Major Move Into Wellness Business and First E-Commerce Venture for Nation's Second-Biggest Wine and Spirits Company, Leading International Drinks Producer

NEW YORK, Feb. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- It's in the grapes, and Canandaigua Brands, the leading international drinks producer and the nation's second largest wine supplier, has lots of them.

Grapes -- more specifically the grape seed extract -- contain a nutrient called anti-oxidant, which has numerous health benefits for the treatment of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and aging. Today, Canandaigua Brands and its subsidiary Polyphenolics, Inc. unveiled, an unprecedented program to promote the use of anti-oxidants and initiate a major public health, education and awareness campaign under the theme "Where to get smarter about being healthier." It also marks the first e-commerce venture for Canandaigua Brands.

The program, announced by Howard Jacobson, senior vice president of Polyphenolics and founder of, includes:

-- The launch of -- the most comprehensive, one-stop anti-oxidant website, which provides information, answers questions and offers a variety of products that contain anti-oxidants.

-- The debut of The Answer Grape, an animated character that will promote the benefits of anti-oxidants and is expected to become the symbol for anti-oxidants and wellness.

-- The introduction of the first in a series of anti-oxidant products from Polyphenolics, including Tapestry(TM) Herbal Fudge Supplements, a bite-size, delicious supplement with only 80 calories that provides half the daily anti-oxidant requirements for adults and 100% of the daily requirements for Vitamins C and E. Two new herbal supplement capsules formulated with Polyphenolics' Vinox(TM) grape seed extract were also introduced -- Monterey Grape Seed Extract and Monterey Anti-oxidant Blend -- which combine grape seed extract with Vitamin C and E.

-- The creation of a panel of leading experts in health, medical research and nutrition who contribute to the new website and will speak and publish articles on behalf of Polyphenolics to educate and inform Americans about the benefits of anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidants first came to public attention nearly 10 years ago when a "60 Minutes" broadcast titled "The French Paradox" reported on the benefits of red wine, which contains anti-oxidants.

-- The kickoff of an Internet advertising campaign, exclusively on Yahoo, with banner ads reaching millions of Internet users.

The company will soon announce details of a number of sports sponsorships in tennis and skiing.

"This is an interesting time for our company," said Richard Sands, chairman of Canandaigua Brands. "In the past several years, Canandaigua Brands has tripled in size and has expanded internationally into new product categories. We are a major player in the $40 - $50 million grape seed extract business. In this role of a worldwide industry leader, we have a responsibility and commitment to the grape industry and the consumer. We believe that by educating the public about the numerous health benefits of anti-oxidants, and producing and marketing quality products, we are meeting our commitment to both groups. It also makes good business sense."

Howard Jacobson, founder of, said, "This exciting new venture is a logical outgrowth of one of Canadaigua Brands' core businesses as we process millions of pounds of grapes every year, making us one of the largest producers of grape seed extract. Research over the past decade has documented the numerous health benefits provided by anti-oxidants, and the most potent source of this is grape seed extract. The level of interest in health and fitness has never been as great it is now as Baby Boomers age. The number of people 35 and older who are actively involved with their wellness is unprecedented and constitutes a tremendous market craving information and products."

The three new anti-oxidant products join a broad range of anti-oxidant products available through the website's online boutique including supplements, luxurious skin care products, spa soap, cooking oil, toothpaste, books and gift baskets, and even gourmet dog biscuits to keep Fido healthy too.

Jacobson said will introduce several more anti-oxidant products in the next two years, and they will be added to the shopping mall section of the website.

The new website -- -- is filled with information on anti-oxidants and includes updated research reports, an interactive Q&A forum, and a shopping mall offering several anti-oxidant products from Polyphenolics and from other manufacturers. The "Answer Grape," which has a major presence on the website, provides responses to questions e-mailed from consumers.

The panel of experts, who have been active consultants in the development of the website, include: Dr. David L. Felten, founding director of the Center for Neuroimmunology at the Loma Linda (Ca.) School of Medicine; Dr. Dallas Clouatre, a regular contributor to Let's Live and Great Life and the author of several books including The Prostate Cancer Miracle, coming out later this year; Rozanne Gold, an award-winning cookbook author and a pioneer of the new minimalist cuisine; Mollie Katzen, a best-selling cookbook author, television host and a member of the Harvard Nutrition Roundtable; Dr. Anil J. Shrikhande, who holds a PhD in Food Science and Technology and is vice president of research & development at Canandaigua Wine Company; and Dr. Andrew L. Waterhouse, associate professor of enology at University of California-Davis, one of the nation's leading research scientists on wine and grape chemistry.

Also on the panel are several doctors and nutritionists from the Wellness Center at Thompson Health System, which provides health and wellness information through a variety of education, prevention and health promotion programs.

Polyphenolics, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Canandaigua Brands, is a leader in providing natural, nutritional ingredients that can be produced from wine and wine grapes. The company invests heavily in research that identifies and captures molecular structures shown to provide specific health benefits. In addition to in-house research, Polyphenolics maintains close working partnerships with respected universities and research institutions worldwide.

Canandaigua Brands, Inc. (NYSE: CDB), headquartered in Fairport, N.Y., 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 a leading drinks wholesaler in the United Kingdom. Canandaigua Brands can be found on the Internet at

SOURCE Canandaigua Brands, Inc.

CONTACT: David Reich, or Judd Cohen, both of Reich Communications, 212-573-6000, for Canandaigua/