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January 20, 2005

Alcoa Begins North America Production of Award-Winning Wine Closure, the VinTegra System

INDIANAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 20, 2005--Alcoa (NYSE:AA) announced today that its Alcoa Closure Systems International business has begun the commercial launch of VinTegra(TM), its new closure system for wine bottles as an alternative to corks and synthetic stoppers. Alcoa will supply the new closures to selected North America winery partners, for initial use in their premium wines. The new system, already in commercial production in Europe under the trade name Vino-Lok, will offer the wine industry a high quality and elegant alternative to traditional wine closure systems.

"The VinTegra closure system fills an urgent need in the wine industry, which has sought an alternative to natural cork that meets both the quality and aesthetic demands of connoisseurs," said Tony Smith, Marketing Director, Alcoa CSI North America. "The VinTegra system has successfully completed exhaustive testing by some of the most respected independent wine technical institutions in Europe," Smith said. VinTegra is currently undergoing tests in the U.S. and South Africa.

The VinTegra closure looks like a decorative decanter stopper, and it is recyclable. Made with flexible O-rings, the stopper provides a sterile seal, preventing contamination or oxidation. An aluminum over-cap and traditional neck sleeve will ensure mechanical protection and tamper evidence.

The VinTegra glass stopper is the first product in a larger portfolio of wine closures that Alcoa CSI is currently developing as an alternative to traditional wine stoppers.

Approved by Wine Experts and Winner of Multiple Awards

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 VinTegra closure system meets parameters for technical as well as taste performance compared to traditional wine closures.

Alcoa CSI's wine closure is also the winner of several prestigious 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.

About Alcoa CSI

Alcoa CSI locations in the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Peru, Colombia, UK, Germany, Spain, Hungary, Russia, Egypt, Bahrain, Nepal, China, Korea, Japan and Philippines manufacture plastic closures utilizing the patented Alcoa (H-C) compression molding process. Alcoa CSI also has injection molding capacity serving the food, beverage, and personal care industries. In addition, the business manufactures aluminum closures in Europe and Japan to complement its plastic product offerings to the local beverage industry. In its 27 locations and offices worldwide, Alcoa CSI employs nearly 3,000 persons. The company is guided by principles of customer satisfaction and total quality manufacturing - all tied to specific customer and consumer needs. Website: