The European Union (EU) is to allocate funds to encourage Italy's wine producers to focus on the quality of their product. Around €103m (US$126.9m) will be allocated to the country's wine industry, to uproot high-yield, low-quality vines and replace them with higher-quality varieties.

The subsidies have been allocated under the EU's agricultural programme for 2004 and 2005.

A total of €450m has been set aside for all EU member countries. The EU has allocated €2.138 bln in the last five years to boost the production of higher-quality wines.

According to the European Agriculture and Fisheries Commissioner, Franz Fischler, the improvement of the quality of vineyards is a priority for the EU countries.