In Maule Chili zijn al meer dan 100 wijngaarden verbrand en het vuur is nog niet uitgewoed. Wijnboeren betreuren vooral het verlies van hectaren oude wijnstokken. Vermoedelijk zijn de branden ontstaan door zorgeloos gedrag van veldwerkers. De collega’s melden:

‘Over 100 vineyards have been destroyed in Maule in the worst forestry disaster in the South American nation’s history.

A further 5 hectares of vines in Colchagua were consumed by the flames, and the fires continue to rage, with dry-farmed vineyards in Maule particularly affected.

Firefighters in Maule reported temperatures reaching over 100°C, leaving homes without power after their cables melted. Three firefighters lost their lives while battling the flames.

Sergio Amigo Quevedo, winemaker at Cancha Alegre, lost 6 hectares of old vines to the fires.

“It’s hard to believe that vines you’ve taken care of with such love and sacrifice are lost along with part of the viticultural patrimony of Chile, because of a voracious fire caused by careless men,” he told

Diego Morales of Bisogno Wines lost 25 hectares of 150-year-old País vines, having tried to fight the fire with his family.

“The firefighters were so overloaded that they arrived five hours after the fire had passed. What burnt here was a cultural patrimony of more than 200 years. The authorities always minimise these problems and don’t react on time,” he told Decanter

Wines of Chile is working with the Chilean Ministry of Agriculture to establish which vineyards have suffered from the fires and assess the extent of the damage in order to give the necessary help as soon as possible.

Anita Jackson, UK director of Wines of Chile, said: “This is a tragic situation and we feel so helpless here. Those affected are in our thoughts and prayers and we hope that the fires will be brought under control very soon.

“We are expecting to have a better idea of the situation within the next day or so as it hasn’t been easy to communicate with the wineries in the affected regions.”