How can European regions that are little known internationally hold their own in global wine marketing in the future? What are the success models with which small wineries can succeed in international competition? The project The Wine Lab worked on solutions for the burning questions of the industry.
A consortium of five EU countries met regularly for this purpose: Experts from Greece, Hungary, Italy and Cyprus. Austria was represented by the IMC Krems, where the bachelor degree programme International Wine Business has been running successfully since 2015.
Programme director Prof. (FH) Dr. Albert Stöckl welcomes the fact that our university of applied sciences is also involved at European level: "This project is the basis for ensuring that even small wineries benefit from the latest international research results and models. We are thus consistently following the IMC path of combining science and practice".
Idea Contest: Students visit wineries in the form of mystery visits
The EU project The Wine Lab ran until the end of 2019, and at the end of the project the participating students from all five countries were once again asked to prove their analytical skills in the Wine Lab Idea Contest. With a participative photo analysis they evaluated wineries in the vicinity of their university. Criteria included the selection of wines, pricing, friendliness and know-how of the staff.
The students of the IMC Krems visited the wine-growing regions Wachau, Kremstal, Weinviertel and Wagram for the contest. The students split up into smaller groups. Of the 22 participating students, 16 are international students. Among them "Wine Business" students from the Czech Republic, Slovenia, South Africa, France, Spain and Finland as well as "Incoming Students" - exchange students - from China, Hong Kong and Russia.
Stefan Vladimirov, Martina Wittmann and Alexander Leitner - all from IMC FH Krems - won the first three places with their contributions. In his conclusion, winner Stefan Vladimirov recommends wineries to invest in the training of their employees who present wines: "It is up to them whether a wine tasting will be an enjoyable experience."
International Wine Business at IMC Krems
The International Wine Business programme is the only one of its kind at a university of applied sciences in Austria. The course provides a business management basis, combined with specialist know-how from the wine industry.
The bachelor degree programme also has a high degree of internationality. Students benefit from the teaching language English and the possibility to spend a semester abroad at one of the partner universities of IMC FH Krems.