For more than 25 years wine has been playing an increasingly important role, (buoyed by increases in leisure time, wealth and an increasing perception of wine as a health product), in our social and cultural lives. This has naturally led to an increase in its economic and social significance. This economic significance, with increasing sales, along with consumer desire for more information about wine, has meant that the wine trade has experienced a need not only for more, but especially for better-, and more specifically trained, wine professionals.
One of the most important goals we set ourselves in the formation of the EWA was to offer viticulture, wine production, wine business, marketing and management courses in a modern way by utilising up-to-date technologies.
We believe that in the wine and spirits industry there is far too little emphasis placed upon the proper training of wine and spirits professionals. Yet properly motivated and trained wine professionals could make a tremendous difference to the promotion of wine knowledge– and appreciation, thereby boosting wine and spirits sales.
A lot of careful thought and planning went into the design and content of these courses, we drew on the combined experience of people in the international wine and spirits trade.
EWA focuses on e-learning (distance education) wine courses, but we also offer a blended learning course as well: “Foundations of Wine Certificate”, (which is, though, subject to sufficient students registering).
Our courses are aimed at anyone seriously interested in wine: from amateurs and hobbyists to aspiring wine professionals.
Based on our research and feedback from students we have designed the courses to be of different levels of difficulty and lengths and to be flexible so that you can utilise them in the different branches of the wine industries.
In keeping with modern wine educational attitudes, we follow the so-called “whole-of-wine-chain” approach. In short, this means that our Wine Business students, for instance, are expected to also obtain a sound knowledge of the essentials of wine, wine tasting, and evaluation, oenology, vineyard and winery operations, in addition to a broad business, management, and marketing grounding. You cannot call yourself a wine professional if you only know something about the business side of the industry. If you want success in this industry you have to know your product, in all its idiosyncrasies and its development phases, from an unripe, greenish berry to a glorious finish in your glass! Googling it and accessing ad-hoc wine information from the internet will never be enough to become wine professional.
Practical field experience shows that the training of wine professionals should be far more specific than is generally offered by wine schools at present, and our range of courses reflect this vision.
Notwithstanding that our students follow these courses via e-learning, we believe that wine professionals should acquire strong wine sensory and tasting experience, as well as some on-site practical experience and training, even if this can (because of the e-learning format), only be of a limited nature.
Differences between Certificate and Associate Degree courses:
- As you can see from our range of wine courses some are very detailed and can as long as 120 lectures, called Associate Degree courses, but not everyone wants to know all the nuances and finer detail, they want the essence of the thing and so they will follow the shorter Certificate course. All Certificate courses (usually consisting of 40 lectures) are designed to be completed in about 1 year.
- In the same group, and covering basically the same study material, but in a far more detailed and wider manner, with more lectures, we offer the Associate Degree course (also called a Foundation course in the UK), which is comprehensive and content-based, and as with all our courses, includes some practical experience. It will consist of more lectures, from 72 to 120, and will normally take between 2 to 3 years to complete.
An explanation of some terms used in the course descriptions:
A compulsory Essay:
In most courses students are expected, by the end of their course, to submit an Essay, chosen from the extensive list of possible topics available on the platform. It will also count towards your required pass mark.
Compulsory wine tastings:
Students are expected to taste a minimum number of wines during the course, at home, (each course description will inform how many wines have to be tasted). During these tasting exercises, students will complete a Tasting Sheet which is available in the ‘Tasting Room’ on the platform, by using the detailed ‘Tasting Guide ‘ which is also on the platform. Once completed the student will upload it onto the platform for the tutors to grade it. 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 on-line examination at the conclusion of each module, or at the end of the course. This on-line examination is operated according to specific rules.
Compulsory 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.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.
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 and tastings. Details about this will be provided to students throughout the course. The course fees do not include any of these costs.
Optional Field Trips to a wine region, the intention being that during such Field Trip students get some hands-on, practical exposure to grapes, viticulture, winemaking 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.