Text description provided by the architects. As all Vik Retreat destinations have come to be known, the VIK winery features a unique and unprecedented design, which is at once state-of-the-art, highly sustainable, technologically creative and a stunning visual experience which redefines the wine experience. The winery has been designed by the talented Chilean architect Smiljan Radic.
The visionaries behind Vik Retreats, Carrie and Alexander Vik, embarked on an architectural competition of Chilean architects in 2007, which ultimately lead to the selection of Radic (in association with Loreto Lyon) as the principal architect and designer for the inspired and creative winery design. After winning this competition, the VIK team spent three years working to refine and improve the original design concept and materials. Set amongst the mountains and sweeping valleys with the soaring Andes mountains in the distance, the winery has been thoughtfully designed to have minimal impact on the landscape and has implemented the most cutting-edge and advanced technology while also striving to create a unique design.
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. Placed throughout the plaza of the running water is a sculptural installation by Smiljan Radic and Marcela Correa, Chile's talented husband and wife team. Walkways have been cut into the plaza, allowing visitors to walk through the water-filled landscape. 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.
Upon entering the interior of the winery, visitors are immediately immersed in the VIK experience, and will be guided through the internal workings of the winery which takes them through the entire wine making process, depending on the season, from crushing and fermentation to barreling, aging and tasting. On the lower level of the fermentation hall with its stainless steel tanks visitors are attracted to the distant wall flooded with natural light and can gaze down the long colonnade of inclined lit columns through the malolactic barrel cellar into the tasting room where the altar of VIK wine sits in this natural light. In the tasting room Patrick Valette, the chief oenologist, or one of his team present various aspects of VIK and tastings of the various vintages.
After a wine tasting, guests have the opportunity to walk upstairs to the glass pavilion to enjoy VIK with culinary indulgences among exceptional design and sculptures by Marcela Correa while viewing the VIK vineyard and winery set in the surrounding majestic nature. Here they can also make their purchase of VIK to enjoy at home with friends and recall their VIK experience.