France is heading for a showdown with the European Commission over compensation payments for wine producers forced to distill surplus wine.

Under EU plans agreed last week, French producers will receive EUR1.9 per degree and per hl for table wine and EUR3 for quality wine, up to a total of 1.5m hl.
But French agriculture minister Dominique Bussereau said that Paris would offer an additional EUR1 for table wines and EUR0.35 for AOCs, a move that is likely to be challenged by Brussels.

The EU sees crisis distillation as a short-term solution to Europe's chronic oversupply of wine, and is putting pressure on producing countries to cut their output.