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The 2001 vintage in Mount Benson started as usual in early March with the first harvesting around 9 March. John Goode, chairman of the Mount Benson Vignerons Association said that due to a near perfect growing season yields around the region increased by approximately 20%; however the quality of the grapes was unaffected by the increase in yield. ‘The weather throughout the year allowed for the production of high quality fruit,’ John said. ‘Our winter rains were exceptional and were followed by well-timed spring rains allowing for perfect growth. There was very little rain during the ripening period, promoting high quality fruit, with the season finally breaking after harvest. John said the red wines produced from the 2001 harvest show exceptional colour, good perfume and structure. The hot dry summer meant the wines have high levels of tannin. The white wines show lifted fruit aroma and good flavour. They are well structured and have good weight. The vintage period was very protracted and harvesting continued under good weather into mid May. This was several weeks longer than many previous vintages in the district. The region was fortunate to be relatively unaffected by disease. John said the development of a new winery and sales of fruit outside the district had seen all grapes harvested. ‘The good quality of this vintage and previous harvests brought a strong demand for all fruit from Mount Benson,’ he said.