The European Parliament's agriculture committee is resisting European Commission attempts to overhaul the EU's wine market system, notably calling for the retention of compulsory distillation to ease over-production.

In a report on the reform debate, MEPs argued for EU member states to have tough powers to resist calls from Brussels for grubbing-up of vineyards.

MEPs called for aid to be given to winemakers to divert production into industrial alcohol and other by products. The report stressed: "The issue of permanent abandonment of wine-growing must not be the centrepiece of [wine market] reform."

It added that aid for grubbing-up should be limited by formulae that stressed the value of vineyards in mountain, coastal and island regions, in fighting soil erosion and maintaining cultural traditions.