The ‘Spirit of 1743’ graces the golden skies of the City of Gold for the first time
“In our endeavour to triumph every day, how often do we overlook the little things in favour of the big ones? If the last couple of years has taught us anything, it’s to appreciate the here and now and what’s right in front of us,” says David White, General Manager of Moët & Chandon South Africa. Come the end of the day…that’s the sky. The earth’s daily swansong is a dazzling affair, a moment of awe when the horizon is ablaze with gold, a moment when we all breathe a collective sigh of relief. Now imagine amplifying that moment and etching it into the memory bank by celebrating the sun and its golden glow from the vantage of a hot air balloon.
Since its maiden voyage in 1990, the ‘Spirit of 1743’s journey around the globe has been nothing short of awe-inspiring, traversing the skies of the world’s great capitals and iconic landmarks including the Great Wall of China, the Statue of Liberty, and the Eiffel Tower. The cork-shaped hot air balloon, which has visited 21 countries in its lifetime including Japan, Australia, and the USA, arrived in Johannesburg for the first time to launch the Moët & Chandon Golden Glow experience.
This iconic emblem of the House offered an ideal perspective from which to view one of the City of Gold’s most overlooked occasions – the magnificent golden glow at the end of the day, and the skies of Johannesburg did not disappoint.
Yesterday, as the sun began its final descent towards the horizon, friends of Moët & Chandon gathered on Inanda Polo Club’s manicured fields, to toast to this iconic first flight set against a luminous golden sky. Celebrities including Boity Thulo, Zoe Msutwana, and Zulu Mkhathini arrived in Range Rovers and were invited to charge their glasses and board the ‘Spirit of 1743’ as dusk fell over their city – an experience they all agreed will never be forgotten. They join a cast of a select few worldwide who have had the opportunity to travel in the balloon.
Moët & Chandon Business Development Director Charles de Pontevès led a moment of collective celebration when Joburg’s celebrities raised their glasses at 17:43, in recognition of the founding year of the House and of the importance of acknowledging the golden hour that marks the closing of a day. Moët & Chandon has the ability to take life beyond the ordinary, in this instance offering all those in attendance a moment for pause, reflection and spontaneous pleasure – one best celebrated with the magic of champagne.
The ‘Spirit of 1743’ is an ambassador of Moët & Chandon’s heritage – its journey set to continue for centuries to come. In the golden glow of South Africa’s City of Gold, it successfully elevated the hours of dusk to possibly the most defining moment of the day, a truly fitting prelude to the effervescence of the night.