A train. A murder mystery. And wine. Groups looking for an intriguing experience in California’s Napa Valley should step aboard the Napa Valley Wine Train. Not only does the train’s rail line date back to 1864, but the train can accommodate groups of more than 300 (for a complete buyout) and also offers a variety of opportunities for networking and teambuilding, including the Murder Mystery Dinner Theater. Prevue spoke with Kayla Giaccio, groups manager for Napa Valley Wine Train, about what to expect from the experience, which starts at the train station in Napa’s Oxbow district.
What makes the wine train experience stand out for groups compared to other wine excursions in the Napa Valley area?
Giaccio: Trains are unique. There is something special about them that makes you feel young and playful, and our train also has the added facet of luxury. The linear layout of the train is perfect for creating intimate interactions, even within large groups. Groups on the Napa Valley Wine Train enjoy a meal that they can choose once seated on board, with each guest selecting their choice of soup or salad, entree and dessert. Additionally, we have a full bar on the train, so guests may enjoy a cocktail or one of our Napa Valley wines. There are many ways to experience the Napa Valley, but you always remember your ride on the Napa Valley Wine Train.
How does the onboard Murder Mystery Dinner Theater provide teambuilding for groups?
The murder mystery can easily be arranged for groups. The guests will try to figure out who did it based on many clues throughout the scenes and their interactions with the actors, which is perfect for teambuilding and problem solving. In the past, corporate groups have chartered out a murder mystery on the selected date that they will be on the train. The murder mystery company can also customize the story to really mold the experience to fit each group.
What other teambuilding experiences does the wine train offer groups?
In addition to car charters and our Murder Mystery Dinner Theater, we offer a wine education option in which a wine specialist will join the group in our lounge car with four pre-poured wines and tasting notes. The wine specialist will speak about the wines while the guests sip and learn about them during this educational experience.
How does the wine train incorporate and represent the Napa Valley destination?
The Napa Valley Wine Train offers an authentic, memorable experience that echoes the glory days of train travel, with fine-dining service, multiple course meals and the Napa Valley scenery. One of the few active historic passenger railroads in the United States, the Wine Train features antique Pullman rail cars faithfully restored with Honduran mahogany paneling, brass accents, etched-glass partitions and plush armchairs that evoke the spirit of luxury rail travel at the beginning of the 20th century.
We are preserving a part of Napa Valley history, maintaining a rail line dating back to 1864 that played a major role in the economical development of the region. The Wine Train supports the Napa Valley destination also because of our award-winning wine list, 85% of which represents wines from the Napa Valley. We also offer five winery tours at four partner wineries, featuring in-depth looks into the winemaking process and Napa Valley style.