Chile, winemaker Cristián Vallejo from VIK always optimistic. The head winemaker at VIK Winery is Cristián Vallejo, a winery that produces four estate wines in Chile, all Bordeaux-style blends.
Chilean winemaker Cristián Vallejo
Combining natural, biodynamic and organic farming practices, Vik Winery has been committed to wine sustainability since it first opened its doors in 2014. Located in the foothills of the Andes Mountains in Millahue, Chile, the state-of-the-art facility is located in the Cachapoal Valley.
Walking towards the entrance of the modernist structure, visitors will walk on the “mirror of water”, as aesthetically pleasing as it is functional, since this exterior walkway also functions as the roof of the barrel room, water is a natural form of temperature. moderation.
Inside the main facility, the glass floor overlooks the vines.
The Chilean winery produces wines using science and technology to improve the cultivation and vinification process without any chemical intervention. In addition to its technological tools and dedication to sustainability, VIK also makes its own amphorae from clay from its vineyards, a nod to Old World winemaking tradition and a technique said to further celebrate its Chilean terroir. They have even developed their own line of Chilean oak barrels.
Chief winemaker Cristián Vallejo, originally from Chile, has been making wine for decades. Before VIK, he worked in Napa, Spain, Italy and Bordeaux.
“We always say that we cannot develop the identity of a wine without seeking to understand and follow the cycles of nature, which is so dynamic and faces unique challenges every year. That is why we started doing soil studies that would allow us to identify the details to ensure optimal planting in terms of irrigation, sun and coastal winds », he explains.
He adds: “In some areas we even discovered microsoils that not only give a unique touch to the blend, but also let the grapes fully express themselves. So through our search for details, we can generate a better overall result.”
It refers to the consequences of climate change on the industry and the adaptation of its agricultural practices.
“It is a reality that all of us who are part of the industry have to face in different parts of the world. In our case, water management must be very efficient and, at the same time, we must be able to maintain the style of our mixtures », he reasons.
“We have advanced the harvest date to maintain the appropriate maturity, aromas and acidity, obtaining the finesse and elegance that we are looking for. In this way we allow the tannins to reach maturity without losing their character».
Vallejo recently began creating Chilean oak wine barrels. Why is this so important to VIK Winery? «We have developed a unique concept: Barroir, which is the perfect combination between the terroir and the barrel. We toast our barrels using the wood from our oaks to bring the flavor of the terroir and integrate it into the barrel,” he concludes.