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Three budding winemakers and a novice

Benita Lobner, Alexander Türk and Agnes Mantler all come from successful winemaking families – and now they’re taking the next step by studying on the International Wine Business (IWB) programme. Industry newcomer Chris Sciacca is a big fan, too.

Porträt von Agnes Mantler, Chris Sciacca, Alexander Türk und Benita Lobner

Up-and-coming winemakers and a former manager: International Wine Business degree students Agnes Mantler, Chris Sciacca, Alexander Türk and Benita Lobner

Marketing, English and business – for Benita Lobner, it’s an unbeatable combination: “That’s why I enrolled on the International Wine Business degree programme in Krems,” says the winemaker from Mannersdorf an der March. “I had a sense that my qualification from the College of Wine Production in Klosterneuburg wasn’t the end of my education.” Benita is now in her second semester at IMC Krems. Looking back on her degree so far, she tells us: “Comparing notes with the professionals is great. It’s pretty obvious that they practice what they preach.” Her colleagues on the programme, like Alexander Türk from Stratzing, see it the same way. For him, the internship and the exchange semester were important reasons why he chose the IWB programme. In the third semester, he plans to study abroad in Florida and says: "An internship in viticulture is not possible there - but I can fine-tune my English."

Strategic impetus for wineries

All of the students agree that you can’t get anywhere as a winemaker without comprehensive basic training. “I’ve already picked up lots of tips, especially as far as strategy goes,” explains Agnes Mantler from Gedersdorf. And it’s not just the lecturers who bring business know-how to the table. Chris Sciacca, an experienced manager, also studies on the programme. As a newcomer to the industry, the International Wine Business degree is the perfect starting point for his career reboot: “My plan is to plant French grape varieties in the Kremsleiten area and collect my first harvest in 2025. I benefit from working with the other students, too. They have so much practical experience! That’s a real bonus on this degree programme.”

Insights into international winemaking

Regardless of whether they come from winemaking backgrounds, all of the students value the sensory assessment courses on the programme. “I can tell you where in the Kremstal valley 100 different Grüner Veltliners come from. But when it comes to Italy, for example, I know next to nothing. On the degree I learn something new every day, because we get a great insight into how wine is made around the world,” says Agnes Mantler. The students taste around ten different wines a week. 

Krems: the perfect location for a wine degree

Degree Programme Director Albert Stöckl is proud of the fact that so many budding winemakers choose to do a degree in Krems: “It’s the perfect place to study wine.” Alexander Türk agrees – the trip from his winery to the university only takes ten minutes!

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