Wildfires threaten Chilean vineyards

Over 100 vineyards have been consumed by wildfires as Chile grapples with its worst forest fires in 50 years.

CHILE (REUTERS) - Wine lovers may have fewer choices from Chile.

Dozens of wildfires have consumed more than 100 vineyards, burning grapes, branches, and seeds.

Some vineyards won't have a vintage this year and, possibly, next year.

Susana Molina lost her vineyard.

The wine producer said: “The fire passed and burnt all my fields. I have four hectares, and they were all burnt, everything except my house.”

Chile's president says the fires were the worst the country has ever seen.

Those fires will slam the $1.5 billion (S$2.12 billion) wine industry there.

Felipe Zuniga, who heads the local wine-growers association, said: “Our evaluation is catastrophic from the point of view that it is not only direct damage to the vineyards that are totally burnt but also the grapes' harvest that has been affected, that has not been irrigated. That damage is irreversible.”

The government has appealed for international aid to fight the fires.