Leading South African wine commentator and author John Patter has launched a scathing attack on the EU and France in particular over First World protectionism and subsidies.

As guest speaker at the opening of the Stellenbosch Wine Show yesterday he said: "As South Africans - and Africans - we should lose no opportunity to campaign against the hypocrisy and iniquity of the European Union's agricultural protectionism, driven largely by the French Government."

In spite of the G8's recent "generosity" in writing off US$50 billion in African debt, the EU's violation of fair and free trade have definitely contributed - and continue to contribute - to Africa's impoverishment.

Citing the wine industry as an example, he said, Europeans who do not grow wine, such as the Brits, have wised up to the fact that they were footing the bill to keep French farmers and indifferent wine appellations in business.