Provence wine producers have expressed deep concern over their future if EU plans to allow the blending of red and white wines to make rosés are adopted.

An EU draft directive was drawn up earlier this year and has been sent to the World Trade Organisation for consultation by non-EU countries, as is required by international trade rules.

Only one EU country, Spain, is currently authorised to produce rosé wine by blending reds and whites, and on condition that output is not exported.

"What worries us most is the prospect of seeing the efforts we have put in over the past 15 years to improve the quality of rosé wines wiped out," Jean-Jacques Breban, president of trade body the Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins de Provence (CIVP), told just-drinks today (12 March)

85% of Provence rosé wines are in the AOC category and are made using the traditional method of maceration - the steeping of grape skins and solids in must, where alcohol later acts as a solvent to extract colour.

Provence accounts for almost 5% of the world production of rosé wines.