New Zealand’s Invivo Wines, best known for its collaborations with Graham Norton and Sarah Jessica Parker, has launched the world’s first winery airline – Invivo Air.
For anyone familiar with the wine company, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Invivo was the first New Zealand wine label to launch an NFT, after all, and has previously won awards for its innovative approach to marketing.
The Kiwi winemakers announced the launch of their winery airline in early 2021 with the maiden voyage from Auckland to Queenstown scheduled for January 2023. Guests onboard will be travelling between the North and South Island with an overnight stay at Hilton Queenstown Resort & Spa, with various tastings peppered into the itinerary including an eight-step wine tasting at 18,000 feet.
While Invivo doesn’t exactly shimmer with the same shine as some of New Zealand’s top-rated wineries like Destiny Bay, Cloudy Bay and Te Mata Estate, co-founders Tim Lightbourne and Rob Cameron have more than a few awards to their name, mostly thanks to the Graham Norton wines.
Guests who’ve booked the maiden voyage for Invivo Air will board a chartered Saab 340 at Auckland Airport on January 31 before the in-flight tasting, where wines from the full Invivo range will be paired with local Kiwi snacks.
The Swedish-built aircraft typically has enough seats for 34 passengers, including a crew of two pilots and one flight attendant. That should be more than enough to help make the sky-high wine tasting feel a festive way to kick off the New Year. Cameron, who doubles as the guitarist from Kiwi band Razorback Road, has also put together a bit of a playlist to help make the tasting a bit more exciting.
After landing in Queenstown, guests will be taken to one of Invivo’s oldest vineyards in Central Otago for another tasting, this time primarily of Pinot Noir, and a bit of a site tour. To cap the night, dinner will be hosted at Botswana Butchery where all food will be paired with Invivo wines.
Three tastings in a single day, with one of them boosted by altitude. Needless to say, guests will be pretty far gone by the time they retire to their lakeside rooms.
“Invivo Air is the world’s first winery airline and we’re looking forward to guiding our guests through the ultimate wine lovers experience – both at 18,000ft in our winery in the sky and also on terra firma at one of our beautiful Central Otago vineyards,” said Cameron.
“We’re thrilled to open Invivo Air to the public and deliver a truly unique experience for those that come on board. We’ll be tasting some stunning drops in some truly epic locations.”
All-inclusive tickets for a seat on Invivo Air as well as all the on-ground tastings are priced at NZ$1,149 (AU$1,075) each.
So far there’s only one flight scheduled for Invivo Air, and it’s completely sold out, but there are plans in place for more of these trips both domestically and internationally in the near future. Anyone interested in a ticket can register their interest on the official Invivo Air website.