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Given our historical ties to aviation (see the About Us page), we follow an aeronautical theme in the naming of our wines. Vin Fizz is no exception. Named for the Vin Fiz Flyer (itself, named after a new grape soda), the first plane to complete a transcontinental flight (ish), our Vin Fizz is sure to be a hit from coast to coast!
Vin Fizz N. V. is 100 % Riesling Brut style, 0.8 % R.S., with aromas and flavors of white flowers, green apple, melon, lemon, pineapple and fresh baked bread. We toast America’s Aviation Pioneers!
Please continue reading below for more information about The Vin Fiz Flyer, and what inspired us to select the name, Vin Fizz.
Here at Hidden Hangar, we love stories involving the pursuit of fortune and glory, mad adventurers, riding jodhpurs, and processed meats. We're also suckers for women aviators (more about that in a bit).
The year was 1911...
To generate content for his publications, William Randolph Hearst had offered a $50,000 prize to the first aviator to fly coast to coast in less than 30 days from start to finish.
Armour and Company (think hotdogs) had a brand new grape-flavored soda in need of some intense marketing.
In the middle - Cal Rodgers. Calbraith Perry Rodgers was an aviation pioneer who trained with Orville Wright, himself. In a Wright Flyer EX Pusher Bi-plane with the Vin Fiz logo emblazoned on the lower wing, Cal would fly, crash, fly, and crash his way into history!
The flight began at 4:30 pm, September 17, 1911, when Rodgers took off from the Sheepshead Bay Race Track in Brooklyn, New York. Although the plan called for a large number of stops along the way, in the end there were 75, including 16 crashes, and Rodgers was injured several times. Taylor and the team of mechanics rebuilt the Vin Fiz Flyer when necessary, and only a few pieces of the original plane actually made the entire trip.
On November 5, having missed the prize deadline by 19 days, Rodgers landed in Pasadena, California, in front of a crowd of 20,000. On the 12th he took off for Long Beach, California, but crashed at Compton, with a brain concussion and a spinal twist. He was hospitalized for three weeks. Finally, on December 10 he landed on the beach, and taxied the Flyer into the Pacific Ocean, completing the unprecedented journey of over 4,000 statute miles (6,400 km). Actual flying time totaled under 84 hours.
Harriet became the first woman in the United States to receive a pilot certificate, issued to her by the Aero Club of America. In 1912, she became the first woman to fly across the English Channel.
The Vin Fiz Company, a division of Armour Meat Packing Plant of Chicago, recruited Quimby as the spokesperson for the new grape soda, Vin Fiz, after the death of Calbraith Perry Rodgers in April 1912. Her distinctive purple aviator uniform and image graced many of the advertising pieces of the day.
In triumph and tragedy, Harriet took the world by storm and opened the door for women in aviation. Perhaps she inspired Amelia Earhart, Louise Thaden, or even Sally Ride.
Read more about this amazing woman here.