The Austrian Wine Academy has cooperated with WSET in London for more than 25 years, offering the prestigious WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines and Spirits in Austria and neighbouring countries. Two formats of the Diploma course have been successfully implemented. The “WSET Level 4 Diploma - Central Europe” held jointly in Austria and Hungary is offered in seven 2 to 4-day block sessions. The “WSET Level 4 Diploma - International” that travels between Rust, Vienna and Florence is organized in cooperation with the leading Italian wine estates of “Istituto Grandi Marchi” in only three course blocks of up to ten days, thus reducing the frequency of travel to the course venues. Both formats include study trips to wine regions in Austria as well as either Tokaj or respectively to Tuscany or Piedmont. Visits to premium wine events such as VinItaly and VieVinum wine fairs are additional highlights. The next courses will commence at the campus of Austrian Wine Academy in Rust in May 2018.
An additional new format of the WSET Level 4 Diploma will begin in Germany in September 2018 with block sessions of 2 to 4 days at Geisenheim University followed by seminars in Rust in January, Alto Adige in March and Wädenswil/Zurich in April 2019 and will continue in Geisenheim and Rust in autumn 2019. Leading institutions in the world of wine such as Geisenheim University and Zurich University in Wädenswil have joined forces with the Austrian Wine Academy and will support this new programme with examinations to be held in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
Respective sponsors for these courses are in Germany the VDP and the German Wine Institute, the Austrian Wine Marketing Board in Austria, the Swiss Wine in Switzerland, and the Vini Alto Adige in Italy. These partners will offer generous bursaries to Diploma students to support their study costs and organize field trips and educational tastings that will be part of the programme and included in the course fee.
Upon completion of a supplementary thesis and a viva voce exam, successful Diploma graduates are awarded the prestigious title “Weinakademiker” and are requested to sign a code of conduct and join the international “Weinakademiker” alumni association with more than 750 graduates from 36 different countries. This worldwide network is a perfect platform for advancing professional education, business contacts and friendships in wine.
Dr. Josef Schuller MW, managing director of Austrian Wine Academy comments, “This is an exciting opportunity for wine students from around the world to study for the WSET Diploma and visit some of the greatest wine regions to meet leading winemakers. Aside from their world class wines these countries are also among the most important wine import countries in the world and Zurich in particular is a unique hot spot for fine wines.”
For students without a recognized Diploma entrance qualification, the Austrian Wine Academy offers an Advanced Course - Wines and Spirits International in Rust in spring 2018.