Chilean wine industry suffers ‘limited damage’ after Earthquake

Chilean winery: 125 million litres of wine were destroyed in the earthquake
Chilean winery: 125 million litres of wine were destroyed in the earthquake

Total loss of wine in Chile as a result of the recent earthquake stands at just 12.5%. Significantly less than the 2009 vintage when 1.01 billion litres were lost.



16 March 2010

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Vinos de Chile, the association of Chilean wineries, has said that the recent earthquake has had a limited effect on the wine industry. René Merino, president of Vinos de Chile said: “The wine industry has been affected, but after several days of working to assess its impact, we have determined that the damage is, in fact, limited.

“The total loss of wine is approximately 125 million liters, including bulk, bottled, and aging wine. This figure is the equivalent of US$250 million, which represents a loss of just 12.5% when compared with the 2009 vintage of 1.01 billion liters. We are therefore certain that dispatches and compliance with commercial obligations will return to normal within a very short period of time and without major difficulties.”

“We wish to express our deepest condolences for the suffering of many employees and their families who have been affected both personally and materially, although we are happy to report that we have no information about the loss of lives among our workers.”

It has been reported that the damage to infrastructure varies among the different wineries and has not yet been fully measured. “The wine grape vineyards have not been affected, and we are waiting for electricity to be restored in order to determine the extent of damage to irrigation systems. Routine work has been reestablished—or will be shortly,” said Mr Merino.

“Bottling lines are in generally good working condition, as are the cellars, which have already being repaired. The harvest has begun, and volumes should not be affected by the earthquake. In fact, the first containers have already been dispatched, although the speed of transportation will depend upon the general functioning of the country’s overall infrastructure, such as highways and ports.”

The wineries are said to be focusing their efforts on attending to the morale and material needs of the employees. “The wine industry will maintain the necessary contact with the authorities in order to ensure that the highways, ports, and basic services are restored to full working order as quickly as possible, and also to strengthen their support of the industry’s promotional efforts abroad and the development of the country’s image.



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