Since 1991, this Austrian institute has been open to all those interested in wine with its own seminar and training program as a non-profit organization. It is a subsidiary of ÖWM (Austrian wine marketing service). The institute is located in Rust (Burgenland) in the atmospheric ambience of the Seehof. Managing Director is Austria's only Master of Wine, Dr. Josef Schuller. Seminars are organized in all nine Austrian federal states in cooperation with wine-competent partners. A seminar center has been set up in Wien on the premises of the ÖWM . Cooperations also exist with the WIFI (Economic Development Institute) and the adult education centers throughout Austria.
The company's philosophy is based on a “wine culture control loop”: the higher the wine knowledge and wine culture of a society, the more likely it is to produce, offer, ask for and consume high quality. Those interested can complete four levels according to their level of knowledge. In addition to short seminars and wine & food seminars, the ABC of wine is taught in the "basic seminar". Alternatively, it is also offered in the form of an experience-oriented weekend as a wine tutorial.
From this basic seminar, a successfully passed test leads to the "Advanced Seminar 1 - Wine Country Austria" with the focus on viticulture, cellar management, Austrian wine industry and wine-growing areas as well as a tasting training. A successfully passed final exam qualifies for the advanced "Advanced Seminar 2 - Wines & Spirits International", which deals with the international wine world and prepares for an internationally oriented training at academic level - the "DIPLOMA in Wines & Spirits". In cooperation with the renowned British training company WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) are provided by top-class lecturers - including a number Masters of Wine - The wines, wine producing countries and markets to the world. The conclusion of this DIPLOMA is the graduation as a wine academician. It is also a qualification for admission to the "Master of Wine" course, the world's most difficult training in the wine sector.
The Wine Academy has been cooperating with the university of applied sciences since 2002 Geisenheim in the German Rheingau and offers the DIPLOMA training exclusively in Germany. Since autumn 2006, the advanced seminar "Wines & Spirits International" has been offered in Brixen in cooperation with the South Tyrolean Sommelier Association, and since the beginning of 2007 also in Zurich. Other cooperation partners are the "Borkollegium" in Budapest, the "Weinausbildung Schweiz" and the "Academie du Vin", as well as in Germany the "Viniversität" and the "Internationale Weinakademie" in Munich. Program packages dealing with marketing topics have been developed for winegrowers and wine dealers.
Marketing awareness is to be improved in workshops that respond precisely to today's market requirements. The annual "Weinakademie Winzerkonferenz" is devoted to current topics in viticulture in the main areas of production and marketing. In addition, over 150 tourism and gastronomy specialist schools across Austria are professionally supervised. At these schools, over 200 seminars are held annually for over 5,000 schoolchildren and in-school wine events are supported.
The establishment of the “European Master of Wine (MW) study course” at the Wine Academy in 2005 was a milestone. All European candidates preparing for the MW exam will take part in this program. The Austrian Wine Academy has thus finally established itself as one of Europe's leading wine training institutions. With over 1,000 seminars and more than 20,000 participants annually, the Austrian Wine Academy has been the largest European wine school for years. The current 408 wine academics (as of March 2009) come from 16 different countries and often occupy key positions in the wine industry. They are organized in the graduate association "Club der Weinakademiker" and are also committed to a code of honor that provides for permanent further training. See also under Wine-producing institutions and Viticulture personalities,