Since 1991, this Austrian institute is open to all those interested in wine with its own seminar and further education 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. Ing. Josef Schuller. Seminars are organized in cooperation with wine-competent partners in all nine Austrian states. In Wien , a seminar center has been set up in the premises of the ÖWM . Cooperation also exists with the WIFI (Business Development Institute) and the adult education centers throughout Austria.
The company philosophy is based on a "wine culture control loop": the higher the wine knowledge and the wine culture of a society, the sooner it will produce, offer, inquire and consume high quality. The interested parties 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 adventure-oriented weekend as a wine tutorial.
From this basic seminar leads a successfully passed examination to the "Advanced Seminar 1 - wine country Austria" with the emphasis on viticulture, cellar economy, Austrian wine 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 covers the international wine world and prepares for an internationally oriented education on an academic level - the "DIPLOMA in Wines & Spirits". In cooperation with the renowned British training company WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) are made by high caliber editors - including several Masters of Wine - The wines, wine producing countries and markets of the world. The graduation of the DIPLOMA is a graduate in wine academy. She is also qualified to take the Master of Wine course, the world's most challenging wine training program.
Since 2002 the Weinakademie cooperates with the Fachhochschule Geisenheim in the German Rheingau and offers the DIPLOMA training exclusive also in Germany. Since autumn 2006, in co-operation with the South Tyrolean Sommelier Association, the advanced seminar "Wines & Spirits International" has been held in Bressanone and since the beginning of 2007 also in Zurich. Further 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. For wine growers and wine merchants program packages were developed around marketing topics.
In workshops, which respond exactly to today's market requirements, the marketing awareness is to be improved. The annual "Weinakademie Winzerkonferenz" is dedicated to current topics in viticulture in the focal areas of production and marketing. In addition, over 150 tourism and catering trade schools throughout Austria are expertly looked after. Each year, more than 200 seminars for more than 5,000 students are held in these schools, and 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 take part in this program. Thus, the Weinakademie Austria has finally established itself as a leading wine training institution in Europe. With over 1,000 seminars and more than 20,000 participants annually, the Weinakademie Austria has been the largest European wine school for many 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 of Wine Academics" and also commit themselves to a code of honor, which provides for a permanent further education. See also below Wine-producing institutions and Viticulture personalities,