As you may have already learned through the mainstream media, Chile has sustained an earthquake that was a magnitude of 8.8. This past weekend, I was inundated with personal messages of concern. As I continue to receive emails and phone calls, I wish to thank you for your support and warm wishes. My family in Chile is safe and accounted for at this time. There are many who are less fortunate than I am today.
As can be expected from an earthquake of this size, damage has been considerable. Near the epicenter, the basic essentials — such as water, power, phone communications, housing and food — are still not available to those who have survived the quake. The country is in a state of emergency and recovery.
With respect to the wine industry, I spoke to James Molesworth from the Wine Spectator this morning. He has been keeping an up-to-date account through his Twitter feed and his blog of damages to the local wineries. As I told James, the good news from our winery friends in Chile is that all of our teammates and partners are safe.
I heard from Carlos Serrano from Montes a mere few hours after the quake hit. He reassured me that Viña Montes will “be back on duty as soon as possible … working hard with the help of Angels.” This is the spirit of the Chilean people as they recover in this difficult time. This independent resilience will take them far, but I believe that it is our duty to speed up this rebuilding process.
TGIC Importers is prepared to donate a significant amount to nonprofit relief and medical organizations. Since a bulk of our international wine imports are from Chile, we are currently organizing a program with our distributors to aid the earthquake victims directly. We will have more details for you soon.
If you feel the immediate need to help the causes for Chile, the following organizations are accepting text donations through the major cell phone carriers:
Text “CHILE” to 90999 to donate $10 on behalf of the American Red Cross.
Text “CHILE” to 25383 to donate $10 on behalf of the Habitat for Humanity.
Text “CHILE” to 20222 to donate $10 on behalf of World Vision.
Text “CHILE” to 52000 to donate $10 on behalf of the Salvation Army
Text “CHILE” to 85944 to donate $10 on behalf of International Medical Corp.
Text “4CHILE” to 50555 to donate $10 on behalf of Convoy of Hope
Text “CHILE” to 50555 to donate $10 on behalf of Friends of the World Program
Text “REBUILD” to 50555 to donate $10 on behalf of Friends of the Operation USA
– Alex Guarachi