33 new Weinakademiker Diploma graduates from 14 countries – Anton Kollwentz and Willi Klinger Weinakademiker H.C.!
Graduates of the 29th Diploma class of the Austrian Wine Academy were awarded the prestigious title Weinakademiker at the end of October in Esterházy Palace in Eisenstadt. Anton Kollwentz and Willi Klinger were the first representatives of the Austrian wine branch to be awarded the title of Weinakademiker H. C. for their outstanding contributions to the Wine Academy and to Austrian wine culture.
With the class of 2022, the alumni of the Austrian Wine Academy grew to well over 1,000 Weinakademiker, who now come from 48 different nations. Among the new graduates is the first female Weinakademiker from Venezuela. The 33 new Weinakademiker have come a long way and only a few managed to complete this training in the absolute minimum duration of two years. The average study time is three to four years, and at the end candidates must present a diploma thesis and pass a colloquium.
the Haydn Quartett added a special touch to the graduation ceremony
The title Weinakademiker is both a distinction and a mission. Weinakademiker join the graduate association "Weinakademiker Club" and commit themselves to a code of honour that postulates permanent further education and the highest ethical standards. Many Weinakademiker hold leading positions in the international wine industry and this training is also the recommended preliminary stage to the elite Master of Wine qualification.
One of the highlights of the graduation ceremony was Willi Klinger's laudatory speech and the conferment of the title of Weinakademiker H.C to Anton Kollwentz. After his splendid laudation for Anton Kollwentz, Willi Klinger was surprised by three Masters of Wine. Caro Maurer MW, Roman Horvath MW, and Justin Howard-Sneyd MW launched into a laudation for him. Willi Klinger was honoured as the second Weinakademiker H.C. of the evening.
|Anton Kollwentz (left) and Willi Klinger (right) with DI Josef Glatt, Austrian Wine Academy|
The supporting programme of the graduation ceremonies started the evening before the graduation at Esterházy Palace with a large, seated gala tasting for around 150 guests. At "Six Masters of Wine and their Wines", six MWs presented their wines from Navarra, Priorat, Roussillon, Austria, and Israel. On the morning of the graduation day, Justin Howard-Sneyd MW and Eran Pick MW held exclusive master classes on Roussillon and Israel for Weinakademiker.
Director of the Austrian Wine Academy Dr. Josef Schuller MW states, "Our international Weinakademiker community is playing an increasingly important role in the international wine scene. Of course, we are particularly proud of this year's two new Weinakademiker H.C. from Austria. Their 15 international colleagues include among others, Jancis Robinson MW, Dr. Monika Christmann, and Marchese Piero Antinori; together they are superstars of the wine world. We want to celebrate that accordingly." After two years of pandemic-related restrictions, celebrations were again possible. Weinakademiker winemakers from all over Austria presented their wines to the guests and the new Wine Academy graduates after the graduation ceremony, and new and old friendships were forged.
Die Weinakademiker Awards
Again this year there were outstanding achievements in subject areas of the Weinakademiker training, which were rewarded with scholarships and prizes:
The Erbslöh Geisenheim Award for the best examination paper in viticulture and cellar management, endowed with € 500, went to José Mas Barbera.
The Wine & Co Tasting Trophy for the best tasting examination went to Fabio Gölles. The prize includes a voucher for € 1000.
The Wein & Co Sparkling Wine Trophy for the best result in the sparkling wine exam went to Regina Melzer. The prize includes a voucher for € 1000.
The SPAR Spirits Award for the best spirits exam went to Klaudija Scitovsky. The prize is endowed with € 500.
The SPAR Award "Wines of the World" for the best theory exam went to Adriana Díaz Triana. The prize is endowed with € 500.
The Esterházy Award for the best result in wine business includes a trip to Burgenland for two people and a gourmet programme at the Esterházy wine, culture and gourmet establishments and went to Luca Ardiri.
The ÖWM Scholarship for an outstanding diploma thesis in marketing includes a special wine study trip to VIEVINUM and went to Joan Harnish.
The Wine Academy Top Student Award went to Fabio Gölles. It encompasses wine study trips to Austria, Germany, Alto Adige, and Switzerland as well as an invitation from the Institute of Masters of Wine to the opening day of the 2023 Master of Wine course in Rust.
18th Master of Wine Seminar at the Austrian Wine Academy
The third attempt was finally successful! After two cancellations related to pandemic restrictions in January 2021 and 2022 the annual MW seminar could take place at the Austrian Wine Academy headquarters in March 2022. In addition to London, Bordeaux, Napa, and Sydney this course for MW students from around the globe has also taken place in Rust since 2004. Over the years, more than 100 MWs have begun their MW studies with this mandatory week in Rust.
This year, more than 60 MW students and MWs spent a week in a safe “Covid-free bubble” at the Academy. Four Weinakademiker graduates of the Austrian Wine Academy were among the new MW students to begin their journey to become an MW: Isabella Rutayungwa from Germany, Arpine Manukyan from Armenia, Gerd Peitner from Alto Adige, and Zsombor Pádár from Hungary. The photo shows the MW group in their only moment without masks on the Haydn Saal stage at Schloss Esterhazy.
52 new Weinakademiker from 16 nations!
Despite the challenging circumstances, the traditional graduation ceremony of the Austrian Wine Academy took place on 23 October in Schloss Esterházy in Eisenstadt. The magnificent Haydnsaal offered enough space to honour the new Weinakademikers in a corona-safe manner. The Weinakademiker family now includes over 950 graduates from 43 nations. This year brought the first graduates from Romania, Ukraine and Armenia.
In the challenging year 2020, Diploma examinations were held only in January and March. The examinations in May and June had to be cancelled. A new record number of up to 80 graduates had been expected, but many students were unable to complete their studies. Given the difficult circumstances and restrictions, it is satisfying that the final colloquia could take place in August and the graduation ceremony in Schloss Esterházy was also not deterred. The graduation ceremonies in Switzerland and Germany had to be cancelled due to corona restrictions.
Two paths lead to the Weinakademiker title
Up until two years ago, the Diploma from London’s Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) was the only qualification that paved the way to the “Weinakademiker” title. The majority of the new Weinakademikers completed the WSET courses at Austrian Wine Academy in the German language. But since 2018 the WSET Diploma is available only in the English language.
Together with the Geisenheim University of Applied Sciences in Germany and the Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Campus Wädenswil in Switzerland, the Austrian Wine Academy developed a new and more comprehensive education in the German language: the Weinakademiker Diploma. The first year of this new education began in 2018 and now, two years later, the first five of more than 30 first-year students completed their studies in the minimum duration: Maximilian Glatz (winemaker from Styria), Simone Gnegel (wine merchant Garibaldi in Munich), Martin Mejzlik (software developer from Vienna), Jasmin Priller (Kellerei St. Pauls in Alto Adige) and Gregor Stiegelmar, (winemaker from Burgenland).
The Weinakademiker Awards
The achievement of all 52 new Weinakademiker is highly commendable. New graduates who achieved exceptional exam results are recognized with prizes and awards:
The Erbslöh Geisenheim Award for the best examination paper in the field of viticulture and oenology, endowed with € 1,000, went to Gregor Stiegelmar.
The Esterházy Award for the best result in wine business includes a trip to Burgenland for two people and a gourmet itinerary in Esterházy's wine, culture and gourmet establishments and went to Ksenia Caron.
The SPAR Spirits Award for the best spirits examination went to Eva Hadolt. The SPAR Award “Wines of the World” for the best theory examination was awarded to Maximilian Gregor Glatz. Both prizes are endowed with € 500 each.
The Austrian Wine Marketing Scholarships for outstanding diploma theses in marketing include a special wine study trip to VIEVINUM and went to Werner Waldboth and Simone Gnegel.
The Wein & Co Tasting Trophy for the best tasting test went to Gregor Matthias Stiegelmar. The prize includes a voucher for € 1.000,-.
The Austrian Wine Academy Top Student Award went to Maximilian Gregor Glatz. In addition to wine study tours in Austria, Germany, South Tyrol and Switzerland, it also includes an invitation from the Institute of Masters of Wine to the opening day of the Master of Wine Course 2021 in Rust.
Weinakademie graduate Lin Liu Master of Wine!!
Lin became the 11th Weinakademiker to achieve the ultimate goal and was recently accepted to the Institute of Masters of Wine. Lin originates from China and today she runs a winery together with her husband in Cahors. She started in 2012 with her Diploma studies for Weinakademiker and graduated as the top student in Geisenheim in 2014. We are so proud and happy! Lin you are a star!!!
25th Weinakademiker Graduation Ceremony
The 25th anniversary graduation in Esterhazy Palace in early November 2018 brought 36 new Weinakademiker from 13 different countries. Srdjan Lisac and Janis Volkinšteins were the first graduates from Croatia and Latvia, respectively. During this quarter of a century 853 graduates from 38 countries were awarded the title Weinakademiker. Another 15 such as Jancis Robinson, Marchese Piero Antinori and others received the honorary title “Weinakademiker h.c.”.
The Burgenland Wine Academy was founded exactly 30 years ago in November 1988 and two years later it became the Austrian Wine Academy. One of the key people to make this happen was the former Burgenland Minister of Agriculture Paul Rittsteuer who has been the Vice-Chairman of the Academy´s Board for all 30 years . In Paul Rittsteuer’s anniversary speech, he outlined the Academy´s development from a one-man business to becoming today´s largest wine school on the Continent. Professor Dr. Hans-Reiner Schultz, president of Geisenheim University, emphasized the long and fruitful partnership between both institutions and the international relevance of the Weinakademiker qualification.
A special moment was the appearance on stage of 24 representatives of all Weinakademiker vintages from 1994 to 2017. Their statements reflected the manifold facets of the international alumni network ranging from cult winemakers to leading sommeliers, importers, journalists and wine buyers. Job de Swart Weinakademiker and new Master of Wine 2018 encouraged his colleagues to consider taking the next step and aspire for the next level, the Master of Wine qualification ,and join the team of eight Weinakademiker who have achieved this title.
The main focus of the evening was, of course, the new graduates who celebrated with an audience of more than 250 family members, friends and fellow students in the glamourous Haydn Hall.
The Austrian Wine Marketing Board, Esterhazy Winery and other institutions, such as the Institute of Masters of Wine, offered attractive awards and prizes to honour outstanding achievements in the exams. The top-student award of 2018 went to Stefan Vannuccini from Alto Adige. He was invited by the Institute of Masters of Wine to attend a course day at the European MW programme in Rust in 2019.
Magic Maggie show in Eisenstadt
Maggie Henriquez CEO of Krug and Moet Hennessey Estate Wines hosted two top events ahead of the 25th Weinakademiker graduation ceremony : supported by her friend Lynne Sherriff MW she presented in a tasting the “pioneers of the world” – the LVMH wineries round the globe.
Next morning she ran a Weinakademiker-only master class “pushing boundaries” that featured Krug Champagne and her most recent project “Ao Yun” in China. The tasting of great Champagnes and wines from the foothills of the Himalaya in Shangri La was co-hosted by Andreas Wickhoff MW.
30 new Weinakademiker from 14 different countries !
The traditional graduation ceremony at Esterhazy Palace took place on November 4 2017. With the new graduates the number of Weinakademiker has grown to more than 750 from 36 different countries. Amongst the new Weinakademiker there were the first graduates from Slovenia and Serbia. The traditional graduation gala tasting for 250 attendees in Haydn Hall the evening before was hosted by Gaia Gaja from the Piemonte cult winery.
Aside from three Austrian young wine makers coincidentally ex-class mates from Klosterneuburg viticultural college one Weinakademiker contributed also to the superb musical framing of the graduation ceremony. Oliver Madas member of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra played the vibraphone and was accompanied by his wife on the cello.
Only one of the 30 new graduates finished this qualification in less than two years, Leonid Fadeev executive manager of a start-up winery in Russian Krasnodar. He was also the first graduate of the Diploma course between Rust and Florence: “It was a fantastic experience, very tough and more demanding than my PhD in law but definitely more enjoyable. I think the course at Weinakademie is the best in the world! Now I am considering taking the next step and go for MW!"
The international recognition of the title „Weinakademiker“ is also reflected in the record number of ten new Weinakademiker who finished their WSET Diploma at one of the other WSET Diploma centres worldwide. In order to gain the title Weinakademiker they submitted a thesis and passed a viva-voce at Weinakademie earlier this year.
Gaia Gaja was also very impressed: “I very much appreciate the high quality and standard of Austrian Wine Academy, we have nothing comparable in Italy. We are very happy about our cooperation with Weinakademie and I am always happy to welcome the enthusiastic Dipoma students to our wineries in Italy. “
The Austrian Wine Marketing Board, Esterhazy Winery, VDP and other institutions such as the Institute of Masters of Wine offered attractive awards and prizes to honour outstanding achievements in the exams. The top-student award of 2017 went to Thomas Mantler wine maker from Austria. He was invited by the Institute of Masters of Wine to attend a course day at the European MW programme in Rust in 2018.
Weinakademie Österreich celebrates its 25th Anniversary and 25 new Weinakademiker
During the recent graduation ceremony of the new Weinakademiker at Schloss Esterhzay 24 graduates from nine different countries were awarded with their new title. Marchese Piero Antinori was awarded with the honorary title Weinakademiker h.c. for his significant contributions in international wine education.
The 25th anniversary celebrations were opened with a tutored tasting for 250 guests at Esterházy Palace. Marchese Piero Antinori and Lynne Sherriff Master of Wine took the audience on a wine tasting trip “The Antinori World of Wine”, which was co-hosted by the academy.
Marchese Antinori is the 14th personality in wine and the first Italian and wine producer to receive the prestigious award Weinakademiker h.c. As founding president of Istituto Grandi Marchi, Marchese Piero Antinori invited Weinakademie Österreich to run the WSET Diploma courses at Palazzo Antinori in Florence in the heart of Tuscany. Marchese Antinori also initiated the cooperation of IGM with the Institute of Masters of Wine and the MW Symposium in Florence.
Only nine graduates came from Austria, the other new Weinakademiker were from Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Denmark, Russia, South Afica and Japan. They became member of the international alumni association Club der Weinakademiker. This international network of wine professionals covers now more than 700 members from 30 different countries.
The Austrian Wine Marketing Board, Esterhazy Winery and other institutions such as the Bureau du Champagne or the Institute of Masters of Wine offered attractive awards and prizes to honour outstanding achievements in the exams.
The top-student award of 2015 went to Zsófia Krasnai from Hungary. She was invited by the Institute of Masters of Wine to attend a course day at the European MW programme in Rust in 2016.
Weinakademiker talk: Russia´s Tatjana meets Japan´s Keiko
Our Hungarian Weinakademiker 2015
The new Weinakademiker 2015
Marchese Piero Antinori receives from Willi Klinger the “Weinakademiker h.c” award
Graduation ceremony in Haydnsaal of Schloss Esterhazy
Cooperation between Weinakademie Österreich and Istituto Grandi Marchi
Two leading institutions in the European world of wine are happy to announce a partnership in the field of wine education. They have joined forces to offer the WSET Diploma in Wines and Spirits a unique international wine qualification to take place in Austria and Italy that will commence in May 2016.
The Weinakademie Österreich, the largest educational institution for wine on the European continent, has been offering the highly esteemed WSET Diploma in Wines and Spirits for 25 years. Supporting education is one of the cornerstones of the mission of Istituto Grandi Marchi (IGM), an association of leading wine producers from Italy. IGM will support the Italian Diploma session to be held at Palazzo Antinori in Florence and will organize study trips to Italian wine regions.
The specific format of the WSET Diploma International held in block seminars enables students from around the globe to enhance their Diploma study course with workshops, tastings and presentations with leading wine producers in Austria and Italy.
In addition to this, both institutions are closely linked to the world’s most prestigious wine institution, the Institute of Masters of Wine. IGM is a major supporter of the Institute of Masters of Wine. The Weinakademie Österreich campus in Rust has been the venue of the European Master of Wine (MW) seminar for the past 12 years.
A common vision for both partners is to offer the WSET Diploma programme, the recommended stepping stone for entrance to the MW programme, to Italian and international wine aficionados. A range of bursaries is available to Diploma students to help co-finance study costs.
European MW Course in Rust
For the 12th time the European MW course is held at Austrian Wine Academy in Rust. Close to 70 MWs and MW students from around the world spend an intense week of tastings, lectures, workshops, mock exams, study trips, vineyard visits in Austria.
Amongst them also two recent graduates of Weinakademie, Weinakademiker Lin Liu from China and Dr. Attila Fiath from Hungary, two of the very promising MW candidates.
The 7th Weinakademiker Summer School marked the grand finale of an exciting wine summer
This was followed by the traditional Weinakademie Summer Party with 20 leading Austrian wineries next day. Weinakademiker and Diploma students enjoyed great wine and regional food, Jazz music and dancing at Restaurant Katamaran virtually on Lake Neusiedl.
Second Year Diploma students in Tokaj - Frank Smulders´ 65th birthday
Central European Diploma 2014/15 started in Rust
The month of April marked the start of the new WSET Diploma courses at Austrian Wine Academy. Close to 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 28 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.
As this picture shows very clearly students were very committed - you cannot start studying early enough!
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.