SOURCE: Verde Canyon Railroad

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May 13, 2015 15:43 ET

Grape Train Escape -- Great Train, Great Taste

Wines From Around the World Debut on Verde Canyon Railroad

COTTONWOOD, AZ and CLARKDALE, AZ and SEDONA, AZ--(Marketwired - May 13, 2015) - Pop the cork! This summer, a sunset rail journey, accompanied by specially-chosen vintages, awaits passengers aboard Verde Canyon Railroad's celebrated Grape Train Escape. Mark your calendars: this year's tours are scheduled for May 30, June 27, July 25, August 29 and September 12, 2015.

On select Saturday evening Starlight Tours, from 5:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m., Verde Canyon Railroad will highlight different grape-growing regions from around the globe as it winds 26 miles through desert vistas and red rock canyons. This summer, the spotlight is on wines from Australia and New Zealand, South America, Arizona and Italy. The Grape Train Escape will also feature Verde Canyon Railroad's own private-labeled wines produced in California. During the evening, a tasting flight of five wines, accompanied by hors d'oeuvres, will be served throughout the rail journey. The Grape Train Escape is $129 per person and everyone must be 21 years of age or older.

The season kicks off on May 30 with Verde Canyon Railroad's private wine collection by California's Weibel Vineyards, with names like All Aboard Chardonnay, Locomotive 1512 Cabernet, and Route Red Pinot Noir. Dave Durbano, owner of Verde Canyon Railroad, believes that life is about the journey. "Our well-crafted wines, like a well-crafted life, feature lovely structure and substance. On Verde Canyon Railroad's Grape Train Escape, our goal is to respect nature, serve exceptional wine and enjoy life's journey."

In addition to Starlight Tour wine tastings, the Tequila Sunset Limited tequila-tasting excursion is another first-class upgrade available to passengers. To celebrate this beloved Mexican spirit, a selection of three smooth and complex flavors from Tequila Don Julio will be served. Paired with sophisticated Southwestern appetizers, this tequila-tasting event will make an excellent accompaniment to the dramatic sunset scenery. The Tequila Sunset Limited is $129 per person and everyone must be 21 years of age or older.

Starlight Tours also offer standard coach and first-class seating, both with easy and direct access to open air-viewing cars, and both have wine available for purchase during the four-hour rail adventure. In fact, wine may be enjoyed during any season -- and for any reason -- while aboard the train, year-round.

Passengers can't help but raise their glasses to the wild scenery, big western sky and cool caress of a canyon breeze. And when the ride is over, Verde Canyon Railroad's private-label libations may be purchased at the Whistle Stop at Milepost 38, located at the depot. What a grand way to celebrate Verde Canyon Railroad's 25th anniversary!

Postcard-perfect scenery is another part of the magic of Verde Canyon Railroad. The train provides a comfortable yet exciting journey through this historic setting as it leisurely travels from the charming Clarkdale depot to the ghost ranch at Perkinsville and back. Dramatic rock formations, historic trestles, a 680-foot tunnel, ancient cliff dwellings and soaring raptors are just a few of the trip's many highlights. First-class cars boast plush seating, complimentary appetizers and a full-service bar. Coach offers vintage Pullman-style seating and snack bars. Everyone has panoramic windows and limitless access to open-air viewing cars offering 360-degree views and spectacular photographic opportunities.

A stone's throw from the hillside mining town of Jerome, Verde Canyon Railroad's Clarkdale depot is located in the heart of the Verde Valley, a diverse crossroad featuring amazing adventures in every direction. Only two hours from Phoenix and 25 minutes from Sedona, Verde Canyon Railroad is the perfect Arizona day trip. Reservations are accepted at 800.293.7245 or online at verdecanyonrr.com.

It's Not the Destination; It's the Wine-Lovers' Journey

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