Alcoa announced today that its Alcoa Closure Systems International business has begun commercial production of Vino-Lok, its "glass on glass" closure system for wine bottles that it developed as an alternative to corks and synthetic stoppers. Alcoa will supply the new glass closures from its Worms, Germany, facility to several wineries in Europe that provide wines to Lufthansa, one of the world's leading airlines. Lufthansa plans to offer its passengers a line of premium wines that use the glass stopper early next year.
"The Vino-Lok closure system fills a need in the wine industry, which has sought alternatives to natural cork that meets both the quality and aesthetic demands of connoisseurs," said Siegfried Landskrone, general manager, Alcoa Metal Closures, Europe. "We have more than 100 wineries in Europe purchasing the Vino-Lok stopper for their premier wines, and we have several commitments from winemakers in Australia and South Africa," Landskrone said.
The Vino-Lok closure looks like a decorative decanter stopper, and it is recyclable. Made with rubberized O-rings, the glass stopper provides a sterile seal, preventing contamination or oxidation. An aluminum cap over the bottle will ensure mechanical protection and tamper evidence.
The Vino-Lok "Selection" with a glass stopper is the first product in a portfolio of wine closures that Alcoa CSI is currently developing as an alternative to traditional wine stoppers.
Approved by the Experts and an Innovation Winner
A one-year independent test recently conducted by scientists and wine experts from the prestigious Geisenheim Institute for Applied Enological Sciences and the Oppenheim/Rheinhessen State Teaching and Testing Institute indicates that Alcoa CSI's Vino-Lok closure system meets parameters for technical as well as taste performance compared to traditional wine closures.
Alcoa CSI's Vino-Lok wine closure is also the winner of several prominent awards:
- Recipient of a Worldstar Award for Packaging Excellence, the preeminent international award in packaging sponsored by the World Packaging Organization. Awards are based on the judges' consensus that a package is superior in its own right, and better in its class in execution or innovation by comparison.
- The Gold Prize for Innovation in the Filling, Packaging and Sealing category at the international wine and fruit juice exhibition, Intervitis/Interfructa 2004, in Stuttgart, Germany.
- Packaging Design Award 2004 in the Glass and Metal Packaging Category at the 2004 FachPack exhibition in Nuremberg, Germany. Vino-Lok was selected first from among 62 competitors by a jury made up of experts in the design industry from the Design Academy located in Karlsruhe, Germany; trade media; and the International Forum Design based in Hannover, Germany.
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