European Wine Academy

About Us

Mission & History

EWA’s inception can be traced back to 2002 when DD Koch, our founder, having completed his wine studies at the

1st Course, Brussels 2002

Université du Vin de Suze-la-Rousse in France, formed the European Wine Academy and initiated wine education courses in Europe and the UK where courses were delivered at the Commonwealth Academy and Blake Hall College in London.

Learning wine tasting

In 2004, EWA decided to focus mostly on e-learning and today it is firmly established as an international wine school (with roots in European wine traditions) and offering wine courses that are academically, we think, a cut above the rest – we certainly aim to educate you properly about wine, not only amuse you.  Wine is fun of course, but it is also a fascinating organic thing that can empower and enrich your life. We try to make our lectures accessible and interesting, but they must also have proper information and learning material. And it must be up to date. Our founder remembers: “I was in class one night, in one of the many wine courses I was following, when the teacher told us that that evening we were going to study Piemonte. So, he simply drew a very bad map of Italy on the blackboard (it looked more like a Wellington boot that had been trampled by an elephant!) and vaguely pointed to the North of this ‘map’ of Italy, stating that that was where Piemonte was located. I was really shocked that this was how wine education was being offered in the 21st century, and the idea of EWA was born that night”

We do not sell wine or any wine-related apps or accessories, we are only interested in wine education and training and that is why we are totally independent from any drinks company or wine estate.

Our Tutors

Over the years we have had the privilege of being able to call on the help of some highly-regarded wine professionals in designing our courses and tutoring. That includes an American wine professor, a Wine Master and some excellent wine makers and tutors.

Our founder and director, DD Koch is a SA-born Belgian who previously practised as a lawyer but became involved in exporting wine from his birth country after qualifying with an ‘Advanced Certificate in Wines’ from the Cape Wine Academy. His family have a wine and grape farm in the Cape. He operated a wine

Wine Judge

shop/bar and he exported wine as well. In a  weekly podcast on East Coast Radio he discussed wine matters with celebrities.

Weinakademiker dinner, Geisenheim Univ, with 3 MW’s

After emigrating to Belgium in 1998, he started up a successful wine import business, and wine shop, specializing mostly in New World Wines, but soon realised that he enjoyed wine teaching and tutoring even more. So, he started following various international wine courses in 1999 when he started a 3-year wine course and qualified in 2002 (as the top student) as a Sommelier-Conseil of the Université du Vin, Suze-la-Rousse in France. During this time, he also did a 2-year wine course in Belgium: ‘World Wine Master’, of the Flemish Wine Institute. Having passed the other WSET qualifications he then passed its ‘Diploma WSET’ course in 2007. On the basis of the WSET Diploma he was invited to write and defend a thesis was awarded the title of ‘Weinakademiker of Germany and Austria in 2008.

In 2003 he was instrumental in setting up the Wine & Food

Attending a Viticulture course with Dr Richard Smart
Teaching wine tasting, Beijing

Department of the Commonwealth Academy in London. He subsequently also offered weekly wine courses at Blake Hall College in London. Discussions were also held with prof Boatta of the Padua University in connection with the possibilities of working together. However, EWA intended to also teach wine marketing and viticulture & winemaking, and wanted to reach students that normally could not attend courses so the decision was made to concentrate on distance learning. And so he completed two other appropriate courses: ‘Introduction to Winemaking’ at the University of California, Davis and in 2004 the ‘Certificate in Distance Education’ of the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the USA.

Teaching, Commonwealth Academy, London

He has travelled widely and visited many wine regions, including those of China, where he lectured young Chinese winemakers on viticulture. He was interviewed on Chinese television on the potential of China’s wine industry and held guided wine tastings/workshops in Beijing and Kunming.

Apart from his experience in the wine industry as an importer-exporter and in international wine marketing & retailing, and obviously teaching for more than 22 years, this former lawyer has been a wine judge for the “Concours Mondiale du Vin Bruxelles” and the prestigious ‘International Wine & Spirits Competition’ of the UK.

Bernice Harington-Fuller is a professional winemaker and consultant in wine-related activities, including wine education and training, spirits distillation and wine marketing.

After completing her oenological (winemaking) degree (B.Sc. Agric in Viticulture and Oenology) she worked as winemaker and viticulturist in many wine regions such as California, France, New Zealand, South Africa, Chile and Australia. She has also been involved in wine marketing and hosted Winemakers’ Dinners at wine shows such as VinExpo and the London Wine Trade Fair. Her professional activities in the wine industry covers the whole spectrum, from small wine producers, to consulting and working for a large multinational wine company.

Regarding wine educational and training Bernice has taught and assessed extensively to upskill winery and vineyard workers (amongst other agricultural sectors). She has also acted as:

  • a course work developer,
  • facilitator and assessor for various wine appreciation courses, as well as
  • courses in understanding vineyard and wine production techniques.

During her studies, Bernice worked as wine tasting assistant and cellar tour hostess for a prominent winery. Additionally, she completed these courses too: ‘Wines of the World’ (from SA Wine Academy) and ‘Integrated Production of Wine’ (from SAWIS).

Bernice has a personal interest in spirits and distillation and has hosted courses on craft distillation of vodka, gin and brandy. She has visited and explored various wine regions in Argentina and England, and has also hosted wine tasting talks and dinners in Ireland.

She currently lives in the UK.

Teri Wheeler is a professional Wine Educator, Marketeer, Writer, and Consultant and grew up amongst the vineyards of McLaren Vale, Australia; so, the pull into the wine world was perhaps inevitable.

After finishing a double Diploma in Business and in Travel & Tourism Management at the TAFE university in Australia she gained valuable experience in the hospitality industry. Whilst living in the wine capital of Australia, she arranged and attended regular wine tastings, quiz nights, wine tours and wine making on an informal basis. 

Teri then started wine training and followed the WSET courses (she is currently completing the WSET Diploma – the 4th level at WSET and the qualification that is a requirement for Master of Wine, as well as the Italian Wine Scholar qualification) and gained vast experience in various relevant aspects by working for some of Australia’s most famous wine companies, such as Penfolds, Coriole VineyardsBickfords and becoming an Ambassador for D’Arenberg

During the years of COVID she worked for the largest global wine ecommerce app Vivino, where she managed Australian merchants and wineries using the site to sell and market their wines; also gaining an in-depth insight into wine marketing, business and the importing and exporting of wines. 

Teri lived in Europe for a couple of years where she taught WSET courses and also started a wine consultancy business, assisting wine companies needing assistance in procurement, marketing assistance, business and also wine writing. 

Now back in Australia, she continues to teach WSET wine courses at TAFE university, operates a wine consultancy business and works part time as a Business Development Manager for a wine merchant. She also writes about wine for many global publications.

Brent Bartlett, an independent Wine Consultant and one of the top sommeliers of Britain and Europe, (he has worked at high-end Michelin-starred restaurants in France and the UK), was born in the famous wine region of Constantia.

Whilst he has vast experience in sommeliership, as well as in wine business, consultancy and marketing, (see below) he recently also started training in viticulture and wine production. He has studied wine at WSET, the Cape Wine Academy, and viticulture and wine production at EWA.

A quick look at his experience shows that he has not limited himself only to promoting, serving and marketing of wines, but has always been involved in promoting new wines, new regions and exploring new ways of appreciating and understanding wine. In addition, he focuses on the business and commercial aspects of wine.

In 2015 Brent founded ‘The Vine Noble’ a wine magazine which has orchestrated unique fine wine experiences in addition to offering specialist services that are vital to the development of wineries or independently owned fine wine production. The Vine offers a curated service, unique to client’s specific requirements and expectations.

He has also worked as Head or Second Sommelier at other Michelin-star restaurants such as the Trinity Restaurant, London (1* Michelin & Three AA Rosettes, where they specialized in sought-after fine & rare ‘Old World’ wines), Restaurant JAN, Nice, France – (1* Michelin) and restaurant Joël Robuchon, Hôtel Metropole, Monte-Carlo – (2* Michelin).

Brent Bartlett was until recently based in London, where he worked as Head Sommelier at St. James’s Hotel and Club (which has 1* Michelin & Four AA Rosettes) in Mayfair. Before moving to London, Brent was living in Nice, France whilst working at Restaurant JAN. Brent has had the privilege of working with some of the best fine wine producing estates and independent wine producers and he has spent time in and worked harvests in the renowned wine regions of France, Italy, Spain, the Cape and Germany. As part of his consultancy and sourcing of fine and interesting wines he has visited most of the wine regions, such as Georgia and most recently Turkey.

He has also a contributor to the JHP Gourmet Guide, an online magazine read by chefs, restaurant owners, wine lovers and foodies. This quarterly publication updates readers with international and local food news.

STUDENT TESTIMONIALS

‘As a personal note, I’d like to say how much I’m enjoying the course so far, and how well-researched the lectures are – I struggled to find much relevant new material outside of the lecture notes this time around! I look forward to lecture 6’.
James Lambert (professional wine maker) Associate Degree Wine Production 2009-2010

“I am pleased that one can do online studies nowadays. As I have family and a small baby, I was very happy when I found these wine courses and that is why I registered at EWA. I am very happy that I can get a profession staying at home with my small daughter, but at the same time working hard on my wine course! Of course, I try to do my best, tasting different wines, combining with various foods!
Any question I have on the EWA platform gets an answer very quickly! The assignments are graded objectively and the feedback from the professor is clear and goes to the heart of the smallest, but very important things. The more you read the more it involves you in the wine
world!”– 
Tatev Kaghketsyan (International Certificate Wines & Spirits-2014) Belarus

I have learnt more about wine from Mr Koch than anybody else & I personally think it is because of his love for wine itself. Once someone has the same interest in a subject it is far more easily comprehended. His comprehensive knowledge, enthusiasm & passion for wine is contagious to all students”. 
Janine Albertyn -UK 2006

“It took me a while to complete this course in International Wine & Spirits, mainly due to many travel commitments. But the support and cooperation of EWA have made this the most rewarding and enjoyable course I have ever done. The diverse course content, blend of assessment methods and detailed assignment feedback has made this a very comprehensive and inspiring course. I’ve gained a wealth of knowledge in something that I’m very passionate about and I’d highly recommend EWA for anyone wanting to develop professionally in the wine industry. Thank you, EWA” – 
Gemma George (International Certificate in Wine & Spirits 2018) Vietnam & St Helena

“This wine course has been great for me. I realized that there was one particular course that I was more interested in, the Wine Regions of the world and I am absolutely loving every minute of it, the course gives a broad overview of the many different new and Old-World wine regions of the world and allows you to learn in your own way, at a pace you can manage. I was worried that it would be too basic. However, it wasn’t at all, it covered much more than I ever knew existed. I think it would be a great stepping stone to some of your other courses too. Great course, great staff at EWA. Thank you.”
Francis Manning, UK, (‘Wine Regions’) 2024

EWA was a fabulous experience. Thanks to this certificate, I can finally begin an adventure within the wine market. The knowledge and expertise shared by EWA with students present the possibility of realizing new purposes and objectives. Lessons are clear and well explained, with many significant examples coming from the real world, the staff is prompt and helpful, ready to support, at any time. I am glad I have picked EWA to complete my studies. It was the right choice. I will soon come to study some more.” 
Paolo Arienti. (Wine Business & Marketing, UK-2019).

This course has been very, very good so far, I think that more practicals should be involved though. The reading material is excellent and never boring, and I’ve learned so much from the wine tastings as well. This has been fun so far!!!”Ilse Distin, Cape Town & London

“I am almost one third along with my course, and I am amazed of all that I have learned. The course is extensive, very interesting but also very challenging and time consuming, since I am doing this along with working fulltime as a journalist, have children and grow wine grapes and produce some wine in Italy. But the EWA and the tutors are very understanding, motivating and flexible which give me courage to continue. They also respond very quickly when I have questions. I can definitely recommend the course to anyone with a serious interest and motivation to learn in detail about wine and wine production”. –Anne Fredrikstad, Journalist- Oslo, Norway – Certificate in Wine Essentials, Viticulture and Wine Production Aug 2010.

I really enjoyed the course. I can now join in on a wine conversation!!! I thought the course was great. It was easy to understand, easy to combine the theory with some practical exercises and very well put together. It also explained the different parts of winemaking in an interesting and learnable way. I would recommend this course to anyone who wants to expand his/her knowledge in the wine business!!! Thanks for a brilliant course!!”-Marese Verwey

“The lectures are structured well which helped me to understand the material. The questions from the assignments can be challenging but it is not overly challenging as all the information that you need to answer the questions are in the lecture. EWA isn’t too strict on the due date for your work just try to complete an assignment every 2 weeks and you’ll be fine.”
Altus Kriel, 2023 – Certificate Essentials, Viticulture, Wine Production & Business

Field trip was great; everything you learn makes so much more sense if you’ve actually seen it. The course itself is of a high standard, since even my Principal at the Chef’s school said it looks more like a Diploma course not just a Certificate.”-Charlene Wallis– Durban

I think the website, content for the course, update material and the way everything is run is superb. It really fits the bill for me as I can only study when things are quiet work wise and it allows me the flexibility. I have started the EWA distance learning course “AD Essentials, Viticulture and Wine Production”. Based on my experience with going through two lectures and writing of two related assignments, I can share certain observations: firstly, I think that the level of details and, specifically, the way how the learning materials were presented was definitely above a “just-an-average-course” level; I need to admit that the idea with regular writing assignments works pretty well – it took me about a day per assignment to complete the answers and I feel that such re-reading of the lectures going along with reading of additional relevant literature and, especially, putting the answers on paper really helps to absorb and digest the information;; last, but not least – the Platform itself is intuitively understandable and easy to use. I have received pretty sizeable instructions on how it works, but, in fact, they are not that needed – having played with the buttons for, literally, half an hour, I got all the comfort needed to navigate throughout the Platform. So, just 118 of 120 lectures/assignments to go and I am there…”
Gregory Epishkin – (AD Essentials, Viticulture & Wine Production – 2014) Moscow