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Wine Tour Clarkdale: Verde Canyon Railroad

Posted on: November 14th, 2011 by Tom Peiffer No Comments

With more vineyards becoming established in the Verde Valley, the Verde Canyon Railroad may have stumbled on a potential hit with tourists who like to drink wine. Taking a cue from the popular “Napa Valley Wine Train”, Verde Canyon rail has added more cars with nice tables and featured wines from the Verde Valley on the drinks menu.

By paying a little extra to buy a first class ticket online, you can sit down at a table, order some Verde Valley wine, enjoy it with appetizers, and watch the scenery roll by. As an added bonus, walk out on the observation cars for views of the Verde River Canyon and a variety of wildlife. Unlike the Napa Valley wine train, this one keeps moving, and has just one stop at the end of the line at Perkinsville to reverse course for the return trip.

They feature wines that are produced in the Verde Valley by Alcantara, Oak Creek Vineyards, Page Springs Cellars, and others. However, there is a limited selection of affordable (around $30 per bottle) wines chosen to go well with light appetizers. If you want a full selection, just visit the wineries later.

It’s interesting the make note of the fact that this is a big step forward for a small Arizona wine producing area. Now they have a significant presence for touring consumers here. Several years ago this was not the case and wines were not much of an attraction on this train ride. Today things are different, and by all indications, will just keep getting better as the vines mature and the wines get bigger!

The trip takes about 4 hours and you will end up right back where you started, at the Clarkdale Station. The ride is a perfect before dinner choice for dining in Clarkdale, Cottonwood, or Jerome. Or why not head on up to Sedona and make it an evening? There is a reliable selection of restaurants, B&B’s and hotels in the Verde Valley and its proximity to Phoenix makes for a convenient getaway.

The trek from Phoenix follows an easy route to Clarkdale. Just off Interstate 10 at exit 287 in the Verde Valley, follow the map to Clarkdale and the train station for the Verde Canyon Railroad. Don’t forget to make reservations in advance.

View more of Tom’s articles on Examiner.com by visiting his writer’s page.

About the Author - Tom Peiffer

Tom has been an avid wine consumer and collector for over 20 years. This pastime has taken he and his family on many visits to wine growing regions, including Arizona. During these excursions, with the accompanying tastings and lectures, it became clear that there is no "magic bullet" wine. For each wine contains its own character, strong points, and weaknesses. Sharing these experiences to help anyone purchase locally available wines is his goal.

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