Viña Vik to uncover the next generation of winemaking superstars
Viña Vik is championing young winemaking talent in Chile through the launch of its new Wine LAB contest.
Located in Millahue in the Cachapoal Valley of Chile, Vik is collaborating with the winemaking faculties of three renowned Chilean universities: Agronomy of the Pontificia Universidad Católica, Universidad de Chile and Universidad de Talcat to uncover the next generation of winemaking talent.
The 10 best students at each university will be selected to take part in the new Wine LAB competition, giving them access to the expertise of Vik’s winemaking team, led by chief winemaker Cristián Vallejo, as well as the winery’s infrastructure and support teams.
The young winemakers will create their own blends, using three Vik wines, and will also be able to define the level of toasting applied to the barrel which will house their blend. Last year Vik began crafting barrels from Chilean-oak harvested on the property, which it dubs its Barroir programme.
“I wanted to keep the identity of the valley, and didn’t want the flavour imparted to our wines from the barrels to come from anywhere else,” Vallejo told db last year about the project.
Another benefit of making your own barrels is that you can adjust the level of toasting to suit each of your wines, which, according to Vallejo, “allows us to be more precise with our winemaking”.
In December, after a six-month ageing period, the participants’ wines will be judged by a panel of national and international experts to determine three winners.
The overall winner will receive a trip to France to visit the barrel-making facilities of Sylvain (one of the largest suppliers of barrels in the world), and to Italy, where they will be hosted by Enológica Vason, a company that specialises in raw material selection and product development for the winemaking industry. The winner will also have the opportunity to create their own wine through to the final stage, including packaging and marketing their product.
Cristián Vallejo, Viña Vik’s Chief Winemaker says: “The experience of participating in Wine LAB is a prize, as future winemakers will have access to the entire winemaking process, from its origin to the final product.”
“Plus, the fact that the entire industry has been invited to participate in different ways allows us to promote the future of these professionals in one of Chile’s emblematic industries that contributes so much to our country’s image.”