The Bordeaux Wine Council (CIVB) has decided to cut back on the amount of wine it sells as it is unable to cope with lowering prices any further.

The decision will reduce the volume of 2004 vintage Bordeaux sold by 15% to 35% compared with last year, according to newspaper reports.

Bordeaux has seen the wholesale price of a standard red collapse by almost half in the past three years, to far below the point where winemaking can be profitable.

Wines produced by CIVB include names such as Chateau Latour, Chateau Margaux and Chateau Haut Brion. The Wine Council said its members had agreed to limit sales from this season’s harvest to 5,000 litres per hectare, with anything more stored until conditions improved.

A spokeswoman said: “We are simply producing more than we can sell. Prices have collapsed dramatically; we have to reduce supply in the hope they’ll pick up again.”