Labor Of Love
Art+Design|Winter 2019-2020| Art of Giving| Issue 25
Carrie and Alexander Vik’s Chilean Luxury Retreat
Zoe Kaplan
Carrie Vik calls the decision she and her husband, Alexander, made to build their dream vineyard and hotel retreat a “leap of faith.” If so, it was one built on a deep appreciation of wine and the winemaking process, an investment in learning about the industry, and a science-driven mission to find land that would support a world-class vineyard and guest experience at the same time. The result? Several luxurious properties around the world, including Vik Chile, a hilltop retreat with its own vineyard, Viña Vik, in the Millahue Valley.

The Monaco-based billionaire couple share a longtime love of wine. In the 1990s the two started a wine group with friends, including a wine merchant who began to educate them on the winemaking process. After visiting vineyards in wine regions across the world, a turning point came on a trip to Bordeaux. Alexander was training for the New York City Marathon, and after days spent going to tastings he would go on long training runs through the local vineyards. He noticed that the quality of wine would change from one winery to another, even though they were growing vines right next to each other. “He got obsessed with the idea of terroir as the explanation,” Carrie says. Terroir is the combination of soil quality, climate, sun exposure, and other environmental details of land where wine grapes are grown; the slightest differences can cause grapes to have distinctive characteristics and flavor. “He said, ‘I bet if we found the perfect land in the South American wine region, we could produce the best wine in the shortest amount of time.’”

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