Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Free ride! The Gray Report gives away a Napa Valley Wine Train / Diablo Valley hotel package

Hey readers, how would you like to ride the Napa Valley Wine Train for free -- with a free hotel room!

One lucky reader is going to win a free package for 2: a value of up to $500! Plus, you can arrange the trip on a day that's convenient for you.

Diablo Valley is sponsoring a promotion to put itself more firmly on the tourist map. It's about a 35-mile drive from Concord, where the hotels in this package are, to the city of Napa, where the train is. So even though Diablo Valley is in between San Francisco and Napa, which has its advantages, staying there is not most people's first idea when planning a Wine Country holiday.

This summer, Diablo Valley hotels created an amazing deal to lure more guests: A free trip for 2 on the Wine Train as a bonus for a single night's paid stay, for the first 15 people to book it. Giving one away to one of my readers is a way to publicize that deal.
The view from the dining car

This free package includes:
* One night's stay, free, for 2 people (one room) at one of 8 Diablo Valley hotels
* One ticket for 2 people, free, on the Napa Valley Wine Train, for the lunch or dinner package ($129 value per person), the Grgich Hills tour package ($179 value per person), or the Valley First Winery tour package ($179 value per person)

Not included:
* Transportation between Diablo Valley and Napa (possible by paid van, but your own car is preferable)
* Transportation between your home and Diablo Valley
* Anything else (don't get greedy)

I rode on the Napa Valley Wine Train in 2010 and had a great time, even though I expected to mock it. I wrote about that voyage in detail and you can read about it here.

But what you want to know is, how do I score the free tickets?

Well, simple. Just tell me, in the blog comments section below (NOT on Twitter or Facebook), a Napa Valley winery you have always wanted to visit. Any winery at all. You don't have to give a reason.

I will pick the winner randomly and then see if I can get that winery to give you a free tasting, for a little added bonus. Pro tip: Screaming Eagle isn't going to participate.

Here is a list of the hotels where you can stay. The Diablo Valley folks who are donating the package say they will work with the hotel and the Napa Valley Wine Train to get you the date of your choice.

If you aren't the lucky winner, you can still buy the package here if you're one of the first 15 people to book it. It really is an amazing deal, even if you live in the Bay Area. Some of these hotel rooms go for under $100 total; the train ride goes for up to $358 total. Here's a list of good places to eat in Diablo Valley from Diablo Magazine.

Deadline for entries is midnight PST on Sunday, July 5. Don't think, just enter. Tell me the Napa Valley Winery you've always wanted to visit, good luck, and choo choo!

Follow me on Twitter: @wblakegray and like The Gray Report on Facebook.
FYI: You might want to leave a clue to your identity, in case you win. If you're only "Sansa," anybody can claim to be you later on. Just saying.


  1. I'm going with Quintessa. Their tasting room -- oh, sorry "pavilion" -- looks amazing.

  2. V. Sattui. Funnily enough I don't know any of their regular wines; just their madeira, which I love.

  3. Elyse.... always my favorite; really good, well priced wines

  4. Okay I have two, Qunitessa and now Odette winery. I drive past them everyday and haven't gone! EVH- Good call!

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  6. winedork = Rebecca Poling

  7. Quintessa- but any of them really. I hear it's a wonderful experience! -Alexandria Parker

  8. Ridge. Their Lytton Springs was the trailhead of discovery for me.