EU to sell 100,000 hectolitres of wine to industry

THE European Union has opened a tender to sell off unwanted wine lakes in France to be used in industrial products.

The tender would offer 100,000 hectolitres of wine alcohol stored in two locations in France, the world's largest winemaker. The deadline for bids is 10 November.

France, Italy and Spain are the EU's three largest winemakers by volume. Last year they received more than 180 million (121 million) in EU cash to distill excess wine into industrial alcohol or biofuel.

The EU's agriculture commissioner, Mariann Fischer Boel, this year presented four broad policy options for reforming the wine sector.

She has repeatedly said the wine industry depends too much on distillation to rid itself of unwanted "wine lakes" at the taxpayers' expense, saying reform is needed to make EU wines more competitive.

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