A New Zealand Winemaker Is Launching the World's First 'Winery Airline'
Some U.S. domestic airlines have slowly brought adult beverages back to their in-flight menus — United started serving mini-bottles of booze in November — while others are still committed to staying dry as long as the federal mask mandate is in place. Meanwhile, in New Zealand, an Auckland-based winery has launched what it's calling "the world's first winery airline."
Last week, Invivo announced that it would be operating a route from Auckland to Queenstown, New Zealand, a 1,000-ish kilometer flight (620 miles) from the North Island to the South Island. The flight is scheduled to get off the ground "in early 2022" and 34 guests will travel on a chartered Saab plane. The travelers will have a full day to experience Queenstown, they'll be booked for a one-night stay at the Hilton Queenstown hotel, and will get to visit some of the Central Otago vineyards that grow grapes for Invivo's Pinot Noirs.
"Priority for seats will be given to Auckland hospitality and tourism staff who have been affected by the lockdown, members of the public who haven't seen their South Island family or friends in 2021 due to the borders, and Invivo shareholders," Invivo said in a press release. (Although they haven't publicly commented on the flight, some of Invivo's high-profile partners include actor Sarah Jessica Parker and British talk show host Graham Norton.)
"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," Invivo co-founder Tim Lightbourne said. "We are not ruling out further flights to other New Zealand destinations as well."
In early November, Invivo became the first Kiwi winery to launch its own NFTs. Their first batch of ten non-fungible tokens were based around the He-Devil wine they created with Norton. The NFT buys were eligible to get an annual "first release' wine for the next five years and a (real-life) framed print of their digital artwork. One buyer also picked up a "one-on-one live virtual tasting" with Norton and with Invivo's co-founders.
As for the in-flight wine service, anyone who's reading this who happens to already be in New Zealand can register their interest in taking the inaugural Invivo Air flight through the winery's website.