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Private Jets: Wine in the sky

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Much of the pleasure of savouring 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.

VistaJet’s fleet of over 70 business jets has flown corporations, governments and private clients to 187 countries, covering 96% of the world. Founded in 2004, the company pioneered an innovative business model where customers have access to an entire fleet whilst paying only for the hours they fly, free of the responsibilities and asset risks linked to aircraft ownership. VistaJet’s signature Program membership offers customers a bespoke subscription of flight hours on its fleet of mid and long-range jets, to fly them anytime, anywhere. Customers can also request direct one-off flights.

The company has now decided to redefine wine in flight with a collection of expert findings, signature and wine club selections, tastings in the sky and curated tours. The VistaJet Wine Program has been 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,” he says. “But nobody has ever managed to offer this on a global scale. 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 savouring 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,” expalains Mr Flohr, “the experts were able to further understand how taste and smell are the senses most affected by the atmosphere and work together in a pressurised 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 30 times more aromas than the liquid, tend to stick to the sides of the glass; and that fruit flavours are diminished, while bitterness and spiciness are largely unaffected.”

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