Canandaigua Wine Company's Almaden box wine continues its history of innovation and success, breaking new ground in consumer-friendly packaging. Experiencing a 42% growth rate between 1998-1999, Almaden earned a top spot in Impact's "Hot Brand" Awards for 1999. * A majority of the growth can be attributed to Almaden's introduction of the patented Twist N Serve Spout, an innovative spout that eliminates dripping and makes pouring easier for the consumer, marking the first wine delivery system change for the segment in 17 years.

"According to our research, consumers are always eager to welcome additional box wine packaging developments," remarked Therese Corrigan-Bastuk, director of table wine marketing at Canandaigua Wine Company. "We recognize that people purchase box wines because of convenience, so we are doing everything possible to improve packaging functionality."

Starting this summer, Almaden Box Wines will provide additional consumer-friendly features such as EZ Open, Last Drop Tilt Tab, and EZ Carry. The EZ Open has a pre-cut corrugated opening, designed wider to allow easier access to the spout. The Last Drop Tilt Tab is a piece of corrugated cardboard on the bottom of the box which folds into a ramp, helping the wine flow as the product level decreases. The EZ Carry Handle is modified and angled to comfortably cushion the hand and provide better weight distribution of the box for maximum comfort.

Almaden's consumer-friendly breakthroughs don't stop with packaging. Almaden is the only box wine with an 800-number consumer comment line, and it is the first box wine to launch its own website. This personal connection to consumers via the 800-number led to the additional packaging improvements, as consumers had expressed a desire for a new spout. "These innovations reflect our strong consumer commitment," said Corrigan-Bastuk. "Almaden is the only box wine offering this combination of consumer-friendly features, an unprecedented level of advancement and innovation in the box wine industry. We are continually reaching out to consumers using our 800-number, and much to our delight this comment line is now hearing rave reviews about the new packaging. We will continue to capture these comments and build on Almaden's history of quality and innovation."

Additional information available on www.Almaden.com includes serving suggestions, tasting notes and recipes. The numerous calls on the 800-number expressing interest in more information concerning anti-oxidants prompted www.Almaden.com to create a direct link to www.anti-oxidant.com, a resource where consumers can get smarter about being healthier.

Almaden is produced by the Canandaigua Wine Company, Inc, a subsidiary of Canandaigua Brands, Inc. Canandaigua Brands, Inc., headquartered in Fairport, New York, is a leader in the production, marketing and distribution of beverage alcohol products in North America and the United Kingdom. The Company markets more than 180 premier brands, including imported beers, wines, spirits, cider and bottled water, and is the leading drinks wholesaler in the United Kingdom.