The Austrian Wine Academy
The Austrian Wine Academy was established in 1991 as a new, efficient training centre for private wine lovers and professional alike. The Academy as a non-profit institution, endorses the following philosophy: the more a country develoops wine knowledge and 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:
- winemakers and sales people wishing to acquire further knowledge in sales and marketing as well as discover other wine growing areas of the world and new grape varieties.
- restaurant owners, sommeliers and those in the off trade wishing to sell (more) successfully to their clients
- wine lovers in general, sharing an interest in wine and food and in the history, the varieties and the quality of Austrian wine
- national and international wine journalists and experts who have professional interest in improving their knowledge of Austrian and international wines
Offices in Rust and Krems
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.
The "Weinakademiker" Programme
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 enrole in one of the following classes:
- the Basisseminar, providing basic knowledge on wine. Students have a choice of either evening classes or (more extensive) "wine-weekends".
- the Advanced Course - Austrian Wine with an emphasis on Austrian wine regions, viticulture and vinification, wine business and wine tasting.
- the Advanced Course - Wines and Spirits International is an in-depth seminar on the leading wine regions, wines and spritis of the world. This course is available in German and English language.
- the WSET Diploma in Wines, a highly respected professional international qualification. The two year curriculum of the Diploma programme covers wine producing countries, wines, sparkling wines and fortified wines of the world. This qualification is offered in co-operation with the London based WSET (Wine and Spirit Education Trust).
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 more than 700 graduates from 38 different countries.
International Education in German language
The Austrian Wine Academy works in partnership with the German centre of wine excellence, the Geisenheim University and is offering the Weinakademiker Diploma in German language in Rust and in the German Rheingau.
The Academy will launch its Weinakademiker Diploma programme in German language in Switzerland in 2019. The prestigious Zurich Hochschule in Wädenswil will act as the Swiss partner. The speciality of this Diploma course is the fact, that course days will also be held in Geisenheim, Rust and Brixen. Workshops and visit programmes in Swiss, German, Austrian, Italian and Hungarian wine regions will be part of the course and will give students a real international perspective.
In 2006 the Austrian Wine Academy started a co-operation with the Sommelier Association of Alto Adige and is offering its courses in German language in the fantastic ambience of Kloster Neustift near Brixen.
International Education in English language
In 2011 the Academy started to offer its courses also in English language in both Rust and in Prague. In partnership with the Prague Wine Academy the "Advanced Course - Wines and Spirits International" is held annually.
The WSET Diploma in Wines - Central Europe programme is run at the Academy's Campus in Rust. Study trips and workshops to Austrian wine regions are part of the programme.
The WSET Diploma in Wines - International is held in partnership with Italy's leading wineries of Istituto Grandi Marchi. This format of the WSET Diploma is held between the Academy's Campus in Rust, its Vienna center at Palais Coburg and Palazzo Antinori in Florence. Part of the courses are study trips and visit programmes to leading Austrian and Italian wineries.
The most recent development is the WSET Diploma in Wines - Rheingau / Burgenland / Alto Adige / Zurich where courses are held in those different wine growing areas including wine visiting programmes.