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Chilean Earthquake: a Close Call for Wineries

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Once again Chile has been battered by an earthquake, this time on Tuesday, April 1st. The epicenter of the 8.2 quake was 95 miles offshore from the northern city of Iquique, but spared winemaking regions of Chile. Fortunately damages were moderate. No doubt this was one April Fool’s Day Chile would like to forget.

The previous big quake in 2010, at 8.8 magnitude was much more devastating and some vineyards sustained damage. Nonetheless Chilean wineries stepped up to the plate, providing relief to many whose lives were disrupted. Chile is one of the most seismically active countries in the world and has a long, troubled history with earthquakes. The 2010 quake hit Concepcion, Maule and many southern coastal towns which were devastated, particularly by a tsunami which followed and claimed 525 lives.

“The epicenter of the quake was nearly 1,000 miles northwest of the capital city of Santiago and 700 miles from the northernmost vineyards in Elqui, ” said Marybeth Bentwood, executive director of Wines of Chile USA.

Wines of Chile is an organization committed to promoting the quality and image of Chilean wine throughout the world. It has offices in Santiago, London and New York, as well as representatives in Canada, Ireland and Denmark. Their website is most impressive and provides a wealth of information about the various regions, terroir, grapes and links to all the wineries of Chile.

This would be a good time to buy Chilean wines. Not because product quantities will be down, but because these winemakers will once again be providing support to those impacted by the earthquake. That and the fact dollar for dollar these are some of the best wines one can purchase.



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