me, or wine buff as them. (I’m not nuts about wine.)
We’re still deciding which of the dozen or so train trips to take, but there’s also the question of what else to do in the valley. We’ll be there for a Saturday and Sunday. On one day we’ll do the train trip, and we’re trying to plan the other.
Some of the train trips include winery tours, others are just fancy meals in the train’s very nicely restored historic dining cars. I’m considering whether it might be better to take one of the meal trains (which offer more time on the train) and do winery tours separately.
I’ve found a few outfits that offer winery tours, from some in which a guide drives you in your car, to bus tours, to fancy (and expensive) limo tours. It seems as though for most of these (except the most expensive) you pay for the winery tours or tastings separately.
So my questions to any Dopers who have visited Napa before include:
[li]Have you done the wine train? If so, which trip, and do you recommend it?[/li]
[li]Have you used a tour service in the valley? If so, which one, was it worth it, and do you recommend it? [/li]
[li]Should we just plan our own tour? If so, what resources do you suggest for deciding which wineries to visit? Any you particularly recommend?[/li]
[li]What else is there to do in the valley, besides wine and trains? [/li]