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Tasty ride in store at Wine Rail Excursion

Posted: Monday, Apr 23rd, 2012

Algim pours wine. In an effort to raise a bit of money for the Central Coast Railroad Festival, local winemakers have began offering Wine Rail Excursions, which bring together a ride on the railroad with visits to wineries that have a train theme.

SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY — In an effort to raise a bit of money for the Central Coast Railroad Festival, local winemakers have began offering Wine Rail Excursions, which bring together a ride on the railroad with visits to wineries that have a train theme.

“Anglim is one of my favorite wineries,” Railroad Festival Director Curtis Reinhardt said. “Their whole theme is railroads — and they have great wine, too.”

On Sunday, April 15 the excursion began at 11:30 a.m. in Anglim Winery at the Paso Robles Amtrak Station.

After tasting wine and talking to the winemaker, 26 participants ranging from 3 to more than 60-years-old loaded a Ride-On bus driven by Raymond Andrade. From Paso Robles, the bus headed to Pomar Junction Winery east of Templeton for wine tasting and lunch.

Pomar Junction owner Dana Merrill gave the participants a brief tour of the winery and its history. The winery has a boxcar and caboose just below the

tasting room, next to unused train tracks and crossing lights.

Merrill poured wine for those tasting wine and answered questions about the wine and his winery.

From Pomar, participants returned to the bus for a ride to the San Luis Obispo Amtrak Station. In SLO, riders boarded the 3:33 p.m. train from SLO to Paso Robles. Riders got a different look of the route from SLO to Paso.

Reinhardt said that the excursions were first offered once a year on National Train Day, May 12, but had become so popular that they started to be offered once a month in December.

“We starting to do extra trips,” Reinhardt said. “I wanted to blend both of the concepts together. A lot of people have wine tours.”

He said that the excursions have been pretty easy to sell, even without a lot of publicity.

Many of those on the trip on Sunday said they found out about it online — through Facebook or a tourism website — heard about it through a friend or relative or heard about it on the radio.

Rachel Enevoldsen of Ventura said she was camping in Morro Bay and went to the Paso Robles visitors website and found out about the excursion that way.

“I’m really happy this event happens,” Enevoldsen said.

He said that those that go on the excursions usually do it

because they’re train people or wine people or are celebrating something, such as a birthday or


A group of six women from the Atascadero area went on the excursion to celebrate one woman’s 60th birthday.

“What a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon,” said Nancy Peyton of Atascadero.

In May, a special family trip will be offered from Grover Beach to San Luis Obispo and back. At the SLO Amtrak Station, National Train Day activities will be taking place. A special Wine Rail Excursion will be held on Saturday, May 12 with the regular monthly excursion taking place the next day on Sunday, May 13.

With the exception of April, the monthly Wine Rail Excursions take place on the second Sunday of the month. Reinhardt said the reason this month’s

excursion was moved to April 15 was because Easter was on the second Sunday.

The excursions will alternate between starting in SLO and Paso Robles. The ones that start in Paso Robles will take the train from SLO to Paso and those that begin in SLO will take the train from Paso Robles to SLO. Because of the train schedule, starting times will vary.

The general adult cost is

between $49 and $55; for children the cost is $39. The regular cost of an adult to ride the train between Paso Robles and SLO is $14.

On June 22, the railroad festival will offer transportation from the SLO Amtrak Station to Pomar Junction’s Train Wreck concert. Those that take the transportation will take the train from SLO to Paso Robles and then a private bus to the winery.

After the concert, a private bus will take riders back to the Amtrak Station. The cost of the transportation is $39, but does not include the cost of the concert, food or wine.

n More information

For more information, call 773-4173. To make reservations, go to www.ccrrf.com.

To get on the Railroad

Festival’s newsletter mailing list, sign up on the website.

For the complete article see the 04-24-2012 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 04-24-2012 paper.

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