Weinakademie Österreich hosts MW students from around the globe

For 11 consecutive years the traditional European MW study course has taken place at the Weinakademie Österreich (Wine Academy Austria) campus in Rust, Burgenland in early January. More than 50 MW students from 18 different countries and a team of MW tutors spent a week in the Austrian wine regions.

In addition to intense full days of classes, MW students had the opportunity to taste through a wide range of various Austrian and international wines every evening. A study trip took the group to Wachau for the traditional pruning workshop in the famous Kellerberg Vineyard. They met with top producers of Grner Veltliner and Riesling as well as of other indigenous varieties from Thermenregion, Burgenland and Styria.

Austrian culture and history were experienced intimately during tastings at Esterhazy Palace in Eisenstadt and Palais Coburg in Vienna. An MW student stated, Austrian wine is truly the taste of culture.

20th Anniversary Graduation Ceremony of Weinakademiker

Over the past 20 years more than 600 Weinakademiker from 25 different countries have graduated from the Weinakademie sterreich. The alumni association Club der Weinakademiker has evolved into a vibrant international wine network and is a platform for continuing professional development.

When the first 14 Weinakademiker graduated on October 19th in 1994, this was a major step in the development of Weinakademie sterreich towards becoming the largest wine school on the continent.

The basis of this international qualification has been the cooperation with the British Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) and the introduction of the WSET Diploma programme in the German language in Rust in 1992. The Weinakademie sterreich continues to be the only centre worldwide where the diploma course can be taken in another language other than English.

In 2001 the academy formed a partnership with Geisenheim University in Rheingau in order to offer the Weinakademiker qualification in Germany and a cooperation with Zrich University Campus Wdenswil in Switzerland followed in 2007. Since then, more than 200 WSET Diploma candidates have successfully graduated in Germany and Switzerland to become Weinakademiker. Other strategic partnerships include the long-term cooperation with the Borkollgium in Budapest and the Weinakademie Sdtirol in northern Italy. Cooperation with Prague Wine Academy and the Danish Solera Wine and Spirit Institute followed in recent years.

This 20th anniversary graduation on November 15th, 2013 marked the next important development. Among the 20 new Weinakademiker were the first graduates of the Central European WSET Diploma English language course that began in 2011 at the Weinakademie sterreich at its headquarter in Rust, Burgenland. The English language programme has positioned the Weinakademie sterreich as a global institution for wine education. A growing number of students from all over Europe and other countries including Russia, China, Singapore and India reflect this development.

For more than 10 years the Institute of Masters of Wine has also offered its European education programme at the Weinakademie sterreich campus. Next to Napa and Adelaide, Rust is the only place worldwide where the MW first year programme is held. Another aspect has helped the academy to develop its international reputation. Five Weinakademiker: Caro Maurer, Roman Horvath, Andreas Wickhoff, Frank Roeder and Pedro Ballesteros have achieved the Master of Wine qualification.

The 20th anniversary celebrations were opened with a tutored tasting for 250 guests at Esterhzy Palace. The French star consultant Stphane Derenoncourt and Frank Smulders MW took the audience on the wine tasting In 18 wines around the world, which was co-hosted by the academy. This event simultaneously symbolizes the global orientation and the efforts for achieving excellence, both of the Weinakademie sterreich and its graduates, the Weinakademiker.

One of the important supporters of the academys international development has been the Domaine Esterhzy who has provided study bursaries for students, particularly those from Eastern Europe. The Austrian Wine Marketing Board, Wein Burgenland and other institutions such as the Institute of Masters of Wine offer attractive bursaries and prizes to both support students in their studies and honour outstanding achievements in the exams. The top-student award of 2013 went to Katja Kramer of Germany. She was invited by the Institute of Masters of Wine to attend a course day at the European MW programme in Rust in 2014.

The next Central European Diploma course in Rust will commence on April 23rd in 2014.

Impressions from the 20th Anniversary Graduation Ceremony of Weinakademiker

Tasting with renowned Austrian wineries

The month of May traditionally marks the start of the new WSET Diploma courses at Austrian Wine Academy. More than 100 Diplomastudents from 20 different countries attended lectures, workshops and technical tastings during this week. Amongst the many highlights of this week was the tasting of 24 different renowned Austrian wineries at the scenic setting of Seehof Rust, the Campus of Wine Academy.

Some of the participants of the Central European Diploma course received bursaries to support their study and travel costs. Austrian Wine Marketing Board, Wein Burgenland, Weinviertel Wine Board , Renowned Burgenland Wineries (RWB) and Domaine Esterházy provided generous bursaries to students from Central Europe and Asia.

Central European Diploma course in Tokaj

One of the highlights of the final lectures of the 2012/13 WSET Diploma course was the trip to Tokaj first weekend of May. After the sparkling wine lectures and workshops at György Villa of Törley in Budapest the group started its study trip at top winery Disznóko where the producers of the Tokaj Renaissance group presented their stunning wines. Mr. Tokaj himself István Szepsy took the group on a vineyard tour and on an extensive tasting and culinary experience in the excellent Udvarház restaurant in Mad. A visit to the splendid Gróf Degenfeld palace hotel and winery was the great finale of a memorable tour. Now back to the books and studies for the exams on June 4!

First Advanced Course - Wines and Spirits International in Prague

Together with Prague Wine Academy the Austrian Wine Academy ran the first English language Advanced Course - Wines and Spirits International at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Prague early in February this year. The top representatives of the Czech wine trade, leading sommeliers, winery managers and winemakers from Moravia and Slovakia participated in the course. Sarka Duskova, head of the Prague Wine Academy commented: "We were thrilled about our partnership with Austrian Wine Academy and to see this high caliber of wine professionals attending the course."

Many of the participants of the fully booked course want to continue with their WSET Diploma in Rust in May 2011 and some of them are already thinking of taking the next step to the MW study programme!