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The forecast oversupply of grapes did not eventuate due to low yields, which were down 10% on the previous year. Excessive heat in the summer ripening period reduced berry size and hence yield across all varieties. Grieg Greenwood, former CEO of the Victorian and Murray Valley Wine Grape Growers’ Council, said spring rain and thundery weather created large canopies which exhausted nitrogen reserves in the vineyard. Fine and warm weather during vintage meant minimal disease. The quality of fruit was good for all varieties except Cabernet Sauvignon which had problems ripening. Grieg described the quality of the 2001 Shiraz and Merlot as very good, and generally better than 1999 and 2000. White varieties were also good, but there will be less of them due to the heat.