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Austria hosted the 1st European Conference for Wine Education

Wine from Austria © photocase.com/Kellermeister

© photocase.com/Kellermeister

June 18, 2008

The conference underlined the importance of wine education excellence and its coordination throughout Europe.

The European Academy of Wine Education (EAWE) recently held its first Conference in Rust, Austria. The Austrian Wine Academy, a founding member of EAWE hosted this first European Conference for Wine Education.

Educators from 16 countries met and discussed issues of international relevance in the field of wine education. This conference marked the beginning of an international network of exchange and cooperation amongst wine educators from all over Europe.

The European Academy of Wine Education (EAWE) started out as a loose consortium of European Wine educational institutions which has been discussing international wine educational issues over the past few years. The founding members represent also different sectors of the educational sphere: Forschungsanstalt Geisenheim (Germany) represents via Campus Geisenheim the advanced vocational training of producers, Arne Ronold MW together with the Culinary Institute of Norway vocational training of sommeliers and the wine trade, Weinakademie Österreich
(Austria) education for trade, producers and consumers alike, Haaga Wine School and HAAGA-HELIA University of Applied Sciences (Finland) represents the sector of tourism and hotel management schools, Frank Smulders Wijneducatie(Netherlands) and WineWise (Belgium) represent private wine schools resp. educators.

This first international "European Conference for Wine Education", was held from 28th to 29th May 2008 in Rust and was followed by master classes on wine science in Klosterneuburg resp. VIEVINUM wine fair in Vienna. EAWE established this conference as a platform for discussion of wine educational issues of international relevance and networking among wine educators. 40 Delegates from 16 European countries attended this conference and strongly expressed the desire for international cooperation on issues such as international standards in wine education, certification programmes for wine educators and wine and health issues.
This conference had rather the character of a round table discussion, so that delegates could better express their views on the topics discussed.
The need for continual professional development for wine educators and a strong link to academic research and science was one of the main conclusions of the conference. The future of a reliable wine education will strongly depend on these links.

As a result of this, EAWE has decided to develop from a rather loose working party into a formal association. This will enable EAWE to better focus on the challenges facing international wine education. The founding members shall start projects in developing some of the following issues: international standards in wine education, on-line wine education and accreditation and certification for trainers. All interested parties are welcome to participate in these projects.
There are plans to organize a European Conference for Wine Education on a regular basis and also to invest into infrastructure required. The director of Forschungsanstalt Geisenheim Dr. Klaus Schaller kindly offered office space and support through Campus Geisenheim. This German centre of excellence in wine research and education is not only a perfect academic home base for EAWE, but Campus Geisenheim will also host the second European Wine Conference for Wine Educators in 2009.

For further information, please contact: Dr. Josef Schuller MW, josef.schuller@weinakademie.at

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