Colchagua, Chile, March 4, 2010
The Asociación de Viñas de Colchagua S.A. and the Colchagua Valley Wine Route would like to express their concern and solidarity with respect to the effects of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami that occurred on Saturday, February 27 in the central-southern zone of Chile.
We have now been able to evaluate the consequences of these events on the wine and tourism industries in the Colchagua Valley and determine the losses that affect the volume of wine in storage, production facilities, and the tourism infrastructure of the Associated Wineries.
The Colchagua Valley has always been known for the tenacity of its people and the enterprising spirit of those who have worked to make it a leader in the national wine industry and a pioneer in the development of wine tourism. It is this same spirit that allows us to guarantee that the production and tourism areas will be functioning normally in the very short term. In fact, many of the wineries are already harvesting, bottling their wines, and reorganizing their tourism projects in order to ensure the excellence that they are known for.
We would particularly like to emphasize the commitment and dedication displayed by those who work in the wineries. Mutual assistance, order, solidarity, and culture are the pillars upon which the spirit of Colchagua is built and that bind wine to our land.
In terms of volume, we have estimated the total loss of stock (bulk and bottled wine) in the valley to be approximately 25 million liters, which is the equivalent of 20% of the total national loss. We have no reason to believe that this will prevent us from complying with our current commitments.
With respect to infrastructure, the wineries have suffered damage to their cellars, although none that will affect the current crush season or production of bottled wine. As the supply of electricity returns to full capacity, vineyard operations such as irrigation will return to normal. The transportation systems are now functioning, although not yet expeditious.
In sum, although this earthquake has altered the normal operations of the industry, we accept the situation as a new challenge, and we are certain that backed by the spirit and efforts of the Colchagua wineries and their people, in the very short term, winery operations will be completely reestablished and tourism will flourish in our valley once again.
Mario Pablo Silva
Viñas de Colchagua-Colchagua Valley Wine Route