This paradisiacal location, just two hours from Santiago, is surrounded by vineyards and nature. It is a magical experience that blends art and hospitality. This is VIK Chile, a family winery that seeks to redefine the wine experience.
The story goes back almost 20 years, when Alexander & Carrie VIK embarked on a very ambitious mission: to develop world-class vineyards to create unique wines. To achieve this goal, they assembled a team of winemakers, climatologists, geologists, viticulturists and agronomists to search South America to find the best terroir.
They quickly found what they were looking for. In 2006, they acquired 4,500 hectares in Chile, in the Cachapoal Valley. The chosen land was Millahue, called “Lugar de Oro” (Place of Gold) by the indigenous Mapuche people. In this area, they found the perfect terroir for red grape varieties, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere and Cabernet Franc, among others.
The area’s attributes were even better than they had hoped. The vineyard is located deep in the valley among countless ravines, with a variety of unique terroirs and small microclimates, each one different, and cooled by the refreshing coastal breeze, which provides the ideal complexity for winemaking. They currently produce 4 varieties of reds and a rosé, all of them high-end. In 2022 they launched La Piu Belle Champagne, a breakthrough for a Chilean winery as it is made in Ay, part of the Champagne-making region of France.
Located in the same area as VIK Chile’s vineyard, visitors will also find the Bodega VIK (VIK Winery), designed by the renowned Chilean architect Smiljan Radic. It is outstanding for its unique and unprecedented design which is simultaneously avant-garde, highly sustainable, technologically innovative and is visually striking, all of which come together to redefine the wine experience.
“Millahue, called “Lugar de Oro” (Place of Gold by the indigenous Mapuche people is an area with a perfect terroir“
But the winery is far from the only attraction. Millahue’s own beauty led to the construction of a large luxury hotel on the outskirts of the vineyards. Thus, in 2014, “a complete VIK experience” was created. Jaime Lamoliatte, VIK’s commercial manager, explains that this way, the guests at the VIK hotel can learn first hand the process of winemaking, from the vineyard, through the winery and then enjoying the wine along with flawless gastronomy.
“We found a way to create a complete VIK experience. At VIK Chile there is the luxury hotel; three restaurants with high-level gastronomy with many local and regional ingredients; and the opportunity to learn about the wine process in detail, to taste the wines at different stages of aging and, as though that were not enough, art is incorporated into VIK at every turn,” he says.
Located at the top of a hill, in the middle of the valley, close to the Andes Mountains, the VIK Chile hotel, with its 29 rooms is known for its 360º panoramic views of the vineyards, the impressive VIK Winery and the surrounding nature. Its floating, sculptural titanium and bronze roof, amidst mountains and with the blowing wind, provide a spectacle in the valley.
Inside, lively spaces and a central courtyard with a Zen garden surrounded by colorful flowers welcome guests. The living room invites guests to gather and relax surrounded by remarkable works of art, including paintings by Roberto Matta and a diptych of Anselm Kiefer’s iconic “The Secret Life of Plants” series. At VIK, tourists can find the perfect fusion of art and hospitality.
Additionally, VIK Chile has garnered international admiration since its inauguration, attracting travelers from all over the world to enjoy this innovative travel experience, unlike any other in the world. And this has brought its greatest achievement: VIK Chile was the overall winner of the prestigious World Travel Awards 2022 in the category of “World’s Leading Wine Region Hotel” for the first time in its history. They were also regional winners of the Enoturismo Chile (Chile’s Enotourism) awards and finalists at the national level, and in recent years they have made it into the top 10 of the Best Vineyards of the World, achieving the #4 spot in 2022, while in 2019 they were recognized as the best Wine Experience by Wine Enthusiast.
For now, the family winery plans to continue growing in the industry and in wine tourism. To this end, they are currently offering vertical tastings of VIK’s most famous wine, while they develop their other plans, such as opening a new hotel in Brazil.
We could go on for hours about wine, and its benefits are many. Among them, moderate wine consumption reduces the risk of mortality from heart disease by half, improves blood flow and enhances the flavours of food. In addition, wine is social, allowing for different delicious libations in the company of friends. But wine is not without its pitfalls, as the saying goes, there can be too much of a good thing.
Drinking alcohol, even in small quantities, alters cognitive abilities, decreases our attentiveness and leads to slower response times. It is worth noting that alcohol consumption is the leading cause of traffic accidents.
You can be a part of the solution, keeping the above in mind to not let wine become a negative experience.