India's First Wine, Food and Hospitality Website, INDIAN WINE ACADEMY, Specialists in Food & Wine Programmes. Food Importers in Ten Cities Across India. Publishers of delWine, India’s First Wine.
Skip Navigation Links
About Us
Indian Market
Wine & Health
Wine Events
Retail News
Contact Us
Skip Navigation Links
Wine Tourism
Book Review
Photo Gallery
Readers' Comments
Video Wall
Media Partners
Ask Wineguyindia
Wine & Food
Wine Guru
Gerry Dawes
Harvest Reports
Mumbai Reports
Advertise With Us
US Report on Indian Market Released
Top Ten Importers List 2015-16
On Facebook
On Twitter
Delhi Wine Club
Go for Geisenheim for Golden Wine Education

Posted: Monday, 08 September 2014 12:20

Go for Geisenheim for Golden Wine Education

Sep 08: Geisenheim University, one of the oldest and the most renowned institutions of Germany in enology and viticulture, is starting Bachelor of Science programme in International Wine Business in English from October 2014. It will offer a golden opportunity of education for the young Indians who want to make a career in the wine Industry, writes Subhash Arora who was invited to visit the University before judging at the MundusVini international wine competition a week ago

Click For Large ViewThere are scores of young Indian enthusiasts who are keen to make wine as a career and need formal college education to prepare for the golden period ahead, that will also require trained professionals. Never before has such a golden opportunity existed as today because the current session in October 2014 will be the first one and a few glitches here and there might need to be smoothened out. Practically speaking, the course is available in October 2015 and the time to start preparations is NOW.

The Bachelor’s programme (B.Sc. in ‘Internationale Weinwirtschaft’) in German was started in 2004 and several alumni are already absorbed in the industry as winemakers, export managers, marketing managers and some are already even wine entrepreneurs. Unfortunately for Indians, good working knowledge of German was a pre-requisite. The programme in English is designed for international students from wine growing and trading countries and affords a golden opportunity to gain comprehensive knowledge on all relevant aspects of the international wine business.

The curriculum focuses on world wine markets, including various aspects of marketing and economics, as well as obligatory modules in viticulture, enology and sensory evaluation, thus covering the complete value chain of the wine business, from ‘berry to the bottle’. Practical studies are, as in all Geisenheim programs, of vital importance with a close cooperation with companies in the areas of business development, business administration and marketing  which have been a long tradition in Geisenheim. About 40% of the course emphasis is in the viticulture and enology while the rest is devoted to Business Economics-the two main areas that have been the reason for the success of the German language programme Internationale Weinwirtschaft.

To graduate one requires at least 180 hour-credits in three years in 6 semesters out of a possible 250 or so offered. It includes an internship of at least 3 months between the second and third year. Normally a six months pre-study work experience is required. However, for this year an exception has been made and this work experience can be fulfilled within the first two years.

Visit to the University Geisenheim

Click For Large ViewProf Dr. Manfred Grossman, Vice President of the Hochschule Geisenheim University and Prof. Dr. Jon Hanf, in-charge of the English programme of the International Wine Business were ready in the conference room with a pot of coffee and the presentation as I reached the campus directly from the Frankfurt airport on my way to Neustadt to participate as one of the international judges at MundusVini. Prof. Grossman spent a lot of time with me in making the Presentation and answering all my queries. A specialist in micro-biology, he later showed me around the labs which though small in physical appearance have apparatus of international standing. Later, Dr Hanf gave me a tour of the campus, including the vineyards, class-rooms, library and a wine shop where the wines made by the students are actually sold! (Wine for thought for the politicians on the hot seats, Mr. Oommen Chandy and Mr V.M. Sudheeran of Kerala busy planning the prohibition in the State).

Relatively affordable

Click For Large ViewIt is an accredited tuition-free study program- useful for young students from India with a recognized high school certificate and 6-month internship with an approved company. The programme is in English although it is always a pleasure and desirable to study the local language. Since the wine business goes beyond national boundaries, it would eventually be a plus point for wine professionals to learn a foreign language. A one-time miscellaneous charge each semester of €295 includes free regional transport that includes travel to as far away as Frankfurt, about 60 kms away.

The spoiler comes in the form of the monthly expense of €700 (although my detailed enquiries reveal that one can survive on €500 a month also) for which currently the German embassy expects a proof of fund availability for the visa duration. Then there are insurance costs. Pretty sizable packet, that! Although I requested the senior faculty and administrators to consider allocating a few part-scholarships but that could take time and performance of Indian students for the initial years. However, this is perhaps less than the cost of stay in Australia (Univ. of Adelaide) or UC Davis, California. With the number of seats available limited to 30, though I was told this may be expandable in the English programme (the German programme has a strict limit of 30), a majority of them could be bagged by Indian hopefuls.

Collaboration with Indian Wineries

A programme like this can be useful for exchange of other activities –like cooperation between Geisenheim and some Indian wineries in their German speaking study program. Every year one or two students want to go to India for a 3-month internship; a foreign country internship is obligatory in this program. These students would become the best ambassadors for Indian wine in Germany in future. In fact one girl student  is already working with the Four Seasons Winery in Bangalore. A formal tie up would help understand each other’s requirement and also in fulfilling the visa requirements so that the German students really go back to Germany as convinced ambassadors of Indian Wines.

The Genesis

Click For Large ViewA delegation consisting of 8 Members of German Parliament visited India last year on an official tour. The German Embassy had requested Indian Wine Academy to conduct an Indian Wine Tasting for them. Not a stickler for formalities, they were invited to the residence of the President Subhash Arora when one of the parliamentarians, Dr. Erik Schweickert recognized him instantly. He has been a part of the contingent of the German wine judges at MundusVini where Arora has been judging for 8 years. His party lost in the recent elections and he is back to work. Professor Dr. Erik Schweickert is the counterpart of Prof Hanf in the German programme though he speaks English very well. The fellow judge was back to MundusVini Tasting this year and extended the invite for the visit. We exchanged some correspondence and voila! I was there at the University and we were together again in Neustadt for 5 days, discussing the possibilities of making this programme worthwhile for the Indian students.

German Parliamentarians visit Indian Wine Academy

Life at Geisenheim

The Geisenheim Campus in Germany has a very long tradition in both research and higher education, having been in existence since 1872, when it was founded as Royal Prussian Institute of Pomology and Viticulture. The university is highly acknowledged in the fields of Viticulture, Enology, Beverage Technology and, for more than 50 years, in Wine Business.

Geisenheim University is globally well known for its past and recent innovations which had and have a strong impact on the wine business throughout the world. Reasons for its business relevance and impact are that the University Geisenheim has its own production facilities from ‘Berry to Bottle'. For example, it has its own breeding station, has around 30 hectares of vineyards, a cellar that is equipped with the latest technology, disposes of well equipped sensory labs, and markets its own wine.

Life at Geisenheim would be similar to a small university town, except that Rheingau where it is located, is a beautiful area with a lot of wineries and 3,000 hA of vines, known for great dry Rieslings. A certain number of hours a week of work allowed according to the Visa requirements may also be helpful for relevant experience.

Geisenheim in MundusVini (the world of wines)

Click For Large ViewOne can find alumni of Geisenheim everywhere in Germany and beyond. Dr. Hanf shared an instance of a German journalist visiting South Africa during the FIFA World Cup in 2010. When he interviewed a winemaker, he did not say he had studied in Germany but Geisenheim! The reputation of this newly formed university (it was a merger of two institutions in 2012 to give it a University status so the PhD programmes might also be added). Although there are only about 1200 students, about 60 are currently working on the PhD programme. Many people you meet in the wine industry are alumni of Geisenheim. The Rheinhessen (biggest wine producing region of Germany) Wine Queen who I met at a visit to the Gröhl Estate during my stay later, is an alumnus.

Samih Dardouri is a Tunisian living in Tunis. He came to Germany in 1993-94 and after studying German and working as an intern in 1994-95 joined Geisenheim and studied viticulture and enology in 1995-99. He went back to Tunisia and worked as a winemaker with Les Vignerons de Carthage from1999 till July this year when he joined Magro Distributors as Brand Manager, buying wine and selling to hotels.

Manuella Webber-Witt is a petite and pretty Brazilian currently finishing her PhD in Geisenheim. She was studying Enology and Viticulture in Brazil and looking for an internship when she met Prof. Monika Christmann from Geisenheim, who invited her over. This was in February 2006. Manuella returned to Brazil and finished her Bachelor’s degree. She went back to Europe for her Master’s when Geisenheim helped her get admission to Montpellier for the programme called Vinefera which she finished in Madrid in 2008. She has been working for her PhD in Geisenheim since 2009 and is about to finish. It gives her many opportunities-judging at MundusVini being  one of them.

What next

A degree from Geisenheim will pave the way to a successful start in your career in the wine business- whether running your own family operation or leading teams within existing wine companies in India or possibly overseas. Geisenheim graduates (of German programme) are all working in different areas of marketing and management in the wine business, e.g., wine procurement management, product management, brand or sales management, export and import and market research.

There is also an opportunity of studying the Master’s Programme-Vinefera. It is a one year programme at Montpellier followed by another year at another place in another country- even in Geisenheim. A few Indian students are increasingly joining these programs, possibly because of the scholarships that might be more easily available.

Detailed information on curriculum, application procedures etc. of this program may be found on”. For degree program advice contact directly Dr. Jon Hanf at Please contact Dipl. Ing. Wilma Mattmüller-Schultz for pre-study work experience advice at If you know  any eligible young persons in India or overseas, do them a favour and inform them about the programme and tell them to contact either of them.

Subhash Arora

Disclosure- I spent a year in Germany as a ‘Praktikant’ (apprentice) after finishing my B.Tech. E.E. at IIT Delhi before going over to the USA and it is possible I may still be biased towards the country-editor

If you Like this article please click on the Like button   

Tags: Geisenheim University, today, Internationale Weinwirtschaft, Rheingau


Want to Comment ?
Please enter your comments in the space provided below. If there is a problem, please write directly to Thank you.

Generate a new image

Type letters from the image:

Please note that it may take some time to get your comment published...Editor

Wine In India, Indian Wine, International Wine, Asian Wine Academy, Beer, Champagne, World Wine Academy, World Wine, World Wines, Retail, Hotel


Copyright©indianwineacademy, 2003-2020 |All Rights Reserved
Developed & Designed by Sadilak SoftNet