VistaJet, the first and only global business aviation company, announced today the launch of The VistaJet Wine Program, the most expansive and engaging experience of wine, designed to enhance the exploration of the world of wine on its aircraft and at world destinations.
VistaJet Founder and Chairman, Thomas Flohr is an avid collector and investor in wine with a cellar of more than 3,000 bottles and a particular passion for Burgundies. “Enjoying a glass of wine while in flight should be the same as a glass of wine in a restaurant. But nobody has ever managed to offer this on a global scale,” said Flohr. “So, to provide the consistency of service and quality to our Members, we have created the first global program that will ensure our guests enjoy the best possible wine in the sky whilst catering to all their needs when it comes to tasting, collecting, discovering and developing a deeper knowledge of wine – anytime, anywhere.”
Much of the pleasure of savoring wine is in understanding its nuances, yet the effects of altitude, cabin pressure and air quality mean that selecting the right wine for a flight can prove to be difficult. During the development of The VistaJet Wine Program, the company hosted some of the world’s foremost wine experts, including those from Marchesi Antinori, Rothschild (Lafite), Ca’ del Bosco and Artemis Domaines, on several flights to sample, taste and compare a number of different wines from all over the world. By tasting on the ground and in the sky, the experts were able to further understand how taste and smell are the senses most affected by the atmosphere and work together in a pressurized cabin; nasal sensors’ reception of aromas are limited owing to the lower air pressure that comes with a lower humidity; bubbles found in sparkling wines, which contain up to thirty times more aromas than the liquid, tend to stick to the sides of the glass; and that fruit flavors are diminished, while bitterness and spiciness are largely unaffected.
In addition to that of the palate, Oxford University professor Charles Spence noted that the level of background noise on a commercial flight adversely affects a person’s perception of smell and taste. In a business jet however, the comforts of someone’s home environment are more accurately recreated with cabin noise 35 decibels less than commercial, minimizing the inherent psychological impact. Flying at 45,000 feet, VistaJet’s Global 6000 has an equivalent air pressure of only 4,500 feet, making many of the sensory effects of air travel less noticeable.
The learnings from these memorable wine flights, touching down in exclusive vineyards including Clos de Tart and Château Smith Haut Lafitte, proved instrumental in the development of The VistaJet Wine Program.
The Wine in the Sky Questionnaire
VistaJet invited popular oenophiles including Sofia Coppola, Andrea Bocelli, Jeannie Cho Lee and Daniel Boulud, to contribute to The Wine in the Sky Questionnaire, a compendium of considered suggestions for tasting, serving and transporting wine on travels around the world. Published in collaboration with Assouline, the book serves to advise on how to select the most appropriate wines considering the different effects of flying on our senses. The Wine in the Sky Questionnaire will be available for pre-order from December 6th on Assouline.com and in stores mid-December.
Signature Wine List
Sourced from some of the world’s most iconic vineyards and personally handpicked by Thomas Flohr, all VistaJet passengers can enjoy the Signature Wine List with wines that take advantage of the effects of flying to perform best in the sky. The list features great classics such as the elegant, pure and aromatic Ruinart Champagnes; the dense, smooth and ripe Château Pape Clément, Pessac Léognan with its lifted notes of raspberries; and the Gaja, Rossj Bass Chardonnay, presenting a definite character and good acidity with a fresh and lingering finish.
The VistaJet Wine Club
Adding a discovery aspect to the signature offering, The VistaJet Wine Club will allow Members to explore the world of wine with 12 carefully selected wines each year, tasting two new bottles every other month from a range of producers and grapes around the world. To further enhance the experience, VistaJet Cabin Hostesses, trained up to WSET Level 2, can organize a blind tasting to assess the characteristics of grape varieties and record notes on tasting cards.
The full list will be disclosed to VistaJet Program Members throughout the year, with the first selection of wines including the infinitely delicate yet complex 2015 Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru, Albert Bichot; the 2009 Ca’ del Bosco Cuvée Annamaria Clementi with its tangy acidity and ultrafine perlage; and the full bodied 2013 Solaia, from Marchesi Antinori with tannins of much shape and solidity.
Through its global coverage, VistaJet provides bespoke access and personal introductions to the world’s best winemakers and wine clubs through the VistaJet Chairman’s Office. With the global Wine Tours, Members can also request round-the-world wine itineraries and personal tours of the finest vineyards and wine regions, as well as access to wine auctions and events with fine wine traders and collectors.
VistaJet’s Wine Tours include a three-day experience hosted by Marchesi Antinori, to enjoy a dinner with the family at Palazzo Antinori, tasting wines from their private collections, before visiting their historical vineyards in Tuscany and Umbria by helicopter and staying in the family estates’ exclusive guest houses.
The World of Wine Concierge
The World of Wine Concierge offers tasting advice both prior to flight and at destination, to help Members discover wines and vineyards in any region they’re visiting. The concierge can also assist with acquiring a historic vintage for a special anniversary, giving personalized recommendations about buying wine en primeur and at auction, as well as help arranging safe transportation of wine around the world. Members can request advice from a global network of local experts in North America, Europe and Asia.