The European states poised to join the EU this weekend are currently seeing a huge rise in the number of vines being planted in order for the countries' winemakers to beat EU bans on vineyard expansion.

A report in the UK newspaper the Guardian said this week that vintners in some countries, including the Czech Republic and Hungary, have abandoned the careful cultivation of vines that produce delicate flavours and are ploughing up hillsides as fast as they can to beat the EU restriction.

Winemakers in the accession states realise that if they want to expand their production, it is now or never, the report said.

One Czech winegrower was quoted saying: "The rush will only have negative consequences for the quality of wine, and it's quality that counts. That's the price we have to pay for badly- negotiated conditions of entry."