The European Union's common market organisation for wine could be replaced by a "de-coupled" system where EU wine production subsides are paid independently of the amount of wine produced or grapes grown, the European Commission's wine spokesman Johan Reyniers has told just-drinks.com.

Commenting on plans to spend some €450m next year on the conversion and restructuring of vineyards, he said a confirmed a new plan for wine would be announced by Brussels next year.

"I would not be surprised if it's a fundamental reform and it's well possible that we'll go to de-coupling. Then there will be no question any more of support for restructuring " Reyniers said. In spite of expenditure of over €2m since 1999, there is still serious overproduction of wine in the EU.