Vik Vibe

VIK announces the winners of the inaugural version of Wine Lab

By: VIK Marketing
3 January , 2024

As a way to advance their social commitment to Chile’s wine industry, in 2023 Viña VIK launched Wine LAB, a project that seeks to discover and empower new winemaking talent, boosting their careers and future challenges. VIK’s Wine LAB Project has enabled the winery to reinforce its innovation strategy, which has gathered momentum throughout the 19 years since its foundation. 

The objective of the innovation in winemaking competition paved the way for developing this unprecedented partnership between academia and the wine industry. It offers talented students from the winemaking schools at three Chilean universities the chance to do an internship at Viña VIK, thereby opening the doors of the winery and its processes to the university community. For months, the team, led by Head Winemaker Cristián Vallejo, promoted the idea that each student would be able to make their own blend, defining the proportions of the varieties of VIK wines to be included in it, and working with ageing processes using VIK barrels and the “Barroir” technique.

On 15 December 2023, the winners of the first annual VIK Wine LAB Project were selected by a demanding jury comprising national and international figures, who undertook the curatorship of the blends of 26 students from the Agronomy and Winemaking departments at the Universidad de Chile, Universidad Católica, and the Universidad de Talca. “The results were surprising. We were really able to see the young talent and tremendous capacity of these winemakers, who impressed the jury and the industry with the high quality of their winemaking submissions,” said Cristián Vallejo, Head Winemaker at VIK.

Present at the awards ceremony were Alexander and Carrie Vik, founders of the winery, as well as leading officials from the universities and important figures from the winemaking industry.

The final results were revealed after 2 tasting sessions, where the jury was divided into 3 groups, with each group tasting 9 different wines. They then selected the three best examples per table and finally as a group, chose the winners.

Two students from the Universidad de Talca obtained first and second place, respectively: Sebastián Farías and Katherine Cruz. Third place was awarded to a student from the Universidad de Chile, Katherine Cortés.

The winner of the competition won a trip to France, where they will visit the Sylvain installations (one of the world’s biggest barrel suppliers) and Italy, where they will be received by Enologica Vason, a company specializing in the selection of raw materials and the formulation of products for the winemaking industry. They will have the chance to create their own wine, participating in the entire process, including packaging, with winemaking and marketing support and supplies for its dissemination.

The first runner up was awarded a trip to Portugal, where they will be received at R-Cork, one of the world’s foremost cork producers, and Italy, where they will also visit Enologica Vason.The jury consisted of journalist Patricio Tapia (Guía Descorchados Chile and Brazil), Mariana Martínez (sommelier and wine editor), Alejandro Iglesias (Argentina, Decanter jury member), Eduardo Milán (Brazil, Decanter jury member), Jean-Luc Sylvain (owner of Tonnellerie Sylvain, France), General Manager of R-Cork Henrique Ribeiro from Portugal, Valle Secreto winemaker Alejandra Vallejo, Maturana Wines winemaker José Miguel Maturana, VIK Head Winemaker Cristian Vallejo, VIK Head of Marketing Andrea García, VIK winemaker Priscila Fernández, and Mario Oliva, Viticultural Manager at VIK.

Additional Information:

Wine LAB 2023 had the support of sponsors including Santander Bank Chile, Tonnellerie Sylvain,
R-Cork, and Vason. Additional collaboration came from the following companies and universities:
– Vinicas
– Juclas
– Antalis
– Laffort
– Macaya y Waak
– Navarro y Cía.
– Value Juice
– JVD Estudio
– SKY Airlines
– Riedel
– Universidad de Chile
– Universidad de Talca
– Pontificia Universidad Católica
– Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias

• Learn more about our Barroir innovation here:

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