The Austrian Wine Academy was established in 1991 as a new, efficient training centre for private wine lovers and professionals alike. The Academy as a non-profit institution, endorses the following philosophy: the more a country develops wine knowledge and wine culture, the more likely it is that this particular nation will respect and consume high quality wines. Thus, the seminar programmes have a broad range of aims:
The Austrian Wine Academy is located in Rust, in the romantic setting of the old Seehof. A second office is based in the town of Krems in Lower Austria. Overall management responsibility is in the hands of Dr. Josef Schuller MW, Austria´s first Master of Wine (MW).
Seminars are held in all Austrian provinces, in more than 20 centres in co-operation with various partners including wine hotels, boutique wine shops and adult education centres. Over the past few years, the interest in Austrian wines has reached unprecedented heights: more than 15.000 students attend about 800 lectures every year.
Apart from tasting courses, wine and food sessions and other topics the Wine Academy offers a high quality international qualification on four different levels.
Depending on the students´ previous level of knowledge, they may enrol in one of the following classes:
Diploma graduates may be awarded the prestigious title "Weinakademiker". Upon completion of a thesis and a viva-voce exam successful students are requested to sign a code of conduct and join the international alumni association "Club der Weinakademiker" with close to 651 graduates from 29 different countries.
The Austrian Wine Academy works in partnership with the German centre of wine excellence, the Geisenheim University and has offered the Diploma course in German language in the German Rheingau since 2002. In November 2014 the 12th Diploma class graduated from this centre and the total number of "Weinakademiker" in Germany increased to more than 180.
In 2006 the Austrian Wine Academy started a co-operation with the Sommelier Association of Alto Adige and is offering its qualifications in German language in the fantastic ambience of Kloster Neustift near Brixen.
The Academy launched its Diploma in Wines and Spirits programme in German language in Switzerland in 2007. The prestigious Zurich Hochschule Wädenswil acts as the Swiss partner. The speciality of this Diploma course is the fact, that course days are also held in Geisenheim, Rust and Brixen. Workshops and visit programmes in Swiss, German, Austrian, Italian and Hungarian wine regions are part of the course and give students a real international perspective.
The English language Central European Diploma programme is run at the Academy´s Campus in Rust and one course block is held in Budapest. Study trips and workshops to Austrian and Hungarian wine regions are part of the programme.
The most recent international development is a partnership with the Prague Wine Academy. The "Advanced Course - Wines and Spirits International" in English language is annually held in Prague in February.