El Niño wreaks havoc on 2016 Chile harvest

1st July, 2016 by Lucy Shaw

The El Niño current has wreaked havoc on the 2016 Chilean harvest causing heavy rains that have wiped out a large chunk of the grape crop.

The plus side of the El Niño current is that it has led to blankets of bright flowers blooming in the acrid Atacama desert for the first time in seven years

Eduardo Alemparte, director of viticulture at Santa Rita Estates, described 2016 as “one of the most oenologically challenging vintages in recent times”.

“It was known from the outset that the season would be influenced by the El Niño current, which dominated the vintage with significant delays in grape development,” he said.

“This culminated in abundant rain in the central zone concentrated in Casablanca, Rapel, Maipo and Colchagua….

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