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article imageChile’s wine industry projecting good 2010 harvest

By Igor I. Solar     Apr 12, 2010 in Business
Casablanca - Despite the damage caused by the earthquake that hit the productive heart of the Chilean wine industry, the harvest of Vintage 2010 is expected to end without major surprises, according to estimates by the Association of Wines of Chile.
The 2010 harvest is projected to reach 800 million litres, 7.8% below the 2005-2009 average of 868 million litres. However, this year’s production will be much lower than Vintage 2009 which reached a record of more than one billion litres including bulk, bottled and holding wines.
René Merino, president of Wines of Chile said: "2009 was a record harvest in the history of our country, thus, aiming beyond that figure, with or without earthquake, would not be realistic”. The losses caused by the earthquake of 27 February were estimated at about 125 million litres, equivalent to US$ 250 million.
The official results of the 2010 harvest will available when the Harvest Report 2010, prepared by Wines of Chile, is completed within the next few weeks.
Chile is among the top ten world producers of wine and the 5th main wine exporter. Nearly half of Chilean vineyards are planted with Cabernets and other popular red varieties such as Merlot and Carménère. Chile is hailed for nearly saving the lineage of the red grape Carménère. During the 19th century the infestation of phylloxera (Viteus vitifoliae, a pest of commercial grapevines worldwide) destroyed most of the vineyards in Europe, mostly in France, and those located in California. Until recently the Carménère variety was considered extinct, but DNA testing in Chile grapes showed that many of the Merlot varieties produced were actually Carménère. Chile's cooler coastline regions, such as the Casablanca Valley, also produce high quality white varietals like Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
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