Producers of rosé wine are up in arms after European legislators said the drink could be made simply by mixing red and white wines.

The European Commission is proposing to loosen strict regulations on the production of rosé to fall into line with many non-European countries.

However, French rosé makers have reacted furiously to a move they believe would hit quality standards and put thousands of winegrowers out of business.

“We're shocked, angry and worried,” said local winegrowers’ representative Jean-Jacques Breban.

“If the rules change, we won't be able to compete with our traditional methods, our industry will die and the Provence economy will be devastated. If tens of thousands of winegrowers are forced out of business, swaths of landscape could see vines pulled up and destroyed. It will change our region forever.”

A final decision from the commission about the status of rosé is expected next month.

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