Beer and wine company, Foster's Group, has announced that the 2002 grape intake at its Beringer Blass Wine Estates subsidiary would be 80,006 tonnes, 10% down on last year's record figure of 89,153 tonnes.

"The overall quality of the Beringer Blass 2002 intake is outstanding, in some cases matching the exceptional colour and intensity of the 1998 vintage," said the company's chief winemaker Chris Hatcher. Red varieties, at 52,114 tonnes, represented around 65% of the crop compared with 73% in 2001.

Jamie Odell, Beringer Blass's managing director of Asia-Pacific trade, said that with "prudent inventory management across vintages," the company was "well placed to meet our growth expectations for the core premium portfolio of brands."