Over the weekend, I heard from Georgio Flessati of Viña Falernia, whose excellent wine I wrote about in my column last year. In an email yesterday, he reported that while neither Falernia’s winery nor vineyards were affected by the earthquake nine days ago (it is one of Chile’s northernmost estates some 300 miles north of Santiago), it did lose wine that was in transit close to the ports of Valparaiso and San Antonio.
Flessati described the wine picture after the quake as “quite complicated,” noting that the most affected area is the central-south part of the country, which accounts for 75 percent of the wine production. He said the losses there were “around 33 million gallons of wine from collapsed tanks.”
He noted that wineries in the region suffered a good deal of damage in infrastructure and production capacity, particularly in their grape reception areas. With harvest getting under way, he said everyone was working hard to be able to start the new vintage in decent condition. “Other problems,” he told me, “are the roads and water and energy, but I think in a few days the situation will be under control.” He added that “all the wineries in a few days will be able to start production and shipments and I think all of them will respect the agreements with the customers.” So, at this point, it sounds as though supplies and shipments from Chile won’t be too affected.