When wine is paired with something, it’s usually cheese. (Thanks, France! We love you!) But in Durango, wine is often paired with something that has a bit more iron than good-ol’ fromage: train tracks and a steam locomotive. The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad once again presents Wine and Rails Sept. 3 and Oct. 1. (The Oct. 1 train is already sold out, so you better act fast to get on the Sept. 3 departure.)
Wine and Rails features various Colorado wineries, and each provides a few different wines to sample. Passengers start boarding the Durango train at the downtown depot at 9:30 a.m. for a 10 a.m. departure. Then, during the train ride through the Animas Vally and into the San Juan Mountains, passengers will learn about the featured wineries and be able to sip and sample pinot noir, pinot gris, Chandonnay, riesling, rose and Tempranillo, to name a few.
But the real fun begins when the train pulls into the beautiful wilderness area of the Cascade Canyon Wye. Passengers will disembark and find full wine sampling stations waiting for them, live music and hors d’oeuvres surrounded by gorgeous scenery. Several award-winning wineries are participating, and their sommeliers will be on hand to tell you about the vineyards.Visit each Colorado winery’s booth to learn from about their grapes, the growing process, how the wines are made and what to look for when choosing a wine. Between tastings, guests can cleanse their palates (and fill their bellies) with hors d’oeuvres that were specially chosen for this event to complement the wines, stroll along the river and over the footbridge and kick back and listen to some live music.
Each person’s fare includes the wine tasting throughout the day, one (real) glass of wine in your souvenir Durango Wine and Rails wine glass — your choice of varietal — as well as small bites provided by Norton’s Catering and desserts on the ride home.
Make a weekend of it by staying with us at the Durango Quality Inn! Four Leaves Winery is a boutique winery with a tasting room and shop on Main Avenue, directly across the street from the Durango train depot. Fox Fire Farms in nearby Ignacio also has a tasting room that is open until Nov. 1, when it will close for the winter season. There are plenty of other Southwest Colorado wineries to check out, so buy your Wine and Rails ticket and book your room with us at the Quality Inn Durango today!