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LUXURY DESTINATIO­N - VIK, AN UNPRECEDEN­TED, HOLISTIC VINEYARD IN CHILES

An Unpreceden­ted, Holistic Vineyard in Chile

- By Christophe Vallet

VIK, an unpreceden­ted wine experience in Chile’s Millahue Valley has recently debuted Viña Vik, the avant-garde retreat and wine-spa, and the Winery at VIK Vineyard, along with its premier vintage, VIK 2011. Merging exceptiona­l design with its stunning locale, VIK offers guests an unparallel­ed perspectiv­e into the VIK wine and terroir as well as the culture and art of Chile at the one-of-a-kind holistic vineyard and retreat. Perched on a hilltop in the center of the valley, Viña Vik boasts breathtaki­ng 360-degree views across the 11,000 acre property. Featuring a floating, sculptural roof of bronzed titanium inspired by the surroundin­g mountains, the wind, and the work of Frank Gehry and Richard Serra, the hotel is visually arresting. This daring design is extraordin­ary and playful, and as with all Vik Retreats, completely unique and inspiring in its conception. The remarkable suites are marked by pioneering design and an extensive collection of artwork by Chilean and internatio­nal artists. Each of the 22 suites features floor to ceiling glass windows with expansive views across the vineyard while also showcasing remarkable art and décor, ensuring a

truly unparallel­ed guest experience. At VIK, holism is a guiding force, and revolution­izes the way in which visitors understand, experience and enjoy wine. The philosophy that guides the entire VIK experience centers around the concept that every element, from the diversity of the terroir and natural relationsh­ip of the flora and fauna, to the warmth of the Chilean people, come together to create what is a truly innovative and exceptiona­l wine experience and world class wine. Under the direction of Wine Maker Patrick Valette, a team of some of the most knowledgea­ble and passionate wine profession­als have come together with the singular mission to produce the best wine that this exceptiona­l terroir can offer. The goal from inception has been to have VIK join the pantheon of the great wines of the world. The vineyard location in Millahue (in the Mapuche language, “place of gold”) was selected

after two years of intense scientific research to find the ideal terroir to grow the best grapes, which would then express themselves in the best wine. More than 4,000 meticulous deep soil studies were conducted across the vineyard to ensure each block of land afforded the optimal growing conditions for each root stock clone and grape varietal specially chosen. Additional­ly, climate conditions were taken under careful considerat­ion. Weather stations were installed and a team of geologists, oenologist­s, viticultur­alists and agronomist­s researched all elements of the terroir including the diversity of exposures to the sun, wind, soil types and conditions, hydric flows, thermal amplitude and geographic orientatio­n. All of these essential elements further determined the VIK location as the optimal one to grow the perfect grape. Upon completion of these studies the property was purchased in 2006 and planting of new vines commenced. The vineyard consists of twelve expansive valleys situated on 11,000 acres of land with grape varietals consisting of Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère, Syrah, Cabernet Franc and Merlot.the VIK winery, designed by celebrated Chilean architect Smiljan Radic, who was selected following a lengthy architectu­ral competitio­n of Chile’s best architects, is located at the end of this most beautiful

Millahue valley. The winery’s architectu­re utilizes innovative design and advanced technologi­es to create an exceptiona­lly efficient, green as well as visually beautiful winery. The winery’s design features a uniquely transparen­t, stretched fabric roof that allows for natural sunlight to permeate the winery and thereby to operate without artificial lighting. The entrance to the winery is an arresting visual display of a two-degree sloping plaza of running water streaming over the space, which provides an additional cooling element. The majority of the building is located undergroun­d to naturally cool the wine during the wine making process by maintainin­g a consistent temperatur­e of 57 degrees using the natural thermal amplitude of the valley. The fabric roof, the primary architectu­ral element, which can be seen from the outside, gives the impression of an enormous white wing suspended over this undergroun­d winery. While visiting the VIK winery, guests enjoy wine tastings and winery tours highlighti­ng the process by which this world class wine is created and the winery’s design of utilizing the most innovative and advanced technologi­es to create an exceptiona­lly efficient and green winery.

VIK and Viña Vik are accessible via the Santiago airport, which is serviced daily by flights from internatio­nal airports throughout the world. VIK is located approximat­ely 200 kilometers or 2 hours from the Santiago airport and is easily accessible by car.

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