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Wine Board of Ireland to "cease... educational activities"

I'm too surprised even to make a smart-alecky remark about "precipitateative".

This is really very bad news.

30th June 2009

Wine Board of Ireland - Announcement

Due to a precipitateative decline in student numbers a decision has been taken to cease the educational activities of the Wine Board of Ireland from 31st July 2009. We greatly regret this decision and the impact it will have on our employees, tutors, members, students and all other stakeholders.

The Directors of the Wine & Spirit Education Board, the governing body of the Wine Board, would like to thank the staff and tutors of the Wine Board for their dedication and support over many years. They would also like to thank the thousands of students who have advanced their wine and spirit education through the Wine Board and consequently raised the standard of knowledge in the Irish marketplace. The wine and spirit trade have also provided excellent support and guidance, which is greatly appreciated. It is unfortunate and regrettable that current economic circumstances and the decline in student numbers do not permit the maintenance of the valuable service given by the Wine Board over many years.

Current students and those who have booked courses will be contacted shortly to make suitable arrangements.

For further information contact:
Mike Finegan, Director, Wine Board of Ireland.
Tel: (01) 475 7580
Email: mike@wineboard.ie

9 thoughts on “Wine Board of Ireland to "cease... educational activities"”

  • Will

    This is a huge disappointment, and a big loss for the wine lover in Ireland.

    What other functions does the wine board provide outside of their educational function?

  • Julian

    You said it, Will.

    I refer people to the Wine Board as an impartial, Ireland-specific source of advice when I'm asked who imports a particular wine, mostly.

    They also compile and analyse facts and figures about the trade, providing an overview of trends from year to year.

    The wine courses were the big thing, though. Judging by the number of enquiries I get on the subject of when and where such courses are held, I think I spy a recently opened gap in the market.

  • Anthony

    this is awful news. so where would one go now if they want to be educated in wine? i was going to do my diploma this october. im very very sad!

  • Paul

    Where do you start with that "precipeative" (or whatever) thing? I did them a favour and just changed it to "precipitous" whenever I quoted them.

  • Elke

    That is huge - a decision I can't really understand. Thought they might come up with other ideas eg. reducing the course fees to enable more people to sign up or even get funding otherwise. That is really a big decision.

    Julian.....is that a business idea BB like to explore???

  • Julian

    Howdy folks,

    Anthony - I'm not sure where things might go from here. There's a gap in the market all right, but whether it's healed over before the autumn is anyone's guess. I should have thought if the tutors (who have presumably enjoyed their WSET income up until now) put their heads together, they could come up with some kind of facsimile for the sub-diploma qualifications. The Diploma is too much of a commitment not to be properly certified. Petitions to the WSET, perhaps, whose website currently offers this information:

    WSET is working to ensure continuity of provision in Ireland. For enquiries about the closure of WBI as a WSET Provider please contact David Wrigley dwrigley@wset.co.uk With regard to WSET provision in Ireland from 01 August 2009 please contact Jude Mullins jmullins@wset.co.uk

    Paul - if precipitate knotted their fingers on the keyboard, rapid or sudden woulda done the trick, surely? While the Wine Board ponders its future, it could do worse than copy out Fowler's advice ten times in its best handwriting.

    Elke - I do agree with you that it's puzzling why other ideas weren't more publicly investigated.

    I can't help thinking that because the courses are very much in the interest of the trade as well as of the public, a whip-round of opinion might have come up with a plan, perhaps even some money.

    I don't think BB on our own could propose an alternative series of courses; but we do seem to be doing more and more private and corporate tastings at the moment, with some public events on the cards too - so we're not ignoring the demand for wine knowledge. Continuing the conversation as widely as possible is the way forward.

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  • Fearghal

    I've just stumbled across this...

    Is it really such a tragedy?

    I found the Diploma a bit of a sham to be honest, pompous old school lecturers from from London telling wine related anecedotes about port tastings at the Pall Mall club, hardly rigorous. And a marking system that meant almost everyone, including myself, had to repeat the year.

    The demise of the, casual hobby tasting, cert and advanced cert is a shame but I can't say that I'll be shedding a tear for the demise of the WSET diploma in Ireland- I can think of better ways to spend 4 grand on wine education.

  • Julian

    When a big old tree blows down, I do tend to think of it as a 'planting opportunity'.

    I've only ever peered over the fence at the Diploma, but even so I share your squeamishness about lack of rigour. Perhaps so essentially subjective a topic as wine was never meant to be an academic discipline. It only takes the form of whatever container you put in for as long as it's contained.

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