The future of the European Union's (EU) common wine organisation, especially its much-criticised compulsory distillation subsidies, is at the centre of a meeting in Brussels tomorrow (16 February) of 150 top sector professionals, held at the invitation of the European Commission.

This is a long-planned "brain-storming" session to air ideas for restoring quality and competitiveness to the beleaguered EU wine sector, the EC said.

"The compulsory distillation option is obviously no longer realistic. Making wine that no one wants to drink and turning it into petrol is simply no way to run a market", said Michael Mann, Commission agriculture spokesman.

Ideas tabled at the meeting will be taken up by Brussels in drawing up reform plans, which are expected to be published before the summer break this year.