Most people have heard of wine flights, the tasting experience that allows participants to sample a variety of wines in a single sitting.
But now a New Zealand winery is unveiling wine flights, as in the first winery airline, where it’s business class in every glass.
Invivo & Co. is looking for passengers for its maiden flight on the newly launched Invivo Air. The flight will take place early this year from Auckland to Queenstown in a chartered 34-seat Swedish-built Saab plane.
Invivo will allocate a number of complimentary seats for select guests, but owners are looking for more passengers to fill up the plane. Interested passengers have until January 14 to register their interest online.
Interested passengers must be at least 18 years old and be New Zealand residents. After registration closes, hopeful passengers will receive information on how they might be selected.
Invivo says it is like any other airline, just with better wine.
The move comes after Auckland’s borders have been reopened after an almost four-month lockdown.
“It’s been a tough period of time, particularly for our bars and restaurant customers in both the North and South Island heavily reliant on local tourism,” Invivo co-founder Tim Lightbourne said in a statement. “Running a flight to the South Island is a way that we can show the public the country is open again for domestic tourism, and at the same time support some of those who have had a particularly tough time of it.”
That support comes in priority seating being given to hospitality and tourism staff impacted by the lockdown, and residents who didn’t see their family or friends in 2021 because of border closures.
Guests will get much more than the flight. It will be a 24-hour operation, with special experiences in Queenstown being planned, visits to growers, and an overnight stay at the Hilton Queenstown.
Passengers will need to comply with whatever rules and regulations are in place at the time of the flight, including showing their national vaccine pass before boarding.
Lightbourne said the company is not ruling out future flights to other destinations as well.
Invivo Wines launched in 2007 and produces a variety of wines in partnership with others, including actress Sarah Jessica Parker and British talk show host Graham Norton.
For more on travel and wine, check out our coverage of wine regions, vineyards, and wine tastings.