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Chile earthquake report #2: Colchagua badly hit

>> Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Many areas in Chile were very badly hit by the quake. New reports say e.g. that one of Chile’s biggest cities, Concepcion, was moved three meters to the east by the earthquake. Colchagua is one of the wine regions that were badly hit by the quake. Here is a report we’ve had from Andrea Ilabaca at MontGras Properties (

“As you have seen, the earthquake that we lived through last Saturday, February 27th is one of the strongest in the world’s history. It’s said to be about 500 times stronger than the one that Haiti suffered in January.

Now, as we wait for Mother Earth to re-accommodate herself, we are living with the replicas; dozens of quakes a day, some even up to 6.5º on the Richter scale.

Colchagua was hit hard… and is on the ground. Till today there is still no electricity or running water.

Hundreds of Santa Cruz’s houses and buildings destroyed, on the ground.
The Santa Cruz Cathedral lost one of its towers and suffered major damages.
The losses and damages that our wineries suffered are great.

New bottles lost; Barrels down like bowling pins; Stainless steel tanks down; Santiago offices in a mess; Loss of wine; Thousands of bottles with and without wine lost; Fallen tanks near bottling line; Tanks laid down to rest.

Fallen tanks immediately removed; Everything was taken out of the winery; Damaged bins, removed; Workers preparing orders; Everything was replaced and re stacked; All equipments cleaned and checked; Wine shop restacked and cleaned; Bin room restacked; Damaged bins and pallets removed; Service patios cleaned; Barrel chai restacked; Service patio cleaned, additional generators rented.

Each bin checked; Team work in re-establishing safety and order; Tanks checked to be able to receive 2010 vintage; Immediate removal of damaged tanks; Label supply room in order; Excellent morale of our workers.

The work carried out last week, since the day of the earthquake has been tremendous. The commitment and high spirit of our workers, despite the losses they may have suffered, is truly admirable.

Our Santiago office, Visitors Centre and our wineries are fine and operative. We shipped 3 containers last Wednesday. We are harvesting normally since last Thursday and tomorrow, we start our normal bottling process.

Fruit reception since last Thursday; Harvest, fruit selection and vinification underway!

Initially, we were pessimistic about the amount of the losses. Only for your information, we now estimate them to be around US$ 3 million, although we hope to have an exact figure this week and gratefully, we do have insurance coverage.

We are standing strong! But our country and region have been very affected. For us to recover quickly, please remember:

The best way to help CHILE is by preferring our products.

The best way to help MontGras Properties, is by paying all invoices soon to expire and with anticipated payments of placed orders.

The best way to help the workers and neighbours of the Colchagua Valley, is to send your donation via wire transfer to the Corpbanca account, or cheque to our corporate office. With this money, we can start building homes in the piece of land we have donated to our workers.

Don’t forget us, we do need your help!

The entire MontGras Properties Team”

The text refers to donations to Corpbanca. We don’t have any details of that activity, other than that it has been put in place to help raise money for workers and neighbours in the Colchagua Valley. If you would like to make donations we suggest you contact MontGras to get the details: Andrea ends with a note that they are among the fortunate: “Luckily, we faired quite well under the circumstances, as other neighbouring wineries lost everything and suffered greater damages. But our greatest asset by far, is our people. They truly make the difference!” (Photos provided by MontGras Properties)


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