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Greece – Vourliotes

Head for the island of Samos, known for its long and rich winegrowing tradition. Metaxa, creator of the iconic amber spirit, wanted to embrace its history by reconnecting the brand to its roots through a project designed by K-Studio.

And to tell that story, the ideal location was the ancient vineyard where Spyros Metaxas developed his precious brandy with its fragrant notes of sweet muscat grapes, a speciality of the Samos terroir.

Stretching below the traditional village of Vourliotes, 800 m from the sea and exposed to the north wind, the vineyard spreads out across the valley on a succession of steep plateaus. This man-made productive landscape was formed by collecting and cleverly placing rocks to create a terraced slope, so that the land could be cultivated.

K-Studio’s proposal, called Liknon, combines walking and exploration, following a path along stone walls through the vineyard landscape. Instead of creating a single building as a museum, the architects dotted the terraced valley with structures inspired by the pre-existing topography, guiding visitors through an organised yet spontaneous experience full of sensory stimulation.

Exploring different aspects of the vineyard, from the production process to the pleasure of tasting, the visit takes place in three stages and three locations. First stage: “Topos” (“place” in Greek), a crossing among stone walls, a reinterpretation of pre-existing paths linking consecutive terraces. Through a deeper cut in the landscape, visitors are taken underground, entering a space filled with the scent of clay. Here, he can observe a cross-section of the land through a glass opening that reveals the vine’s growth cycle, from roots to twigs and leaves.

© Claus Brechenmacher & Reiner Baumann

The second stage of the journey, “Chronos” (“time” in Greek), highlights the key ingredient in the fruit’s post-harvest ageing process. This concept translates into a Metaxa cellar, where the future spirit matures in oak barrels for many years to develop its unique flavours. Visitors can taste the beverage at its various stages of evolution over time, appreciating the diverse colour and taste characteristics, from fresh grapes to fermented wine.

The final stop is the Metaxa Bar, a space in which to sample the brand’s finest distillations. Samos delicacies are generously served on the outdoor terrace that completes the experience, with its hanging pergola woven with vines, highlighting the wider culture of craftsmanship and conviviality that permeates the Metaxa spirit. 

Lisa Agostini