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Earthquake hits Chilean wine regions

Published:  01 March, 2010

Saturday's Chilean earthquake has affected some of the country's wine regions, it has emerged, though the full scale of the damage and loss of life remains unclear.

Michael Cox, UK director of Wines of Chile, described the situation as "alarming, shocking, and concerning" and expressed "heartfelt sympathy to all Chileans" on behalf of the British wine trade.

He added: "At this early stage, it has been difficult to ascertain the extent of the damage to Chile's wine regions and winery infrastructure, but I have had contact with a number of friends in Chile who report that there is significant damage in the southern wine areas closest to the epicentre, notably Bío Bío, Cauquenes, and other parts of Maule, and Curicó. 

"Even wineries as far north as Colchagua have been affected, with structural damage, road collapses, and power and communication problems."

Cox said his office would monitor the situation, offering updates whenever possible. He added: "In due course Wines of Chile will find a way to ensure that the UK wine trade can send funds to help families in need as Chile finds its proud feet again."