AT A GLANCE:
Position: No 14
Name of wine estate: Viña VIK
Wine region: Cachapoal Valley
Standout points: Stunning Frank Gehry-inspired modernist winery; two luxury spa retreats
Winemaker: Cristián Vallejo
Wine style: Bordeaux-style reds focusing on Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenere
The golden place
Taking the wine tourist experience to an immersive new level, Vina Vik is a no-expense-spared operation comprising a visionary Frank Gehry-inspired winery, stunning vineyard estate, luxury spa retreat hotel and a restaurant very much with Michelin stars on its mind. Located in the Cachapoal Valley, Millahue – meaning ‘golden place’ in Mapuche – this was virgin territory before Norwegian millionaire Alexander Vik and his wife, Carrie, planted vines there in 2004, their goal to create a wine that would enter the pantheon of the world’s great wines.
Built from scratch
The Viks hired a crack team of oenologists (including Patrick Valette, former owner of Château Pavie in St Emilion), climatologists, geologists, viticulturists and agronomists to scour South America and locate the perfect terroir for their project. After two years of strenuous search, the choice of optimal climatic conditions led them to purchase 4,400ha of Chilean wilderness where they planted almost 300ha of vines in the foothills of the Andes.
The last word in luxury
If you’re planning a visit, you can expect luxury experiences for all the senses. Enjoy a gourmet lunch in the Pavilion restaurant. The menu uses organic and seasonal products from Vik’s own kitchen garden. A slurp or two of the estate’s outstanding wines is recommended at this point. Enhance your experience tenfold with a stay at one of the Vik luxury retreats. With incredible views of the vineyards, Vik Chile and Puro Vik, offer plentiful high-end amenities such as a marble infinity-pool, gym, sauna and wine-spa to provide you with the ultimate sense of pampered relaxation.
Ready for action?
If you can tear yourself away from all this luxury, you may also immerse yourself in the unspoilt beauty of the Millahue Valley with horseback riding and mountain biking excursions surrounded by native Chilean forests and lush vegetation. Whichever way you slice it, this is an oeno-tourist destination that ups the ‘wow’ factor stakes considerably.