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Vintner's Lunch

Lunch Train Schedule

Vintner's Lunch
Time Activity
10:30 AM Check-in
11:00 AM Board Train
11:30 AM Train Departs
2:30 PM Train Returns

Any reserved seats not checked in 10 minutes prior to departure may be released for resale.

Grgich Hills Vintner's Lunch

Friday, October 24

Taste wines created by Mike Grgich, one of the men responsible for putting Napa Valley wines on the map. This wine making legend was the winemaker behind the 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay, which won the famous 1976 Paris Tasting. After this monumental tasting, the world began to recognize that Napa Valley was producing delicious wines rivaling those of France. His daughter, Violet, who is involved with every aspect of the wine business, will be on board with guests, sharing stories about her father, and about her love of wine country.

The Grgich Hills Vintners Lunch will give Wine Train guests the unique opportunity to talk with the daughter of this historical wine maker, taste their delicious wines, feast on a gourmet meal, and ride in a piece of true Americana. The afternoon’s menu will be designed by Executive Chef Kelly Macdonald to highlight the rich flavors of the Grgich Hills wines, with each course pairing to a different glass.

Enjoy the exceptional view of the valley from the elevated Vista Dome Car during your culinary adventure. Chef Kelly and Violet will be on board throughout the event to explain the pairings, answer any questions, or just chat about wine and food as the train slowly traverses the Napa Valley. It is sure to be an afternoon to remember!

Due to the extreme popularity of Vintner's Lunches, this event is seated with others. Parties of two may be seated with other parties of two.


The Napa Valley Wine Train's Vista Dome Car and Chef Kelly Macdonald


Violet Grgich

Violet Grgich

Violet’s passion for wine began at an early age, as she literally grew up accompanying her father in the vineyards and cellar. She spent her summers at the winery, doing everything from bottling line work to laboratory analysis and working in the tasting room.

Attending the University of California, Davis, Violet earned a BA in music while taking classes in biology, chemistry, and enology. After graduation, she returned home to Grgich Hills to continue her education in the wine business, learning about daily operations of the winery from Mike. She received her Master of Music in harpsichord at Indiana University, and then joined the winery full-time in 1988. She’s now responsible for daily management of the winery, as well as sales and marketing. She says that she has the ideal job: “I believe that wine is part of a healthy, happy and long life. Wine brings people together and makes them happy, which makes my job extraordinarily fulfilling.”

Involved with every aspect of the wine business, Violet enjoys wearing many different hats, often at the same time. She explains, “My dad insisted that in order to lead the winery I needed to work at every single position, starting at the bottom.” Violet continues to enjoy learning something new each day and following her grandfather’s and father’s philosophy of “Every day do something just a little better.”

Violet is pleased that the next generation has joined the winery: Noel Grgich Shipman, her son born in 2005, accompanies her on sales trips, and enjoys every minute of it.