“Wine Soul Train” Bus Tour Sells Out

 


This past August, as you may have heard, a group of African-American women were booted from the Napa Valley Wine Train for being loud and bothering other passengers. Police officers were waiting for them when the train stopped and they were unceremoniously ushered off the train. 
 
This past Saturday, a group of 35 wine enthusiasts boarded the Wine Soul Train, a bus tour which took the group to Napa for wine tasting. The move was a direct response to the wine train incident this past summer.
 
According to CBS’ Bay Area division, the Wine Soul Train tour was a sellout. Oakland Food Policy Council Director Esperanza Pallana organized the tour. 
 
Reflecting on the wine train episode earlier this year, she said that “train officials didn’t understand how another culture expresses joy.”
 
Napa Valley Wine Train’s CEO expressed his sincere apology about the incident. 
 
The bus tour was, of course, intended to take wine lovers to wine country to enjoy high-quality tastings. Yet the trip was more than just a wine tasting – organizers wanted to raise awareness about Napa Valley’s minority winemakers. 
 
The tour was scheduled to make stops at Esterlina Vineyards & Winery in Healdsburg and Maldonado Vineyards in Calistoga. 
 
FOX’s Oakland station, FOX 2, also covered the days leading up to the tour. According to the news outlet, the bus in which the oenophiles traveled is called “La Iguana” and boasts bright green colors. 
 
The Mexican Bus transportation company oversaw the logistics of the driving side of the tour and were a sponsor of the tour. 
According to Esterlina Vineyards’ website, the vineyard has been in business for several years and is home to award-winning Pinot Noirs. The vineyard is the only one in the 253-acre Cole Ranch American Viticultural Area, the “smallest appellation in America.” 
 
Maldonado Vineyards was started by Lupe Maldonado, a Michoacan, Mexico, native who came to California late 60’s and quickly launched a career in wine. He rose to vineyard manager at Newton Vineyard before handing the reins over to his son in 1999. 
 
Lupe then bought his own plot of land in Jamieson Canyon and started Maldonado Vineyards. The vineyard is a family-run project. His son Hugo is a graduate of the Viticulture and Enology program at the University of California, Davis. 
 
The Soul Train’s website noted that the participants would meet in Oakland for breakfast, then leave at 10 a.m. for the vineyards. 
 
Tickets for the tour were $100 per seat. 
 
Photo Credit: Pixabay

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