(all with e-learning, via the platform)
 The successful wine marketer will sell the last bottle of wine at the highest possible price on the day before the succeeding vintage is released.’ - K. Moulton
(Is this you?!)

These are all e-learning courses, with no costs included for any workshops, Field Trips or practicums. Most are aimed at persons who have no previous experience. We have arranged them into 2 categories: course for those with no wine knowledge and those with wine knowledge.

Few people realize that wine is one of the world’s earliest trade commodities, but the technology supporting wine trade is more recent due to the fact that most wine producers used to sell their wines within 50–150 km from the wine production facility. It has now become global and cross-cultural, with the wine industry still trying figure out which are the correct methods to use in this global market. In this course students will learn about the various difficulties in and complexities of the trade in wine.

The marketing of wine is complex and sometimes tricky due to the fact that wine has a comparatively low value, is heavy and complicated to ship as wines easily suffer from ‘travel sicknesses. It is additionally a fragile product and being an alcoholic beverage, is invariably subject to governmental taxes and duties. These taxes are based on various items such as income-production for state coffers, prohibition and the production of local industries. It is therefore important that wine producers develop well-considered marketing, trade and export strategies.

We have divided this range of courses into 2 main sections: the 1st section is for students who have no prior wine qualification and the 2nd obviously for those that do so have an appropriate wine qualification.

For obvious reasons we do not use the same course names, so, to distinguish between the two sections, the courses are named slightly differently, but the essential difference remains the same, i.e. that in the second section students already have an appropriate wine qualification and knowledge.

Category1: (No prior wine knowledge required)


Certificate in Wine Essentials, Business & Marketing (40x lectures - no prior wine knowledge required)

This course is designed for anyone who wishes to start up her/his own wine business or to follow a professional wine career in the wine trade, specializing in sales, as a manager, as a representative, sales person, or shop assistant. It is a modular course which allows persons with no wine knowledge to first gain such knowledge and training, followed by a specialist module on wine marketing, wine business and management, wine trading, and so becoming a qualified wine business professional.

It consists of:
  • 40 lectures and assignments divided into 2 Modules:

    • Module 1: covers wine essential topics, a few examples: sensory evaluations and tasting, wine styles, the world of wine, & consumption, wine labels, international regional classifications, sommeliership, cellar management, wine & food pairing, terroir, as well as a separate section on viticulture and one on wine production. This module also offers a basic understanding of the major grapes used for making wine and their discerning characteristics, the influence of climate and viticulture, as well as lectures on sweet wines, fortified, sparkling wines, spirits and liqueurs.
    • In Module 2 we cover the following specialist topics: General Marketing Principles, Distribution & Place, Pricing, Marketing Communications, Personal Selling, Wine Consumption and Consumer behaviour, Building and Positioning a Premium Wine Brand, Principles of SCM - SCM in the wine industry, Management of SME’s, Stock Management, Wine Packaging and Marketing, Direct Wine sales, eMarketing, Principles of Business Law - Observing local legislation and regulations -Labour Relations & Laws - Negotiating principles.

The following aspects are also covered in this course:

  • A portfolio of 60 wines that have to be tasted during the course
  • An Essay
  • On-site Training of 20 hours
  • An examination at the conclusion of the course
  • Optional tutored workshops and optional field trip 

Associate Degree in Wine Essentials, Business & Marketing (80x lectures - no prior wine knowledge required) 

This is an in-depth course, somewhat similar to the Certificate course above, but in much greater depth and detail, especially as regards the wine marketing and business aspects. It starts off with the Essential module which covers all-important basic wine knowledge.

It is designed for anyone who wishes to start up her/his own wine business or to follow a professional wine career in the wine trade, in wine trading, importing & exporting, specializing in sales, as a manager, as a representative, sales person, or shop assistant.

It consists of:

  • 80 lectures and assignments divided into 3 modules, which allow persons with no wine knowledge to first gain such knowledge and training.

    • Module 1: covers general wine knowledge topics, a few examples: sensory evaluations and tasting, wine styles, the world of wine, & consumption, wine labels, international regional classifications, sommeliership, cellar management, wine & food pairing, terroir, as well as a separate section on viticulture and one on wine production. This module also offers a basic understanding of the major grapes used for making wine and their discerning characteristics, the influence of climate and viticulture, as well as lectures on sweet wines, fortified, sparkling wines, spirits and liqueurs.
    • Modules 2 & 3:These two detailed specialist modules focus on Wine Marketing and Business, which covers not only the essentials of marketing wine business and management, but, amongst others, also consumer research, branding, direct sales, imports and exports, international wine trading, Managing Human Resources, Management of SME’s, Managing a Retail or Wholesale Outlet, Stock Management, Supply Chain Management, Implementing workplace health, safety and security procedures, Business Law, Environmental & Socially Aware Aspects, Principles of Business Management, Microeconomics & Macroeconomics, Accounting principles & Financial analysis, Investment, cash management and financing investments.

  • A portfolio of 90 wines that have to be tasted during the course
  • A Thesis
  • On-site Training of 40 hours
  • An examination at the conclusion of each module
  • Optional tutored workshops
  • Optional Field Trip to a wine region 

Certificate in Wine Tourism (40x lectures- no previous experience required)

Wikipedia gives a good summary of this field: “Wine tourism refers to tourism whose purpose is or includes the tasting, consumption, or purchase of wine, often at or near the source. Wine tourism can consist of visits to wineries, vineyards, and restaurants known to offer unique vintages, as well as organized wine tours, wine festivals, or other special events.

Many wine regions around the world have found it financially beneficial to promote such tourism; accordingly, growers associations and others in the hospitality industry in wine regions have spent significant amounts of money over the years to promote such tourism. This is true not only to "Old World" producers (such as Spain, France or Italy), but also for the so-called "New World wine" regions (such as Australia, Argentina, or Chile), where wine-tourism plays an important role in advertising their products. In Argentina, for example, the Mendoza Province is slowly becoming one of the top tourist destinations in the country as Argentine wine strides to gain international recognition.”

In a recent article Wine Business Monthly stated:

Results from Wine Business Monthly's second annual Tasting Room Survey indicate that tasting rooms continue to be the most important profit centres for wineries. As brand competition intensifies, wineries, more than ever, are seeing the importance of attracting and holding onto loyal patrons, and are thus turning a critical eye toward maximizing every opportunity inside their tasting rooms.

Highlights from this year's survey data reveal that 59 percent of winery tasting rooms are now charging a fee for tastings (8 percent more than last year).Tasting room sales continue to make up a significant portion of all winery sales. 43% of total sales for California, Oregon and Washington wineries come from the tasting room, as do 68% of total sales from other states' wineries.”

This, and other research, clearly indicates that in almost all wineries (there has been an incredible increase in new wineries in the past years, and an even greater explosion is occurring in India and China- in India alone wine consumption has increased 200% since 2006!) so-called Cellar Door (selling own wine from the wine producer’s cellar via wine tourism)sales have become a vital selling method and it is therefore not surprising that properly qualified staff are becoming highly sought after at such wineries.

In this course you will learn all the essentials about wine, viticulture, the major varietals, wine service and winemaking in Module I, in addition, and importantly, a wine professional obviously has to have some experience in the tasting of wine and it is an important goal of this course to give students as much tasting experience as possible. That is why we instituted a system whereby you will get to regularly practise your wine tasting skills.

In Module II you will cover all relevant aspects relating to Wine Tourism and Cellar Door sales such as marketing skills, tasting, wine presentation, which local wines harmonise or pair well with local or traditional dishes, dealing with customers etc., plus via the Essay (see below) you will become familiar with your own wine region, and explore its possibilities for wine tourism.

Finally, as will be seen below, students are expected to acquire some practical hands-on experience.

This course therefore consists of: 

  • 40 weekly lectures with compulsory Assignments. The 40 lectures are divided into 2 modules:

    • Module 1 is called “The Essence and Fundamentals of Wine” and provides an introduction to all the fundamental basics of wine, viticulture, vinification and the sensory evaluations that are frequently overlooked when drinking wine. You will study the different components of wine appearance, aroma, and flavour. This module offers a basic understanding of the major grapes used for making wine and their discerning characteristics, the influence of climate and viticulture, the basics of winemaking, as well as an introduction to fortified, sparkling wines and liqueurs.
    • Module 2 focuses on the subjects that will give a student the necessary professional skills, and on the practical side of this profession. These will include topics such as: Conducting a Specialised Tasting, Cleaning and tidying Tasting areas, Providing Responsible Service Of Alcohol, Interacting with Customers, Leading and managing people, teaching Job Skills, Working with Colleagues and Customers, Dealing with conflict situations , Following Health, Safety and Security Procedures & Regulations, Arranging & managing functions, Stock & Cellar management, Managing a Tasting room, Financial aspects & Basic book-keeping, Pouring & managing Wine & spirits, Wine Tourism, Conducting a Cellar Tour, Conducting a Vineyard Tour, Design and layout of a Wine Cellar Sales Outlet, Commercial transactions, Wine exports promotions etc.
  •  A compulsory Research Essay on the Wine Tourism of a Wine Region.This will be a practical exercise in which you do research on the situation of wine tourism in your own, or any other, wine region. This has to be handed in at the end of your course and will also count towards your required pass mark.
  • Compulsory wine tasting sessions:Students are expected to taste a minimum of 60 wines. During these tasting exercises you will complete a Tasting Sheet which is regularly sent in to your tutor via the e-learning platform. In the ‘Tasting Room’ of the platform you will receive all Tasting Sheets as well as a “Tasting Guide” which shows you, in simple terms, how to do such a tasting of still wines, sparkling wines and spirits.
  • A compulsory examination at the conclusion of the course.
  • Ccompulsory 20 hours of On-site Training: In keeping with our intention of preparing our students so that they get the maximum amount of experience and so that they could possibly use this qualification to obtain employment in the wine industry, this compulsory section will give a student very good, hands-on, practical experience by allowing them to work, on a casual basis, in a suitable wine business environment, preferably in a winery’s Tasting Room. If possible students following this course should apply to any local wine Estate, Cellar or Producer to find temporary employment which will then qualify as on-site training. However it is not always possible for students who live in non-wine regions, to contact such a Wine Cellar or Producer, and those students may therefore, as an alternative, apply to any local wine shop, bottle store, retail outlet, restaurant, wine bar, pub or hotel, which dispenses wine, to find temporary employment which will then qualify as on-site training. All of this is however subject to the following:

    • it has to be a wine business pre-approved by your tutor.
    • During the duration of the course the student must spend a minimum of 20 hours working in such an establishment 
    • The potential employer must be prepared, at the conclusion of the on-site training period, to sign a confidential Form (which we send directly) which confirms the total number of hours the student has worked and which also gives a professional assessment of the student’s commitment and level of expertise attained.
    • students are warned that such possible employers may not be prepared to pay for such on-site practical training and if necessary students must be prepared to do such on-site training without payment!
    • in the event of a student living in a region which typically does not have any wine businesses where such on-site training can be followed, students may be allowed to submit a separate project (to be determined by the tutor) in lieu thereof. But students will have to ask the Academy for permission to do so!
  • Optional tutored workshops:This is where we discuss any possible problems, new developments or techniques and taste at least 8 wines. This is obviously optional as it may not always be possible, given that students may be following this course in various parts of the world, to get sufficient numbers of students together to conduct such workshops & tastings. Details about this will be provided to students throughout the course. The course fees do not include any of these costs.
  • Optional Field Trip to a wine region, the intention being that during such Field Trip students get some hands-on, practical exposure to grapes, viticulture, wine making or other related practical experience. This is usually of at least 3/4 days duration. Obviously these Field Trips are also optional and will depend on how many students wish to attend such Field Trip. 

As you can see from the wide range of lectures, upon completion of this course you will have acquired a substantial amount of knowledge about, not only wine, but also about various specialist areas of your chosen profession. You will be exposed to all elements involved in the wine business including viticulture, vinification, and regional appellation laws. In addition, you will build on your organisational, marketing and tourism skills, also on people management and other practical skills. Finally, you will acquire management skills and knowledge about the business side to your profession, enabling you to obtain gainful employment.

Category 2: (Prior wine knowledge IS a requirement)

All of the following courses require that the student already has a sound basic knowledge of wine. Such prior wine knowledge would consist of the following topics: sensory evaluations and tasting, wine styles, the world of wine, & consumption, wine labels, international regional classifications, sommeliership, cellar management, wine & food pairing, terroir, as well as a separate section on viticulture and one on wine production. Such an Essential module also offers a basic understanding of the major grapes used for making wine and their discerning characteristics, the influence of climate and viticulture, as well as lectures on sweet wines, fortified, sparkling wines, spirits and liqueurs.
 

Certificate in Wine Business & Marketing (40x lectures)

This course, which has 3 modules, is aimed at persons who have a sufficient understanding and knowledge of wine and who wish to qualify themselves in the sometimes-tricky world of international and local wine marketing, import-export and trading.

It consists of:

  • 40 lectures and assignments which covers, in 3 modules, amongst others, the general principles of wine business & marketing, the major wine regions, consumer research, branding, pricing, direct sales, wine exporting strategies, distribution, cellar door sales, category management, managing human resources, advertising, eMarketing, supply chain management, Financial aspects, Legal aspects and issues, etc.The following aspects are also covered in this course:
  • a portfolio of 60 wines that have to be tasted during the course
  • An Essay
  • On-site Training of 20 hours
  • An examination at the conclusion of the course 


Associate Degree in Wine Business & Marketing.
(80x lectures)

There is a great need in the wine industry for properly trained marketing people, and at all levels. Marketing expertise has become an indispensable part of the modern wine professional’s necessary and indispensable skills.

This course aims to equip students for a wide range of middle- to senior management level marketing careers in the international wine & spirits industry. Please Note: It is also aimed at those who wish to set up their own wine-related business.

This is an advanced course, and requires students to apply themselves in a serious manner.

This course is modular and assumes that students are already in possession of the necessary basic wine knowledge, as envisaged in the Basic Essentials of Wine course. Students will nevertheless have to convince the Academy that they do indeed have that necessary basic wine knowledge. Kindly therefore forward us a detailed motivation, including dates, places and names etc. of such training or practical experience, and for obvious practical reasons please forward such motivation to us soonest by email.

It is no problem if they in fact do not have that basic wine knowledge of the Basic Essentials of Wine course it does mean that it has to be added on to this course’s curriculum (set out below) and that the student must first complete that basic course before commencing with the first part of this course.

It consists of:

  • 80 lectures and assignments divided into modules in which we focus on Wine Business & Marketing. It covers all the fundamentals of wine marketing, wine business and management, but then investigates the course material in detail. Below is a list of some (not all) of the topics covered:

    • Category management
    • Balancing growth in the wine market
    • The importance of a good reputation in the wine industry.
    • Delivering Value to the customer
    • Keeping track of your retail sales
    • Wine Consumption and Consumer behaviour
    • Researching your Customer
    • Importing & Exporting strategies & Global Wine Marketing
    • Demographics and how Consumers select wine
    • The major wine regions from a trade perspective,
    • Marketing Strategies
    • Traditional and non-traditional marketing strategies.
    • The Effect of Wine Production on Marketing
    • Wine Packaging, Labelling and Marketing
    • Building, positioning and managing a Premium Wine Brand
    • Pricing and Programming
    • Wine Media and Public Relations
    • Advertising
    • Direct Wine sales
    • Wine Tourism & Cellar Door Sales
    • Strategic planning for a wine business
    • Selling Strategies
    • e-Marketing wine via internet & social media
    • Selling wine: Supermarket groups
    • Selling wine: wine Speciality shops
    • Wine supply chain management
    • Human resources in the wine industry
    • Financial aspects
    • Business Law,
    • The management of SME’s,
    • Managing a Retail or Wholesale Outlet,
    • Stock Management,
    • Implementing workplace health, safety and security procedures,
    • Principles of Business Management,
    • Microeconomics & Macroeconomics,
    • Accounting principles & financial analysis, Investment, cash management and financing investments.
    • Evolving issues and the future of wine business & marketing

In addition the course also consists of the following: 

  • A portfolio of 90 wines that have to be tasted during the course
  • A Thesis
  • On-site Training of 40 hours
  • An examination at the conclusion of each module
  • Optional tutored workshops