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Alexander A. Kohnen (Photo: International Wine Institute)
Alexander A. Kohnen, Managing Director of the International Wine Institute (IWI) in Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, specifically addresses the situation in the gastronomy and hotel industry and first summarises the market situation: "Wine is in the consumers' favour. German wine consumption has been stable for years and the tendency of consumers to enjoy high-priced top wines is steadily increasing. Wine is also cost-intensive and requires a lot of advice. So wine education has a very high value." However, he identifies deficits in traditional hospitality education that the IWI can close: "Specialist knowledge and skills of employees are of utmost importance for businesses to be able to hold their own in the market. Professional wine training, for example, is not practised at German vocational schools in the catering and hotel industry," he said, adding that although the curriculum provides for the teaching of wine skills, what is actually applied to the trainees is "shockingly little". "The training company has a responsible task here. Therefore, professional development is of great importance. Young people realise that with sound knowledge they can make a career faster, earn more money and also experience recognition and appreciation as a sommelier," Kohnen argues.

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