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Nomacorc establishes new corporate centre of Oxygen Management Research

Nomacorc, the world’s leading producer of alternative wine closures, has announced the creation of an international corporate Center of Oxygen Management Research at the world-renowned InterRhone Institute near Avignon, France. The European-based members of Nomacorc’s in-house enology team will be based at the new Center for Oxygen Management Research effective January 2009.

Nomacorc and the InterRhone Institute are dedicated to conducting research in the area of oxygen management in wine with an ultimate objective of improving wine quality. Locating the Nomacorc Center of Oxygen Management Research at the InterRhone Institute allows Nomacorc access to the institute’s laboratories and technology and allows both organizations to take advantage of synergies from their individual research initiatives.

The relocation of Nomacorc’s European enology team from Belgium to Avignon, France places the team in a central location to provide easier access to customers and strategic research institute partners in key wine-producing regions. Nomacorc leads the closure industry in enological expertise with an international staff of seven people who are responsible for providing support to winemakers and oversight of the company’s post-bottling chemistry research initiatives.

“The InterRhone Institute recognizes the importance of oxygen in wine development and its impact on wine quality,” said Christophe Riou, Technical Director of InterRhone. “Understanding how oxygen affects wine is critical to our mission of improving the quality of wines in the Rhone Valley and we are excited about partnering with Nomacorc to further research in oxygen management.”

Nomacorc has four extensive research initiatives in process with global institutions including UC Davis in California; the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA) at Montpellier; the Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI); and Forschungsanstalt Geisenheim. Each institution is evaluating oxygen’s effect on different wine varietals as well as variances in bottling conditions.

In addition, Nomacorc is a founding member of O2inWines, an international nonprofit association composed of leading innovators in the wine industry dedicated to finding scientifically-based solutions for oxygen management challenges in the wine industry. InterRhone Institute will be joining the O2inWines Association effective November 2008.

Concurrently, Nomacorc has announced a re-organization of its research and enology organization. Dr. Olav Aagaard, who has been the driving force behind Nomacorc’s identification of the importance of oxygen in wine development, will assume the newly created position of global director, oxygen management business and Dr. Stéphane Vidal will be promoted from enology research manager to global director, enology, effective immediately. Drs. Aagaard and Vidal will report to Malcolm Thompson, vice president, marketing and innovation.

Dr. Vidal will lead the Center of Oxygen Management Research at InterRhone Institute and will be responsible for the global enology team. Prior to joining Nomacorc in March 2007, Dr. Vidal performed enological research for more than 13 years with the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA) in Montpellier, France, and the Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) in Adelaide, Australia. He also managed the Inter Rhone Laboratory and was responsible for the development of new analytical methods and studies on sealants.

In his new role, Dr. Aagaard will lead development and implementation of oxygen management initiatives. He will continue to serve as president of the O2inWines Association. Dr. Aagaard joined Nomacorc in 2005 as the director of global research leading the company’s post-bottling chemistry and oxygen management research initiatives. Prior to joining Nomacorc, he held several senior research management positions during his 12-year tenure at DSM in the Netherlands. Dr. Aagaard has a master’s degree in chemical engineering and a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the Technical University of Eindhoven in the Netherlands.

“Nomacorc is fortunate to have two such uniquely talented scientists on staff supported by a team of world class enologists,” said Thompson. “Olav and Stéphane’s new responsibilities will help further advance our position as the global authority on oxygen management control and technology.”

Dr. Vidal, Dr. Hélène Fulcrand from INRA and Sophie Vialis and Christophe Riou from the InterRhone Institute will be speaking at the Vinitech Conference in Bordeaux on December 3, 2008 on the topic of oxygen management in wines.

About Nomacorc Nomacorc is the worldwide leader in the growing alternative wine closure category. Dedicated to technological innovation, Nomacorc manufactures its portfolio of products using a patented co-extrusion process. As a result, Nomacorc closures provide consistent, predictable oxygen management and protect against off-flavors due to oxidation, reduction or cork taint.

Nomacorc products are available through a vast network of distributors and sales agents on six continents. With more than 400 employees worldwide and state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in the United States, Belgium, Austria and China, Nomacorc currently produces closures at the rate of nearly two billion annually. For more information, visit nomacorc.com.

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