In response to the ongoing fires in Chile over the last month, the wine industry has united to create a survey of the vineyard damage and look for long-term solutions for producers affected.
A roundtable, convened by the Wines of Chile Association, surveyed the hectares of vineyards burned by the fires throughout the country, which account for 94 hectares of Vitis vinifera out of a total of 141,000 nationwide. The loss of hectares so far has been concentrated in vineyards of small producers in areas near hills and forests, several of them with wine production of century-old vineyards. Additionally, thousands of hectares of forests, hills and fields have been reported damaged in the wine regions. The entire wine sector supports them; we are taking the necessary actions to identify the problems and contribute with our support in search for concrete solutions.
According to information gathered together with the Wine Routes of the different valleys, Winemakers Association, MOVI, VIGNO, and the collaboration of a large number of vineyards and producers from different areas of the country, it has been concluded that the situation at the moment is:
Casablanca: Still on alert in relation to the Curacaví fire but without burnt vineyards.
Maipo: 10 hectares of vineyards were burned in the Pirque area, with no subsequent fires detected.
Cachapoal: No incidents or alert until now.
Colchagua: The areas most affected are the Peralillo and Marchigue areas, where there are 7 hectares of burnt vineyards.
Curicó: No problems or alert reported until now.
Maule: The area of Maule Coast is the most affected. So far, 75 hectares of burnt vineyards have been identified, including ancient vineyards and heritage estates of Pais and Carignan. This survey is in process, as the area is still in full contingency.
Itata and Biobío: In both there might be new fires that could affect small producers, but we do not yet have official information about it.
The Associations that form part of the roundtable are already focused on helping the needs of the sector in each affected area. Among other activities, it was agreed to carry out a damage assessment on the vineyards, then provide technical assistance and collect resources for the purchase of inputs and agricultural tools that help the productive recovery of the vineyards.
The roundtable is made up of the Curicó and Maule Wine Association, the National Association of Sommeliers of Chile AG, the Association of Winemakers and Vineyards of Casablanca, the Brotherhood of Wine Merit of Chile, the National Association of Agronomists and Winemakers of Chile, the Wine and Gastronomy Circle of Chile AG, the Movement of Independent Vintners (MOVI), the Curicó Wine Route, the Colchagua Wine Route, the Maule Valley Wine Route, VIGNO (Carignan AG), Viñas de Colchagua AG, the Chilean Wine Corporation, the Central Agricultural Trade Association, Vid Seca and Wines of Chile.