Bekaa Valley Lebanon: Under the Patronage of his Excellency Mr. Akram Chehayeb, Minister of Agriculture, represented by Mr. Anwar Daou, Château Ksara, Lebanon’s oldest winery, and WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) announced on 10th of May that the internationally recognized WSET qualifications would be available in Lebanon.
Speaking at a reception at the Château Ksara’s winery in the Bekaa Valley, the home of the Lebanese wine making, Mr. Zafer Chaoui, Chairman of Château Ksara, introduced the project: “Château Ksara believes it is important, not only to make wine but to play a role in training the wine professionals of the future and creating a wine culture based on solid knowledge. The WSET is our partner in making this happen”.
Mr. Ian Harris, Chief Executive of WSET took the floor by saying: “The WSET is a truly international organisation and recently received the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade in recognition of our work in wine and spirit education around the world. This is made possible through our global network of Approved Programme Providers, of which Château Ksara is the first in Lebanon. We are delighted to be supporting them as they launch the first ever WSET courses in the country”.
Finally, the representative of the Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Anwar Daou concluded: “This cooperation should be commended, as it helps us to keep abreast of all the latest developments in the wine industry, making us even more proud of our heritage in this field”.
There then followed a tour of Château Ksara’s historic Roman caves and a lunch overlooking just some of the winery’s vineyards where over a dozen international varieties of grapes are grown.
Château Ksara is the first winery in Lebanon to give such renowned wine courses. The WSET was founded in 1969 to promote, provide and develop high-quality education and training in wines and spirits. It has grown into the foremost global provider of education and examinations in the field of wines and spirits. Lebanon, with the support of Château Ksara, is now part of this distinguished program, available in 18 different languages and 62 countries.
The WSET gives four levels of wine qualifications. Initially the first two wine courses will be offered in Lebanon on a twice a year basis. Also, for those who pass level 2, level 3 will be offered at a later stage.
Level 1 is offered to those who are new to the world of wine; it is an ideal beginner’s course aimed at those working in the wine industry as well as wine amateurs. It was given in two languages. The French session took place on Monday, May 11, 2015 and in English on Tuesday May 12, 2015.
Level 2 is more thorough and aimed at trade professionals and consumers alike. The course was held in English from Wednesday May 13 to Friday May 15, 2015.
Both levels were taught at the Sagesse University by Mr. Matthew Stubbs MW, Owner and Director of Vinicole -France.
Mr. Zafer Chaoui, Chairman of Château Ksara has made the following speech:
“His Excellency the Minister of Agriculture Mr.Akram Chehayeb represented by his Personnal Advisor, Mr. Anwar Daou, Mrs.Akram Chehayeb
His Excellency Engineer Louis Lahoud Director General of the Ministry of Agriculture
Today it gives me great pleasure to announce a historic partnership between Chateau Ksara and the Wine and Spirits Education trust, that will make one of the most respected series of professional wine qualifications available in Lebanon to amateurs and professionals alike. Such a step is essential to our national growth.
Chateau Ksara which was founded in 1857, believes it is important , not only to make wine but to play a role in training the wine professionals of the future and creating a wine culture based on solid knowledge. The WSET is our partner in making this happen.
We have come a long way in a short space of time. We have adopted new styles and techniques, while respecting our heritage, making wines for all palates and occasions that are enjoyed in over 30 countries. In short, the world now knows that Lebanon is a genuine and serious wine-producing nation. Therefore it is only natural that we offer aspiring wine professionals and those working closely with the industry the chance to acquire globally recognized qualifications.
With my family, we attended the first two levels and found not only the content fascinating and rewarding but the process relatively easy. And it was based on this experience that we are gathered here today.
The WSET is the undisputed world leader in wine and spirit education. The exams, which can be sat in either English or French, range from the basic one day Level 1 course, to the Level 4 three-year Diploma, a specialist qualification that is the stepping stone to joining the Institute of Masters of Wine of which there are only 318 members. More people have traveled to space!
The WSET diplomas, which in Lebanon should be awarded twice a year, in Spring and in the fall, can give students a clear understanding of wine, the world of wine, the regions and the grapes, and the international wine industry. This will be especially useful for those in hospitality and in those sectors that work closely with the wine industry, such as advertising, marketing and branding.
Meanwhile, we the wine producers can now insist that those who apply to work with us have sat for at least some of these exams. There is a course for everyone – from the curious amateur to the driven professional – and this can only help improve the all round knowledge of wine within our small but growing industry.
Today’s announcement represents another landmark in our development as an industry. Education has always been very close to our hearts and Lebanese have excelled all over the world in every conceivable profession. Chateau Ksara and the WSET can now contribute to our national knowledgebase to help a very old industry thrive in a very modern world.
I would like to thank you all for coming today to share with us this prestigious event. I would like to introduce Mr. Ian Harris, CEO of WSET who will say a few words about WSET and its exams.”
If you would like to register to the courses in September you can contact us on +9611200715