Rail route of the month: vines on the line from Avignon to Lyon, France

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Our slow travel expert takes the train through the Rhône’s wine country, hoping for grand cru views and a glass of Condrieu

Trains and wine make natural partners, be it a glass of crisp white over a leisurely lunch in a restaurant car while cruising through the Alps or a rail itinerary that meanders through a region noted for its fine wines. Many of Europe’s most prized wine regions lend themselves naturally to exploration by rail.

Take the train from São Bento station in Porto to Pocinho, for example, for fine views of the estates that have underpinned the port trade. Other classic European wine regions where trains weave through vineyards include Tokay in Hungary, Germany’s Moselle valley, the Ebro valley in Spain (for fine Rioja) and Switzerland’s Lavaux region where one grand cru white, made from Chasselas grapes, even plays up the rail connection: the Massy family’s classy Dézaley is called Chemin de Fer.

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