Monday, September 15, 2014

Niles Canyon Railway Livermore Valley Wine Tasting Special Concludes Successful 2014 Run




Niles Canyon Railway finished up another highly successful year for the Livermore Valley Wine Tasting Special.  They had five runnings of the special during the summer and most were sold out.  Wine Educator Steve Ferree displayed to the passengers his passion for Livermore Valley wineries.  Each of the five trains had a collection of five different Livermore Valley wines, usually two whites, two reds and a dessert wine.  Each was paired with a cheese personally selected for that specific wine.

The passengers learned much about the history of the Niles Canyon Railway and the history of wine in Livermore Valley.    The Livermore Valley Wine Tasting Specials were a trip through History.  Each of the cars on the train was historic, refurbished by a loving group of volunteers who spend countless hours restoring them.  The route was part of the original Transcontinental Railroad.  Niles Canyon was the link from the main railroad to the San Francisco Bay since 1869.

History is also found in Livermore Valley.  It is one of California's oldest wine regions; the Livermore Valley played a pivotal role in shaping California's wine industry. Spanish missionaries planted the first wine grapes in the Livermore Valley in the 1760s. In the 1840s, California pioneers looking for outstanding vineyard sites began planting grapes in the region. Robert Livermore planted the first commercial vines in the 1840s. Pioneer winemakers C. H. Wente, James Concannon, and Charles Wetmore recognized
the area's winegrowing potential and founded their wineries in the early 1880s.

Livermore Valley captured America's first international gold medal for wine in 1889 at the Paris Exposition, putting California on the world wine map, long before the famous Paris Tasting in 1976 where Napa finally caught up and won an international award. 

Some of the wineries that were represented during the five runnings of the Livermore Valley Wine Tasting Special included:



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