Thursday, March 4, 2010

Chile earthquake rattles wine industry as millions of bottles' worth is lost

There is an article in today's Washington Post concerning the losses endured by the Chilean wine industry. According the the story, "about 70 percent of Chilean production takes place in areas badly affected by the quake, including the Maule, Colchagua and Cachapoal valleys, all key areas for Chilean wine production". Officials are still trying to determine the extra dollar damage of loss, but that figure will probably be understated because:

"Many wineries that lost 80 percent of their production are publicly saying just 15 percent was lost," said one wine executive who spoke on condition of anonymity, citing the fear that distributors would cut off wineries thought to be most heavily damaged by the quake. "This is an incredibly touchy subject."

Plus this is harvest time in Chile and many vineyards lost storage vessels. Those in hotter regions lost the ability ti irrigate vines. As the grapes turn to raisins expect more late harvest styled wines. Growing grapes and making wines have always been tedious, uncertain, and difficult. It is even more painful now for the Chileans.
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