Wines are an embodiment of the terroir. In the eastern Aegean Sea, the Greek island of Samos is renowned for its viticulture and a history of wine production and distillation that stretches back to antiquity. To this day, the Mediterranean climate, granite soil and semi-mountainous topography make the island an ideal home for sweet muscat grapes — a key ingredient in the production of Metaxa liquor. To help the time-honoured brand share and embrace its roots, Greek designers K-Studio have sensitively adapted a Metaxa vineyard, dubbed Liknon, to welcome guests into the productive landscape that kindles the drink’s distinctive aroma and character.
Situated beneath the village of Vourliotes — and 800 metres below sea level — a sloped 380-square-metre plot was subtly transformed to create a journey through the century-old vineyard.
Carefully tracing pre-existing paths across the terraces, K-Studio introduced new stone walls and steps, as well as a series of deeper cuts into the landscape, which host the full program of a visitor centre without the imposition of a new building. In lieu of remaking the terraced landscape, the designers opted to amplify its existing qualities, carving an immersive route through the site.
As visitors ascend the path — which features safe, evenly spaced stairs and handrails — the vineyard’s surprising program is gradually revealed. The first stop conveys guests into an underground room where a glass wall reveals a view of vine roots through layered terrain. Further along the trail, a cask cellar is tucked into the landscape, allowing tastings within a uniquely aromatic space. Finally, the Metaxa bar concludes the climb, its elegantly understated stone service counter emerging onto an outdoor terrace with a hanging vine-covered pergola. The result is a sensuous immersion into the terroir and its heritage — and a bold new paradigm for what a visitor centre can be.
Team Stavros Kotsikas and Marina Leventaki with Dimitris Karampatakis, Christos Spetseris, Achilleas Pliakos and Argyris Mavronikolas
Greek designers K-Studio have sensitively adapted a Metaxa vineyard to welcome guests into the productive landscape that kindles the drink’s distinctive aroma and character.