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A can of wine with your meal, sir?

By Lynn Bolin, Cape Town , South Africa . From www.about.com

South Africa 's wine drinkers will soon have the choice of imbibing their favorite wines out of a can for the first time, as Australian group Barokes introduces its patented canned-wine technology to the country.

Barokes is hoping the alternative packaging of cans will add more appeal to wine drinking for those in the younger generation who generally prefer canned, ready-to-drink beverages, the company said.

The unique wine-packaging Vinsafe technology -- invented by Australians Greg Stokes and winemaker Steve Barics in 1996, when they started Barokes -- has been designed to deliver premium quality wine with stability and longevity. The technology incorporates three key and patented requirements: the parameters of the wine (managed by a master of wine); the lining on the inside of the aluminum can to protect the wine; and the filling specifications.

According to Stokes, the group is currently in negotiations with several major wineries and wine regions in South Africa that wish to license the Vinsafe technology.

Besides Australia , Wine-in-a-Can is already available in Belgium , Germany , The Netherlands, Spain , Portugal , Denmark , Singapore , Canada , New Zealand , Taiwan , Hong Kong , Japan and soon in the United States , with plans to launch in China , Korea , and the Philippines later in 2005.

"This is an important milestone for us, as we have worked hard over nine years to successfully develop Vinsafe wine-in-a-can and are pleased to have our product recognized as a world leader," said Stokes. "There has been incredible demand for the technology worldwide and we are confident the product will enjoy great success in South Africa ."

Barokes holds the patent status around the world, with patents granted in Japan , South Africa , Singapore , Australia and New Zealand , and another 134 patents pending under the International Patent Cooperation Treaty. -- I-Net Bridge

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