BY ANDESWINES.CL

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After six days of the 8.8 richter´s scale earthquake impacted Chile, the country is moving forward to recover from the devastation. Food and water started to be delivered along Constitución, Talca, Concepción, Dichato, Pichilemu and several small cities and villages. Seems like will never be enough, however, international and local help started to arrive providing some hope to the people. Report from http://www.AndesWines.cl

The damage to wine industry’s infrastructure varies among the different wineries and valleys and has not been fully measured. Wine valleys like Curico, Maule, Rapel (Colchagua) and Itata are the most affected in the wine industry´s points of view.

“The main concern of winemakers right now is to evaluate how much grape they can receive the next couple of weeks considering that the white grapes are close to being picked up. The majority of wineries decided to move the harvest one week because fortunately was a little bit delayed also, and also, they are taking care of the needs of their workers in the countryside first” said CEO of AndesWines.cl, Maximiliano Morales.

Most of rural areas do not have electricity, so the winemakers are fixing all minor and major problems in the cellar to be prepared to the harvest. Since Thursday, the power came back to some areas of Concepcion and other areas in different valleys and according to official sources, rural areas will take 3 to 5 days to have electricity back.

The majority of vineyards in the coast and central valley are safe and did not get affected by earthquake, however, the damages were very different from one valley to the other. In some areas like Maule and Curicó most of the “adobe” cellars are down, some barrels and wine in the floor, said http://www.AndesWines.cl

The bottling lines are working with no trouble and the barrels on the floor are being counted to define how many are lost along the wineries. Highways and ports in San Antonio and Valparaiso are fine and returning to the normal movement, and no delayed should be an issue from orders from overseas.

Most of the “grape harvest celebrations” along the country were suspended in Santa Cruz, San Fernando, Curicó and Talca, because most of the harvest workers and agricultures have serious damage in their “adobe” homes and also, most of the wineries have to clean and fix the cellars and damage constructions to start the white grape harvest along the countryside.

Thanks to reports made by mosto.cl, the coast area of Leyda and San Antonio are in general fine, however, Casa Marin´s Casona from Lo Abarca is falling down after 2 prior earthquakes in the past, and will start the repair as soon as they can. They did not have major wine losses, so they will have no problem to respond to importers and distributors orders internationally. In the case of Casas del Bosque in Casablanca Valley, they lost approximately 5.000 lts. from some barrels falling down, and the touristic facilities are 100% working. In Maipo valley, the reports confirm no major losses, considering the vineyards are fine and the constructions survived.

In Curicó Valley, Miguel Torres winery informed that 300 barrels were smashed, as well as a 100.000 liters´ tanks got broken. Miguel Torres Maczassek, the fifth generation in charge of the winery in Chile started to collect data to help their workers and according to local press donated 50.000 euros to the municipality of Curico to help the devastation of the area.

According to vinorama, the sommelier in charge informed that Francisco Gillmore´s sister died in a terrible moment of the earthquake and they had 20% of loss. In the case of Louise-Antoine Luyt –from Clos Ouvert, in Cauquenes, Maule–, calculates a 70% loss. “All barrels and some tanks are down, however the cellar stayed ok. His house was destroyed”

The movement of independent vinters MOVI informed that Polkura lost part of 2009 wine; Erasmo from Francesco Marone is with minor damage.

After a desperate request from viticulturalist Renan Cancino to get help in the wake of the tragedy to Sauzal, Garage Wine Co., lead by the owner Derek Mossman started a “Carignan Crusade” to help the growers and the neighbouring town of Sauzal, which is next to Cauquenes. This area is precisely the zone where the dry-farmed old-vine Carignan grows. These vines are part of Chilean wine history. They decided to donate the remaining stocks of Carignan 2008 that had kept for counter samples and posterity and send these funds to the people who need them.

Darué Bernard, owner of "Las Niñas Winery" in Apalta in the Colchagua Valley said to La Tercera newspaper that lost 160.000 lits. of wine and 11 years of work due to the major damage in tanks, barrels and infrastructure.

The total loss of wine according to wine association “Vinos de Chile” is approximately 125 million liters, including bulk, bottled, and aging wine, which means about US$ 250 million, which represents a loss of just 12.5% compared to 2009.

andes@andeswines.com

 

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