Viña Vik, Chile

The road less traveled, and well worth the two-hour drive south of the capital city of Santiago; the road delivers one to the rambling mountainous Millahue Valley. Once you turn off the highway to the single lane dirt road, the scenery and traffic change – cars and old ranch trucks are interspersed with huaso’s on horseback herding cows down the dusty road. Ancient water mills flank the fields of grapes; a slower pace is suggested by the roadside attractions.Vina Vik, ChileViña Vik Retreat has two stories: fine wine and another exclusive smashing hotel. The story began in 2004 when Carrie and Alex Vik decided to look for land to build a vineyard and produce the best wine in South America. They specialize in the exceptional in every endeavor, nothing middle of the road in the Vik undertakings.

Story One – Wine. The quest led to land in Chile’s Millahue Valley or “Place of Gold”, as named by the native people; they discovered 11,000 acres of wilderness, punctuated by undulating hills and a small lake and surrounded by the forested Andes. The area flanks the Apalta Valley and its celebrated wineries. An army of geologists, climatologists and oenologists were hired to study the land, and it was determined that the area revealed an incredible biodiversity ideal for planting a vineyard.Vina Vik, ChileIn the only the best Vik mantra, they engaged winemaker French-Chilean Patrick Valette, whose family had owned the renowned St. Emilion Château Pavie and Chilean-born architect Smiljan Radic to design the futuristic winery. You might know of Radic, who designed the 2014 Serpentine Galleries Pavilion in London. He designed the new winery with a fusion of steel, stone, glass and water utilizing wind and sunlight to produce electricity.

The rolling hillsides are planted with cabernet sauvignon, carmenere, syrah, and cabernet franc and merlot grapes that make up VIK wines. On approach to the massive Vik Winery which has a glass-floored room overlooking the fermentation tanks, one quickly realizes that most of the structure is below ground. The trickling water and stone pathway to the entrance leads the visitor through a boulder-strewn pond; you later learn that this pond actually cools the barrel room beneath. The eco-conscious designs include solar energy, a free cooling system, natural insulation and geothermal energy.Vina Vik,ChileWine tasting can be enjoyed below ground in the winery surrounded by the aging barrels or in the dining room of the Vik Retreat, accompanied by chocolates or scrumptious snacks from the skilled chef. This extraordinary wine is the result of an elegant blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Carménère, Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Franc, blends that are chosen yearly in different combinations. The wines are for long-term aging, and have the promise to become one of the best wines in the world.

The wines are medium to full bodied, very aromatic with hints of ripe red and black fruit, spice, and leather on the nose. Hints of blackcurrant, black plum, licorice, spice, and a touch of raspberry come through on the palate, great complexity and a long elegant finish. The wines can be reserved here Vik, ChileVina Vik, Chile