French winegrowers yesterday (30 October) greeted the visit of EU Agriculture Minister Mariann Fischer Boel to Bordeaux with protests over the proposed reform of the EU wine sector.

On her way into top Bordeaux château Cheval Blanc, Fischer Boel  (pictured) was met with protests over her plans to reduce the growing EU wine lake through the pulling up of excess vines.

Fischer Boel also met with winegrowers at the Bordeaux Wine Union. The union's director Andre de la Bretesche said growers called for reforms to centre less on destruction and more on promotion.

"She listened and was open to suggestions, for temporary rather than permanent pulling up for example," de la Bretesche said.

During a visit to the wine growers co-operative in St. Emilion, Fischer Boel said she believed in a competitive EU wine industry. "This product (wine) has a future," she said.