Many Chilean vineyards go up in flames

Chile is plagued by severe forest fires, which all eleven lives claimed. Also several vineyards in the region of Maule have been affected. “There are growers who have lost everything.”


The fires are the toughest ever in the history of Chile. Except villages, grassland and forest, and destroyed the flames more than (parts of) 100 sometimes centuries-old vineyards. Some of the farmers tell their story in The Washington Post.

Diego Morales is one of the affected farmers. When his family was evacuated, he remained behind to his estate to protect for fire. In addition he could not count on the help of the fire brigade, as they have their hands already full with the protect of the town of Cauquenes. His efforts could not prevent the half of his vineyard, which is already 150 years old, destroyed, hit.

Cultural heritage

The business partner of Morales, Carlos Gálvez, the future is very gloomy: “This is a region with low incomes and a lot of people life of the vineyards. And we still have half of our vineyards, but there are also those who have lost everything.”

The vineyards in Maule are often passed from generation to generation. What has been destroyed, according to a lot of farmers a lot more than just vineyards: “What burned down, was a cultural heritage of more than 200 years,” recounts the wijnmagazine Decanter.

A lot of winemakers say that the government of late has gone into action against the likely human-induced forest fires. That rage two weeks now.

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