Brazil is at the centre of a growing wine trade war over Government plans to restrict imports to the country.

The country's authorities are threatening to impose significant tax hikes and import quotas on foreign wines entering the country, in order to better protect domestic producers in their own market. A number of large wine firms in Brazil are pushing for restrictions, which could be finalised within the next four months.

The move may dent Brazil's image as a key emerging market for red wine and Champagne. “This could change the market a lot,” Brazilian wine journalist Marcelo Copello told guests at the London International Wine Fair conference yesterday (21 May).

However, there is growing opposition to the plans, from both abroad and within Brazil.

“We are lobbying the EU and the Brazilian government to stop this,” said Paulo Amorim, head of Dao Sul, which owns vineyards in both Portugal and Brazil. “I think Brazilian producers should focus on exporting more of their wines,” he told just-drinks earlier today.