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July 9, 2013 > Wine Tasting Specials are back at Niles Canyon Railway

Wine Tasting Specials are back at Niles Canyon Railway

By Sara Giusti

Dinah, blow your horn! Niles Canyon Railway's annual Wine Tasting Specials are back this month, featuring select wines from local wineries.

For more than ten years, Niles Canyon Railway has been hosting Wine Tasting Special train rides. These two hour roundtrip tours through pastoral Niles Canyon will leave Sunol at 1 p.m. sharp on five summer Sundays in July, August, and September, taking passengers on a deliciously delectable adventure. Certified Wine Specialist, Wine Professional, and Wine Educator Steve Ferree will lead passengers through a taste of one of California's oldest wine regions, sharing details about its history and tastes, along with the history of the railway.

The beginnings of Niles Canyon Railway go as far back as 1862 when the first Western Pacific Railroad Company formed and began building tracks from San Jose to Sacramento. It wasn't until 1869 that the tracks through the area were completed, finally connecting Sacramento to the San Francisco Bay Area. Now that the region was easily accessible to larger metropolitan areas, the town of Niles, named after influential judge and railroad attorney Addison C. Niles, promptly formed beside the tracks. It is also no coincidence that it was in the 1880s that the first wine grapes were planted for commercial use in Livermore Valley, leading to America's first Gold Medal for Wine in 1889, putting California on the global wine map.

In the late 1980s, Pacific Locomotive Association volunteers began rebuilding Niles Canyon Railway for restoration and public use. Thanks to their efforts, we get to enjoy this "living museum," while taking advantage of the region's succulent history and award-winning wines.

For these Wine Tasting Specials, all passengers have to do is enjoy the scenery and culture as Niles Canyon Railway volunteers serve wines, savory cheeses, and an after-tasting truffle at your seat. Wines are served at fifteen minute intervals, giving enough time to take in each new flavor. "It's a relaxing, enjoyable ride," said event manager Bob Bradley. Not only is it a satisfying and pleasant time, but riding with Niles Canyon Railway helps the community as well.

Steve Ferree has chosen three red and two white wines from Pleasanton and Livermore wineries. Wines are subject to change, but a preliminary list of wineries and wines is shown below. Choose a Sunday (or two) and enjoy!

July 14:
La Rochelle, 2009 Merrillie Chardonnary
Occasio, 2012 Rose of PN
Rodrigue Molyneaux, 2009 Cabiovese
Charles R Vineyards, 2008 Petite Sirah
Rios Lovell, 2009 Cab Merlot Reserve Port

July 28:
Page Mill, 2011 Sauvignon Blanc
2Steves, 2011 Chardonnay
Rubino, 2010 Sangiovese
Occasio, 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon
Eagle Ridge, 2011 MadCait Angelica

August 25:
Las Positas, 2012 Pinot Grigio
Notingham, 2011 Chardonnay Reserve
Bent Creek, 2009 Red on Red
Eckert Estates, 2009 Zinfandel
Thomas Coyne, Chardonnay Port

September 8:
Crooked Vine, CV Sparkling PN
Fenestra, 2010 Semmonay
Cuda Ridge, 2010 Cabernet Franc
Ruby Hill, 2009 Peacock Patch
Bent Creek, 2008 Petite Sirah Port

September 22:
McGrail, 2010 McGrail Chardonnay
Longevity, 2012 Pink Pinot Gris
Mitchell Katz, 2010 Merlot Falling Star
Wood Family Vineyards, 2007 Syrah Madden Ranch
Cedar Mountain, Tortuga Royal

Wine Tasting Specials
Sundays: July 14 and 28, August 25, September 8 and 22
1 p.m.
Niles Canyon Railway
Sunol Depot
6 Kilkare Rd., Sunol
(510) 910-7024
Tickets: $37.50 per person
(21 years old and over)

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