A smaller than expected harvest should help with France's wine oversupply problem, according to Onivins, the French national wine profession association.

Reports yesterday in Le Figaro said that due to the amount of rain this autumn, this year's harvest will be no more than 56.3m hl compared to 59.7m hl of wine last year.

With the government also planning to authorise the distillation of 4-5m hl of wine, the expected wine surplus will drop from 5m hl to 4m hl, an Onivins spokesman said.

The biggest drop is in the Languedoc Roussillon area, where there was a drop of close to 3m hl to 17.3m hl.