Close Menu

Chilean wine losses at a minimum

The damage to the Chilean wine industry following last Saturday’s earthquake has been described as “minimal” by Vinos de Chile, the association of Chilean wineries.

It had been feared the 8.8 magnitude quake had caused millions of pounds of damage to stocks and facilities, but after several days assessing the situation Vinos de Chile president René Merino spoke of his relief that losses were kept to a minimum.

“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, as far as we know, there has been no loss of life among our workers,” he 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.

“We have been able to quantify the total loss of wine at 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.”

Wineries in the South American country are still assessing the full extent of the damage to their buildings and facilities, but the vineyards themselves look to have survived intact.

Merino said: “The damage to infrastructure varies among the different wineries and has not, as yet, been fully measured. The 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.

“Bottling lines are in generally good condition, as are the cellars, which are already being repaired.”

Merino confirmed the 2010 harvest had got underway and volumes should not be affected by the quake.

He went on to appeal for understanding from importers and distributors as the industry looks to re-establish regular service.

“We hope to continue to count on their solidarity and especially the understanding of our importers and distributors for unexpected delays which, in many cases, are beyond the control of the industry, and which the circumstances of the earthquake can bring,” he said.

“Our primary message is that we are working arduously to reestablish normality in the wine industry.”

Alan Lodge, 04.03.2010

It looks like you're in Asia, would you like to be redirected to the Drinks Business Asia edition?

Yes, take me to the Asia edition No