The qualification Weinakademiker is offered by the Austrian Wine Academy. Courses are held in Rust at Lake Neusiedl, in Geisenheim in Rheingau and in Zurich. The title Weinakademiker is based on the Diploma in Wines and Spirits of the British Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET). It counts among the most renowned wine educational qualifications, the WSET being the largest wine educational centre in the world. This international Diploma is the most sought after qualification in wine trading and as such also the most recommended pre-stage on the way to the highly respected Master of Wine (MW). Every Weinakademiker is awarded to successful graduates from the Diploma in Wine and Spirits by the advisory board of the Weinakademie.
The program can be passed within two years extra occupational. Classroom trainings alternate with preliminary and follow-up work as well as the writing of seminar papers and the final thesis.
Passing the very demanding Weinakademiker/WSET exams requires profound knowledge of wine production, wine styles around the world and the wine sector and its mechanisms in general. In the course of seven units students are taught topics on wine and cellar management, wine regions all over the world, sparkling wine, spirited wines, spirits and international wine markets and have to pass the respective exams. As far as particularly wines of the world, but also sparkling wines, fortified wines and spirits are concerned students have to produce not only profound theoretical knowledge but have to demonstrate their tasting talent and assess the quality potential, state of maturation and origin of the respective wines in the course of blind tastings.