Two of Europe's wine producers have formed a strategic partnership. Italy's largest winemaker Caviro has teamed up with Groupe Val d'Orbieu in an agreement, which falls short of a full merger, aimed at battling against New World companies in emerging wine markets.

The two groups will initially focus on the wine markets in Russia, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Eastern Europe. Longer term, the partnership will look to markets in India and China, and intends to share sourcing supplies of bottles, distribution and research and development.

"We have to sweep away the dust, to modernise, to adapt and become more competitive," Val d'Orbieu president Joel Castany told a news conference at the headquarters of the European farmers' organization COPA-COGEGA.

"Instead of competing with one another, we are trying to forge an alliance in order to export more," Caviro's president Secondo Ricci said. "We want to put our expertise and skills together to conquer new markets."