Along with just about everyone else in Chile , those involved with the country’s wine industry were getting a sense of the damage from Saturday’s massive earthquake, and at this point it seems to considerable, just as Chile is about to begin the 2010 harvest.
James Molesworth of Wine Spectator reports that wineries in the Maule and Curico valleys near the epicenter were hard hit, with damage as well further north in the Maipo and Rapel valleys. To put in perspective what’s at stake here, Chile’s wine exports exceeded $1 billion last year, The New York Times noted in its coverage of the quake.
Concha y Toro, Chile’s largest producer and exporter, has vineyards in Maule, Curico, Maipo and throughout the country’s large wine-growing region. Ed Barden, the New World portfolio director for Banfi Vintners, Concha y Toro’s U.S. importer, told me the company is assessing the damage to its facilities, a process that will take two or three days.