French wine producers plan to uproot more than 15,000 hectares of vines in the 2009-2010 growing season, in exchange for compensation from the EU.

More than 3,000 applications to uproot vines have been received, according to state agency France Agrimer.

The move is part of the European Commission's call to uproot 175,000 hectares of vines across the EU, in order to reduce overproduction.

However, French applications to uproot vines are down 43% on the previous  growing season and show a fall of 32% in terms of hectarage, the agency added.

Languedoc-Roussillon account for three quarters of the vines to be pulled up in the coming year.

The European Commission has allocated a total of EUR334m (US$488m) in compensation to growers in all of the EU's 27 member states who uproot vines in the 2009-10 growing season.