Weinakademie Österreich - training centre for private wine lovers and professionals
Get professional wine tasting and assessment skills
Study trips to different wine growing areas
Graduation Ceremony - Esterházy Palace
Marchese Piero Antinori, Lynne D. Sherriff MW, Stefan Tscheppe and Dr. Josef Schuller MW
Istituto Grandi Marchi

“The coolest WSET Diploma program on the planet!"

We have repeatedly heard this phrase from our international Diploma students from more than fourty different countries. See below a short film about the locations and venues of our international Diploma program: beginning at the picturesque Austrian Wine Academy campus in Rust and continuing to Florence and Tuscany via Alto Adige and Swiss wine regions and on to Geisenheim University in Germany’s Rheingau and then back to Austria to the annual graduation ceremony in the splendid Haydn Hall at Esterhazy Palace. Visits to top producers and stunning wineries in all these countries are part of the program. Get an inside view of the Diploma program!

Goodbye Gábor!

The wine world and Hungary in particular have lost one of its most significant wine ambassadors of the past decades. Educated as a dentist, Dr. Gábor Rohály had a deep passion for culture and history. He entered the global stage of wine at a quite early age and became a light tower during the rebirth of the great Hungarian wine heritage in the early 1990s. As wine educator and founder of Borkollegium wine school in Budapest, he was one of the first to offer an international view of wine in his country. He authored excellent wine books and his annual Hungarian wine guide made him the “Parker of Hungary”.

I had the pleasure of meeting Gábor just after I had established the Austrian Wine Academy in 1991. Borkollegium became the Austrian Wine Academy’s first international educational partner and it later also became the first WSET education centre in Hungary. Gábor introduced me to the fascinating world of Hungarian wine and to leading protagonists like Istvan Szepsy, Tibor Gal, Attila Gere, and others. He proved to me that there were many world class wines produced outside of Tokaj already back in the 1990s.

Gábor’s unquenchable thirst for continuous learning led him to become one of the first Hungarians to enter the Austrian Wine Academy’s Diploma program. He later became our lecturer on Hungarian wine. His charming wife Gabriella followed in his footsteps and joined him in managing Borkollegium. She graduated from the Austrian Wine Academy as Weinakademiker and later became one of the most influential wine women in Hungary.

Gábor was awarded the title “Weinakademiker h.c.” in 2006, joining the ranks of a small elite group of 15 key international wine personalities including Piero Antinori and Masters of Wine such as Jancis Robinson MW.

Gábor, we will miss you!
Your friend
Pepi Schuller

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. more »

International Wine in Moderation workshop in Rust

Austrian Wine Academy hosted an international workshop on Wine in Moderation in Rust early October. An international scientific panel presented the scientific evidence of possible health benefits of moderate wine consumption. Representatives of most European wine producing countries and leading international wine companies presented their national strategies and activities to promote Wine in Moderation. “Wine in Moderation” (WIM) is the wine sector´s social responsibility movement. The WIM organization´s office is based in Brussels, George Sandeman leading wine industry figure from Portugal is the current president. During the WIM workshop Austrian Wine Academy was presented with a certificate to recognize its role as national coordinator of the wine in moderation program in Austria.

MW European Seminar, Rust

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