Chile: Wine industry loses US$250 million, limited damage

04 March, 2010

Chile: Vinos de Chile has assessed earthquake damage and reported limited damage, though this amounts to a loss US$250 million.

The association of Chilean wineries said in a statement: “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.”

The association has spent several days assessing the impact.

The statement continued: “We have been able to quantify the total loss of wine at approximately 125 million litres, including bulk, bottled, and ageing 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 litres. 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.”

The level of 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,” the statement said.

Routine work is being reestablished and bottling lines are generally in good working condition, as are the cellars, which are already being repaired.

“The 2010 harvest has begun, and volumes should not be affected by the earthquake. Some shipments are already being dispatched, although the speed of transportation will depend upon the general functioning of the country’s overall infrastructure, such as highways and ports.

“Our primary message is that we are working arduously to reestablish normality in the wine industry and to continue delivering the best of Chile to the rest of the world through our wines.”

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