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Wine Industry Contributes to Chilean Relief Efforts

Latest includes May 16 Fundraiser at Quintessa Winery
April 05, 2010

Several wine industry organizations are reaching out to help aid the Chilean community following the 8.8-magnitude earthquake which struck at the end of February. The February 27th quake took more than 700 lives, left 2-million people homeless and caused an estimated $30-billion in damage.

The list includes TGIC Importers, which imports the Chilean wines of Montes and Santa Ema. The company announced that it will donate a portion of proceeds from those brands sold in March, April, and May to help

rebuild Chile. Chief executive Alex Guarachi also donated $50,000 toward relief efforts. Guarachi was born and raised in Santiago, Chile, where his seven brothers and sisters still reside with their families. His family and winery partners are all safe.

Quintessa, the Napa Valley winery owned by the Huneeus Family (which among other things owns Veramonte Winery in Chile) is hosting a fundraiser May 16 featuring food by Alice Waters, a tour of the winery and a sampling of great wines, entertainment and auctions. Proceeds benefit Hogar de Cristo, which provides direct aid to some of the least fortunate people in the devastated areas of Chile. HdC is a registered 501c3 non-profit in the United States. All proceeds go directly to relief efforts. The event chair is Isabel Allende and honorary chairs include: Alex & Mrs. Geiger (Consul of Chile); Eleanor & Francis Coppola, Margrit Mondavi, and Alice Waters. Individual tickets start at $500.

Wines of Chile, an association representing Chilean wineries, puts the quantity of lost wine at 125 million liters, including bulk, bottled and aging wine. According to the organization, this figure is the equivalent of

$250 million, representing a loss of 12.5 percent when compared with the 2009 vintage of 1.01 billion liters. Estimates regarding damage to infrastructure are still being assessed.

Other’s that have announced aid:

Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. has sent out a statement saying that they will be contributing to the global effort to help aid Chilean earthquake relief efforts with a donation to a charity. “Southern Wine & Spirits of America is acutely aware of the significant role that Chilean winemakers and their employees have in both their country’s economy and the global community,” noted Mel Dick, President of the Wine Division for Southern Wine & Spirits of America in a statement. “We are eager to do our part to assist those valued employees and families in the Chilean wine industry during their time of need.” The donation from Southern Wine & Spirits of America will help support the employees, plus efforts to rebuild damaged infrastructure and replenish storage supply that may have been lost during the earthquake.

Banfi Vintners, a leader in the Chilean wine category which represents Conha y Toro, the country's largest producer, confirmed plans to make a substantial contribution toward efforts to rebuild and rehabilitate victims of the recent earthquake with a $150,000 donation to Levantando Chile (Raise the Roof for Chile). Banfi Vintners is also working closely with friends and colleagues at Concha y Toro on specific initiatives and funding designed to help employees and their families in Chile to rebuild their lives following this disaster.

“With Banfi Vintners accounting for almost 50 percent of all bottled Chilean wines sold in the U.S., it is incumbent on us to rally to the aid of the people of Chile in their time of need,” said James Mariani, co-CEO, Banfi Vintners.

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