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WineTraining gears up for Malaga launch as demand for education soars

Published:  13 August, 2018

WineTraining is gearing up for its Malaga launch as demand for Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) courses across the world soars.

The new Spanish-based school – set to run its first course next month - follows the success of founder Raul Diaz’s UK WineTraining venture, set up in 2015, with the idea having sprung to mind because of the “many international students” booking courses at the London school.

In the past couple of years, Diaz said he had noticed “a real opportunity” to teach WSET courses abroad, with students taught in the last couple of months coming from several countries, including Germany, China and Spain.

In addition, Diaz wanted to promote wine education further using “a new platform”.

“The idea of a real 'wine experience' came across after several teaching trips that I did in continental Europe. The feedback was very positive and I thought that there was a real opportunity to offer something different to the regular WSET courses that we run on a monthly basis in the UK,” said Diaz, adding the expansion abroad felt “very natural”.

With the aim of providing a 'wine experience' for tourists while teaching local trade individuals at the same time, the Malaga school will in its first year offer the WSET Level 1 and Level 2 Award in Wines, with plans to add Level 3 next year.

The initial reaction to the Spanish school, which marks the first WSET approved provider in the city, had been “really positive, said Diaz, who admitted in the beginning thinking the project may be “a bit ambitious”.

“In essence, we are competing with the local providers in Spain and sometimes that can be difficult, but as the first WSET approved provider we felt we were offering some new, attractive but also unknown for the locals and things have moved in the right direction very quickly,” he said.

Since the launch of the UK school three years ago, the amount of foreign students attending WineTraining has grown to 20% a year.

The Malaga launch follows WSET data released at the beginning of this month that showed an 11% hike to 94,822 in the number of candidates taking a wine, spirit or sake course with the educational body on a global basis (year to 31 July 2018). The UK remained strong with a total of 19,460 candidates.

The WSET’s new and enhanced qualifications are due to launch in August, completing the separation of the qualifications into three distinct subject-matter streams - wine, spirits and sake.