ProWein joins forces with WSET on education initiative
A joint initiative between two drinks industry powerhouses – The Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) and ProWein trade fair – has resulted in 30 young wine professionals qualifying in their “Level 2 Award in Wines”, despite challenges thrown up by the pandemic.
A dynamic drinks industry needs a continual flow of fresh talent into its coffers, which is why WSET, the world’s largest education provider of wine, spirits and sake qualifications, joined forces with the mighty ProWein, leading international wine and spirits trade fair, to offer 30 young students the opportunity to deepen their wine knowledge. The hook-up has proven a resounding triumph.
Through a combination of self-learning, home tastings and Zoom classes, the wine enthusiasts aged between 22 and 27, who are just starting out on their professional paths, successfully acquired their “Level 2 Award in Wines”, providing an ideal springboard for their future careers.
The young talents hail from ten European countries including Belgium, Germany, France, Great Britain, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Switzerland and Spain, and have proved that studying and qualifying remotely for wine qualifications is highly possible.
“We have really enjoyed working with these talented young professionals from across Europe,” says Rachel Webster, business development director, EMEA WSET. “In a difficult year for the industry, running the course by video conference has allowed us to reach a wide and diverse audience, which has been new and exciting for us too. We’re looking forward to meeting the students in person at next year’s ProWein.”
In addition to the regular Level 2 curriculum, which includes learning about different grape growing options, production process, climatic conditions for vines, grape varieties, wine styles, wine storage and bottle ageing influence as well as basics in wine service and food pairing, the students were offered additional home tastings focused more deeply on specific wine regions.
More than 40 selected white, red, rosé, sparkling and liqueur wines were sent to the young experts. Furthermore, the students were offered an additional Zoom class during which they were able to learn about what goes on behind the scenes at ProWein.
“I am very happy we managed to launch an international initiative for young wine talents, despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the cancellation of ProWein 2021 it caused,” says Bastian Mingers, director of ProWein. “Originally, the final exam had been scheduled for the trade fair this year; this now had to be implemented online, which worked ever so well,” he adds. “But nothing can replace the real trade fair for providing fresh talent and seasoned professionals with a platform for networking, know-how and tasting.”
In the last academic year (2019/2020) nearly 100,000 candidates sat for a WSET qualification, ranging from beginner courses through to an expert level diploma, while around 6,900 exhibitors and 61,000 trade visitors attend the ProWein trade fair for wines and spirits each year.