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SONOMA STATE WINE BUSINESS INSTITUTE

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1801 East Cotati Avenue
Rohnert Park
CA, 94928
United States
Phone
(707) 664-3347
Fax
(707) 664-4009
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Jessica Heing

Wine Business Institute - Grow Your Wine Business Knowledge

Wine Business Institute

Grow Your Wine Business Knowledge

At Sonoma State's Wine Business Institute, we've spent decades learning the global industry that's in our backyard.

Founded as a partnership between the university and the wine industry, we were the first in the United States to offer an undergraduate degree (since 1998), an MBAsince 2008), and most recently an Executive MBA(since 2012) focused exclusively on the business aspects of the wine industry. Today, our full slate of degree and seminar programs answers the demands of full-time students, working professionals, winery owners, and those aspiring to be part of the wine industry. With our online certificate, or knowledge is now accessible wherever you are.

Our faculty are globally respected teachers, researchers, and seasoned industry professionals. Our network is broad and our relationships deep. Our alumni are industry leaders. Our location - second to none.


News Archive


New Research on Russian River Brewing Company Earns Distinction
11 May, 2017

Professors of Business and Entrepreneurship Honored by Western Casewriters Association with “Best Case Award”
 
Rohnert Park, California – The School of Business and Economics (SBE) at Sonoma State University (SSU) today announced that Dr. Armand Gilinsky, Jr., Korbel Professor, Dr. Sergio Canavati De La Torre, Professor of Entrepreneurship, and Jeffrey Young, (BA ’12 and MBA ’16), received the 2017 “Best Case Award” following a double blind peer review at the Western Casewriters Association annual conference in March. Their study, Russian River Brewing Company in 2016: Crafting Strategies, analyzes the brewery’s challenge of meeting fast-growing consumer demand while maintaining a focus on product quality and consistency. The case research examines the owner’s strategic choices in consideration of large-scale growth and its potential impact on customer perceptions, business operations, and financial performance. Brewery co-owner, Natalie Cilurzo, earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from SSU in 1998. 

“Congratulations to Professor Gilinsky, Professor Canavati De La Torre, and Mr. Young for receiving this well-deserved accolade. I had the privilege of learning to analyze case studies in Professor Gilinsky’s class 20 years ago, but never dreamed I would be the subject of one. It was an honor to be selected to participate in this study,” Natalie Cilurzo ‘98, co-owner and President of Russian River Brewing Company said. 

“According to the data, the smallest and largest breweries nationally, both by number of employees and by assets, are more profitable than their mid-sized counterparts,” Dr. Sergio Canavati, Professor of Entrepreneurship said. “There are opportunity costs in scaling a business to meet demand, and challenges to maintaining the quality and consistency that make a product successful in the first place. It’s a complex set of considerations including brand loyalty, financial performance, and technology and human resource infrastructure.”   
 
“In 2016, after ten years in operation and a four-fold increase in production, with multiple awards and recognitions, the owners are now in a position to craft their business strategy according to their long-term vision,” Dr. Armand Gilinsky, Jr., Korbel Professor said. “This case study chronicles that discovery process and the exciting but difficult strategic choices they face.”
 
Professor Armand Gilinsky is author of over 40 business case studies and articles on wine business strategy, entrepreneurial strategy, and socially responsible entrepreneurship. His book, Crafting Sustainable Wine Businesses: Concepts and Cases, was published in 2015. Professor Canavati has expertise in venture incubation, entrepreneurial cognition, corporate governance, and corporate social responsibility. For more information about the Russian River Brewing Company case study, or other faculty research projects at the School of Business and Economics, please call (707) 664-2377 or visit www.sonoma.edu/sbe. 
 


Lessons from Leaders Event Features DTC Maven Sally Srok of Francis Ford Coppola Winery
02 May, 2017

Business Management Speaker Series Takes Inside Look
at Leadership and Consumer Experience May 5

 

Rohnert Park, California – The School of Business and Economics (SBE) at Sonoma State University (SSU) today announced that Sally Srok, Francis Ford Coppola Winery’s President of Direct to Consumer, will speak on Friday, May 5 at 6 p.m. in the Student Center Ballroom at SSU as part of the Sonoma MBA Alumni Forum's Lessons from Leaders Speaker Series. Cost of the event is $10 for students and alumni, and $15 for the general public. Tickets are $20 at the door. The evening features light refreshments and wine from Francis Ford Coppola and Virginia Dare Wineries, and a surprise takeaway gift for all attendees. Proceeds from each quarterly event benefit a different community non-profit organization, with May 5 ticket sales going to the YWCA, a nonprofit dedicated to eliminating racism and empowering women.


 
"This event is about empowerment in leadership and Sally brings important perspective to what this means both in the workplace and in the world,” Megan Berling, Chair of the Sonoma MBA Alumni Forum said. “Her experience and expertise in creating meaningful exchanges between businesses and customers speak for themselves, and it’s something we can all learn from regardless of our role or organization.” 


 
Interested parties may register for the event here: http://www.sonoma.edu/sbe/2017/05/lessons-from-leaders---sally-srok.html


 
Sally Srok joined Francis Ford Coppola Winery in 2001 after a career in fashion and retail in New York City. She is a contributing writer to several parenting magazines and published a memoir in 2010. Direct to Consumer refers to a retail strategy used by companies to engage their customers more intimately and directly, rather than through a third party vendor, such as distributors.



Previous speakers in the popular series include founder of Pete’s Wicked Ales, Pete Slosberg; Jackson Family Wines CEO, Rick Tigner; U.S. Congressman Mike Thompson; and Traditional Medicinals CEO, Blair Kellison.


 
For information regarding the May 5 Lessons from Leaders event, or for information regarding business programs and degrees with the School of Business and Economics at Sonoma State University, please call (707) 664-3501, email mba@sonoma.edu, or visit www.sonoma.edu/mba.


Over $40,000 in Wine Business Scholarships Awarded for Academic Year 2017-2018
27 April, 2017

Full Scholarship Announced for Popular Online Wine Business Management Program

Rohnert Park, CA - The Wine Business Institute (WBI) at Sonoma State University (SSU) today announced that $41,500 in wine business scholarships will be awarded to students in the Sonoma MBA in Wine Business and undergraduate Wine Business Strategies degree programs. The WBI also announced a new scholarship valued at $3,500 to be awarded to a first-time enrollee in the online Wine Business Management program launching May 11.  The purpose of these scholarships is to support career development and educational accomplishment to offset costs of tuition, books, fees, housing, and other expenses. The scholarships will be awarded to recipients during an awards luncheon on August 14, 2017. 
 
"Our goal is to create positive social change through career pathways and making them more accessible to all students by way of scholarship programs. In a fast-growing, interconnected, global economy, we continue to work towards finding innovative ways to educate and develop the future workforce of the regional economy with global impact," Ray Johnson, Executive Director of the Wine Business Institute said.
 
The Wine Business Institute is now accepting applications for the new $3,500 scholarship from students and professionals looking to enroll in the online Wine Business Management program launching on Thursday, May 11, 2017. The award will be applied towards course fees and books required for the full program. Successful completion of the Wine Business Management program fulfills the two-year industry experience requirement for admission to the Sonoma MBA in Wine Business program. 
 
Scholarships for the 2017-2018 academic year include the $10,000 Charlie Palmer Pigs and Pinot Scholarship and the $5,000 Donn P. Reisen Scholarship awarded to Sam Tesconi, and two $10,000 Southern Wine & Spirits Scholarships awarded to Diane Norton and Rene Taniguchi. Rene will also receive a $1,500 Liz Thach Scholarship, and William Kellerman will receive a $5,000 Vintage Wine Estates Scholarship.
 
These scholarships are in addition to more than $100,000 in scholarship and grants awarded through the Wine Industry Scholars Program, a pioneering program dedicated to helping children and family members of vineyard and winery workers to offset tuition and other educational expenses associated with attending SSU. 

For more information about Wine Business scholarships, the Wine Business Management program, or other Wine Business certificates and degree programs, please call (707) 664-3235, email winebiz@sonoma.edu, or visit www.sonoma.edu/winebiz.  

 

Sonoma Executive MBAs Embark to France and South Africa for Consulting Engagements March 11 - 24
02 March, 2017

Wine Business Students Meet Executives and Counterparts at Legendary Dom Perignon, Vondeling Wines

Rohnert Park, California – The School of Business and Economics (SBE) at Sonoma State University (SSU) today announced that students in the Sonoma Executive MBA in Wine Business program will be meeting with counterparts and officials at organizations in Reims, France, and Cape Town, South Africa from March 11 – 24. The international business consulting trips provide students experiential learning through exposure to foreign businesses across sectors of the economy, including opportunities to interface with professionals in different countries of origin. Study tours have engaged business and community leaders on the ground in Argentina, Botswana, Chile, China, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Hungary, Malaysia, New Zealand, Poland, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, and Vietnam.

“Time and again, students tell us how valuable the international experiences are to their personal and professional growth and learning. Beyond the friendships that develop across oceans and borders, is the knowledge transfer that can significantly shape students’ perspectives on their own company and strategy back home, whether a small family-owned business or a global conglomerate,” Dr. John Stayton, Executive Director of Graduate and Executive Programs said.

Meetings scheduled in the Champagne region of France include Le Comité Interprofessionnel du vin de Champagne (CIVC), a governing and research body charged with organizing and controlling the production, distribution, and promotion of Champagne wines; Sparflex, a bottle packaging and design company with global clients; Caves Champagne Mercier, considered the number one selling champagne in France; Champagne Jacquart, which represents one of the largest sources of grapes in the Champagne region; Diam Bouchage, a manufacturer of corks and stopper technology; Tonnellerie, a wine barrel producer; Avize Viti, a regional school of viticulture and enology; and Dom Perignon, a vintage champagne brand known around the world as a symbol of French winemaking.

In South Africa, students will have meetings with Vondeling Wines, a three-centuries-old winery focused on sustainable farming; Explore Sideways, a cultural, food, and wine tour company; Lanzarac Wine Estate, a wine tourism destination and home to the first bottled Pinotage; Wines of South Africa, a nonprofit industry organization promoting South African wine internationally; VinPro, a service organization for 3,500 South African wine producers; Bosman Family Vineyards, producer of Fairtrade wine; Old Vine Project, dedicated to preserving 35 year old South African vineyards; Joostenberg Wines, a fifth generation family-owned winery specializing in organic wines; Crystallum Wines, specializing in Burgundy wine; and the University of Cape Town, where students will engage scholars on challenges and opportunities for South Africa’s economy.

Additional experiential learning components of the Sonoma Executive MBA programs include a small crew sailing expedition with America’s Cup team veterans, designed to build leadership communication skills. For more information about SBE’s international business consulting tours or experiential learning as part of the Sonoma Executive MBA programs, or for information regarding other advanced degree programs, please call 707-664-3501, email mba@sonoma.edu, or visit www.sonoma.edu/mba.


California Wine Industry Executives Highlight Entrepreneurship Program
23 February, 2017

Wednesday Evening Courses Begin March 15 with Instructor Anisya Fritz of Lynmar Estate Winery

Rohnert Park, California – The Wine Business Institute (WBI) at Sonoma State University (SSU) today announced the 2017 roster of guest lecturers for its respected Certificate in Wine Business Entrepreneurship, including Ron Scharman, CEO of digital marketing firm Astra Digital Marketing Services and lecturer for the online Certificate in Wine Business Management; Dan Aguilar, Senior Vice President at Mechanics Bank and formerly with Silicon Valley Bank; Jay Behmke, attorney at Behmke Law with expertise in beverage law, intellectual property, and wine industry mergers and acquisitions; and Jeanette Tan, lead instructor for the Certificate in QuickBooks for Wine Businesses, and a specialist in accounting for boutique wineries.

The program’s lead instructor is Anisya Fritz, Ph.D., owner of Lynmar Estate Winery, CEO of LynnCo Supply Chain Solutions, and co-founder of the Fritz Institute, a global humanitarian and disaster relief organization. Dr. Fritz has published articles in Harvard Business Review, Journal of International Business Studies, and Strategic Management Journal, among others.

"Even the most courageous and experienced entrepreneurs and family owners can get overwhelmed by the complex and changing wine industry. Dr. Fritz leads this course from a position of strength and authenticity, having successfully adapted her own company's business model to today's route to market," Ray Johnson, Executive Director of the Wine Business Institute said. "She's assembled a group of experts that represents some of the sharpest minds in the industry, and their contributions to the curriculum provide for a collaborative, enjoyable, and ultimately successful journey for program participants."

The Certificate in Wine Business Entrepreneurship is designed to provide small wine business owners and those seeking to start a wine business, the time and guided focus to develop a successful business plan. Participants are exposed to the regulatory climate for making and selling wine, financial frameworks to develop a vineyard and winery, how to create a virtual brand, and different models for wine business profitability. The guest lecturers will join sessions throughout the program, which runs March 15 – May 10, 2017. Preferred pricing is available through February 28.

Stand-out alumni include Terra Jane Albee and Sara Vandendriessche, who used the program to craft a strategy to overhaul and transition Napa's White Rock Vineyards to the next generation; U.S. Army veteran Tim Burgess, who used the program to build a business plan for his award-winning Rally Point Wines, including two medals in the North Coast Wine Challenge; and Alan Baker of Cartograph Wines, a former award-winning reporter for Minnesota public radio, who used the program as a catalyst for radical life change.

Ron Scharman previously served as COO for Chatterbox Wine Marketing, VinoVisit.com, and New Vine Logistics. He served as president for eWinery Solutions and the Morrell Wine Group. As part of his work leading Silicon Valley Bank’s Premier Wine Division, Dan Aguilar developed the Peer Group Analysis, a proprietary wine industry financial benchmarking database. Jay Behmke represents wineries, vineyard owners, nurseries, wholesalers, importers, retailers, restaurants, and other wine-related businesses. He manages over 250 trademarks for wine, food, restaurants and related goods, with expertise in licensing proprietary plant varieties in the U.S., Chile, Australia, South Africa, Spain, Turkey and other countries. Jeanette Tan owns QB Winery Solutions and is a graduate of the Certificate in Wine Business Entrepreneurship.

Other WBI programs slated to get underway in March include the Certificate in Direct to Consumer (DTC) Wine Sales, and Certificate in Wine Business Finance and Accounting, with core and elective seminars beginning March 16 and 17, respectively. For more information regarding specialized certificates and degrees in wine business in the School of Business and Economics at SSU, please email winebiz@sonoma.edu, call (707) 664-3235, or visit www.sonoma.edu/winebiz.


New Scholars Program Provides “Path to Success” for Wine Industry Workers and Families
15 February, 2017

Series of $10,000 Education Grants Announced in Support of University Education and Career Success 


Rohnert Park, California – The Wine Business Institute (WBI) at Sonoma State University (SSU) today announced the launch of the Wine Industry Scholars Program, a pioneering initiative with a starting gift of $100,000 over four years, including ten $10,000 grants to children and family members of vineyard and winery workers to offset tuition and other educational expenses associated with attending SSU. In addition to financial support, the new program includes a summer transition program, academic and career advising, cohort-based classes, co-curricular programming as part of the Rodney Strong Pathways Program, and student work experiences. 

Founding program contributors include George Hamel III of Hamel Family Wines; Gary Heck of Korbel; Walt and Sylvia Klenz of VinCraft; Mel and Craig Mannion; Carol O’Hara of Burr Pilger Mayer; Ron Rubin of The Rubin Family of Wines; Barbara Talbott and John Riley; Gould Evans; Douglas Thornley and Susan Lundquist; and an anonymous member of the WBI Board of Directors.        

“For decades, we’ve recruited and supported first generation college students, and learned that scholarships alone don’t always foster success toward a degree. This new program provides students the resources and support system to forge a path to success. We’re grateful to our founding group of wine industry leaders for their vision and compassion in helping guide the next generation of leaders toward academic, career, and life success,” Dr. William S. Silver, Dean of the School of Business and Economics said. 

The Wine Industry Scholars Program begins with a preparation period for students and parents before they arrive on campus, to speak with them about the college experience and ensure that students have adequate academic training. Students will also participate in Summer Bridge Week, an on-campus residential experience designed to introduce students to SSU resources and services, and build supportive relationships with student counselors and faculty advisors. 

During their first year, students will take prerequisite courses as part of a learning community and peer support group called the Wine Industry Scholars Academy. Students will be paired with mentors from the business community beginning in their second year, as part of the leadership development and career pathing component of the program. In their third year, students will be placed in an internship where they can apply their classroom knowledge in a supportive work environment and consider opportunities upon graduation.   

For more information regarding the Wine Industry Scholars Program, please contact Ray Johnson, Executive Director of the Wine Business Institute, at (707) 664-3071 or ray.johnson@sonoma.edu. For information regarding programs and degrees of WBI and the School of Business and Economics, please contact (707) 664-3235, email winebiz@sonoma.edu, or visit www.sonoma.edu/winebiz.  
 


Wine Business Professional Development Courses Slated for Spring 2017
01 February, 2017

Wine Business Institute logo

New “Seminars Scholarship” Provides Support for Industry Certifications at Sonoma State University

 

Rohnert Park, CA – The Wine Business Institute (WBI) at Sonoma State University (SSU) today announced the Spring 2017 schedule of professional programs for the wine industry, including the online Certificate in Wine Business Management, with the first offour required courses beginning February 2; the Certificate in Direct-to-Consumer Sales and Certificate in Wine Business Finance and Accounting, with core and elective seminars beginning March 16 and 17, respectively; and the Certificate in Wine Business Entrepreneurship beginning March 15.

The Spring 2017 schedule is highlighted by the new Seminars Scholarship, a $1,200 need-based grant for students pursuing or interested in pursuing a professional certificate with the Wine Business Institute. The scholarship is funded by an anonymous member of the WBI Board of Directors. Application deadline for the new scholarship is February 10.

Investments in Wine Business Institute programs are investments in the global wine industry’s next generation of leaders. This kind of support energizes what we do in the classroom and in the vineyard, and expands access to a slate of programs that help wine business veterans and industry newcomers advance their credibility and expertise,” Ray Johnson, Executive Director of the Wine Business Institute said.

WBI awards over $40,000 scholarships each year in support of career advancement and educational accomplishment to offset costs of tuition, books, fees, housing, and other expenses. For more information about the new Seminars Scholarship and other Wine Business scholarships, or Wine Business certificates and degree programs, please call (707) 664-3235, emailwinebiz@sonoma.edu, or visitwww.sonoma.edu/winebiz.  


Wine Business Institute and Rodney Strong Vineyards Launch Rodney Strong Pathways Program
20 December, 2016

Rohnert Park, California (December 20, 2016) – The Wine Business Institute (WBI) at Sonoma State University (SSU) and Rodney Strong Vineyards announced today the launch of the Rodney Strong Pathways Program to bring a broad range of talented students to SSU, and provide them with a better educational experience to foster their academic career and life success. This $250,000 gift will provide critical resources for SSU to develop this co-curricular program, and support the completion for the Wine Spectator Learning Center, a new education and industry hub designed around advanced-technology classrooms, a student commons and gardens, and a collaborative space for faculty and business leaders.

Sonoma State University launched its Education Opportunity Program (EOP) over 40 years ago to recruit students who are the first in their families to attend college, or who come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. The program supports students through a summer transition experience, academic and career advising, cohort-based classes, and student work experiences. 

The Rodney Strong Pathways Program augments existing EOP support services by engaging all EOP Students during each of their years on campus, providing co-curricular training in financial literacy, entrepreneurship, career guidance, and leadership. This program will positively impact more than 600 students each year.

Our core values are in service to securing a future for our students. A future where their hard work, passions, and talent not only create success for themselves, but more importantly help them make a difference to others. We’re thrilled to welcome Rodney Strong Vineyards into our family of partners working to secure opportunities for all students, including support for the future Wine Spectator Learning Center,” Dr. William S. Silver, Dean of the School of Business and Economics said.  

We are thrilled to partner with Sonoma State University to create the Rodney Strong Pathways Program, which will bridge the gap between these students getting into college and making the transition to having a successful career, and becoming leaders in the community,” states Rodney Strong President Carmen Castaldi. “Starting with the Sonoma County Vintners Fund the Future Program for youth literacy, and our sponsorship of the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts, we view this gift as completing the circle in support of our greater Sonoma County community.”

In recognition of this gift, Rodney Strong Vineyards will become one of only 10 Icon donors, and its name will be included on the permanent art installation at the soon to be completed Wine Spectator Learning Center on the SSU campus.

About the Wine Business Institute
The Wine Business Institute (WBI) is an education and research institute of the School of Business and Economics (SBE) at Sonoma State University (SSU). SSU is the first institution of higher learning in the U.S. to offer seminars, certificates, and degree programs focused on the business of wine. It is the first school of business in the world to offer an executive-level wine business degree. In 2017, WBI will open the Wine Spectator Learning Center, a 15,000-square-foot state-of-the-art education complex dedicated to training the next generation of leaders for a dynamic global wine industry. With its unique location, expert faculty, and deep relationships in the world of wine, WBI attracts current and future professionals from California and around the world to experience the wealth of connections among students, alumni, and industry leaders.

About Rodney Strong Vineyards
Rodney Strong Vineyards is a family owned company that farms 14 estate vineyards and crafts wines from Sonoma County’s finest appellations – Alexander Valley, Russian River Valley, Chalk Hill, Knights Valley, Dry Creek Valley, and Sonoma Coast. The winery was founded in 1959 by Sonoma County wine pioneer Rodney D. Strong as the 13th bonded winery in the county. It was purchased by the Klein family, a third generation California farming family, in 1989. The company aspires to conserve and protect the environment in all its operations through sustainable practices, solar power, and fish friendly farming.

Rodney Strong Vineyards is located at 11455 Old Redwood Highway, off Highway 101 just south of the town of Healdsburg in Sonoma County. The winery is one hour north of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Learn more at www.RodneyStrong.com


Inaugural Small Winery Harvest Internship-Scholarship Supports Wine Industry Growth through Education
30 November, 2016

 $12,000 Anonymous Gift Awarded to Junior Austin Bregante Toward Degree in Wine Business Strategies 

Rohnert Park, California – The Wine Business Institute (WBI) at Sonoma State University (SSU) today announced that Austin Bregante, a junior in WineBusiness Strategies and Marketing, was awarded the inaugural Small WineryHarvest Internship-Scholarship funded by a $12,000 anonymous donation. Theinternship-scholarship is designed to cover the cost of tuition and provide a full-time internship focused on small winery operations, including the harvestand production of wine. Palmer Emmitt, Sonoma MBA in Wine Business ’13 andco-owner of Emmitt-Scorsone Wines, offered the internship with co-founder and fellow winemaker, Michael Scorsone. The artisan winery is located near Healdsburg and produces wine under the labels Judge Palmer and Domenica Amato.

“Exposure to small winery operations develops a broad skill set, from making and bottling wine, to planning wine club shipments, to managing distribution and compliance issues. The skills that I gained in the Sonoma MBA program, as well as the connections I made through networking, have helped me start my own successful winery business. We’re pleased to provide an opportunity for students to see the business as a whole, and figure out which role they may be best suited for after graduation,” Palmer Emmitt, Sonoma MBA in Wine Business ’13, co-owner at Emmitt-Scorsone Wines said.

“The scholarship enabled me to apply the knowledge that I've cultivated at the Wine Business Institute and School of Business and Economics, and focus onlearning the trade of winemaking while exploring career options. I have a truerespect and compassion for the winemaking process after seeing andexperiencing first-hand what it takes to produce and sell wine.” AustinBregante, recipient of the inaugural Small Winery Harvest Internship Scholarshipsaid.

“There’s no greater gift than having our alumni and donor community help drive the growth of wine business education for the future of the wine industry. This generous investment in Austin and the next generation of leaders provides an extraordinary learning experience, and we’re thankful for this generous support and every gift to our programs,” Ray Johnson, Executive Director of the Wine Business Institute said.

 

WBI awards over $40,000 in scholarships each year in support of career advancement and educational accomplishment to offset costs of tuition, books, fees, housing, and other expenses. Additional scholarships include the Southern Wine & Spirits Scholarship, Charlie Palmer’s Pigs & Pinot Annual Scholarship, Donn P. Reisen Scholarship, Vintage Wine Estates Scholarship, Peter Mondavi Sr. Scholarship, Concierge Alliance of Napa Valley and Sonoma Scholarship, Women for WineSense Scholarship, Rhone Rangers Scholarship, Liz Thach Wine Industry Scholarship, Sonoma Valley Cuisine Society Scholarship, LaTosh Wine Business Scholarship, Live Oak Bank Scholarship, and the Seminar and Certificate Programs Scholarship.  

 

For more information about the Small Winery Harvest Internship-Scholarship, other wine business scholarships, or certificate and degree programs in the WBI and School of Business and Economics, please contact (707) 664-3235, email winebiz@sonoma.edu, or visit www.sonoma.edu/winebiz.

 

# # #

 

About the Wine Business Institute

The Wine Business Institute (WBI) is an education and research institute of the School of Business and Economics (SBE) at Sonoma State University (SSU). SSU is the first institution of higher learning in the U.S. to offer seminars, certificates, and degree programs focused on the business of wine. It is the first school of business in the world to offer an executive-level wine business degree. In 2017, WBI will open the Wine Spectator Learning Center, a 15,000-square-foot state-of-the-art education complex dedicated to leadership training for a dynamic and changing wine industry. With its unique location, expert faculty, and deep relationships in the world of wine, WBI attracts current and future professionals from California and around the world to experience the wealth of connections among students, alumni, and industry leaders.


Wine Business Institute Launches History-Making Video Series on Leadership
08 November, 2016

Demeter Group to Provide $125,000 Gift as Founding Sponsor
 
Rohnert Park, California – The Wine Business Institute (WBI) at Sonoma State University (SSU) today announced the launch of a video interview series as part of its educational curriculum based on real-world case studies in leadership. The Business of Wine video series is under development by the Emmy Award-winning team of Dennis Scholl and Marlon Johnson, to provide a multifaceted look at top business leaders in the global wine industry in the areas of Leadership, Innovation, Sales and Marketing, Mergers and Acquisitions, Finance, Legal, Tax and Accounting, and Media and Communications. Demeter Group, the San Francisco investment bank to premium Wine & Spirits companies, is providing a $125,000 gift as Founding Sponsor of the project.  
 
 
The individual 30-minute interviews and key learning vignettes will be edited for faculty to integrate with their teaching curriculum for the classroom, online learning, and broadcast in the Wine Spectator Learning Center, the new home of the Wine Business Institute set to open in 2017. The $9.15 million building project was financed in part by an initial $3 million contribution from the Wine Spectator Scholarship Foundation. 
  
“As the educational nucleus of the global wine industry, it’s our privilege to showcase the passion and experience of wine’s greatest leaders for the benefit of its next generation. This series gets beyond the romance of farming and winemaking to show how and why leaders make their decisions, what key challenges they face and overcome, and the skills needed to sustain their success in an evolving industry,” Dr. William S. Silver, Dean of the School of Business and Economics said. 
  
The first seven interviews concluded with Andy Beckstoffer of Beckstoffer Vineyards, Bill Phelps of Joseph Phelps Vineyards, Joel and Sarah Gott of Joel Gott Wines, Mike Grgich of Grgich Hills Estate, Mike Benziger of Benziger Family Winery, Frank Farella of Farella Braun + Martel, and Mark Couchman of Silverado Winegrowers. Confirmed interviews in 2017 include Bill Newlands of Constellation Brands, John Dyson of Williams Selyem, Dario Sattui of V. Sattui Winery, Bill Hatcher of A to Z Wineworks, Darioush Khaledi of Darioush Winery, and Charles Smith of K Vintners, among others. 
  
Each interview delves into the subject’s entry into the world of wine, their achievements, and setbacks. Specific discussion will be based around the difficulty of transitioning a family business to the next generation, the complexity of wine transactions, how wine is successfully marketed to today’s consumer, and factors that separate great brands from good brands. Additional discussion will include the role of technology in the selling and marketing of wine, how innovation is developed within the industry, and the constantly evolving relationships among vineyard, facility, and brand.  
  
The Wine Business Institute is an education and research institute of the School of Business and Economics (SBE). SSU is the first institution of higher learning in the U.S. to offer professional certificates and degrees specializing in the business of wine. It is the first school of business in the world to offer an executive-level wine business degree.
 
The Business of Wine video series was unveiled on October 27 at an invitation-only dinner for the subject interviewees, as well as 100 CEOs of leading U.S. wine companies. For more information regarding the Business of Wine video series, the Wine Spectator Learning Center project, or for information regarding wine business education programs and degrees, please contact 707-664-3235 or winebiz@sonoma.edu, or visit www.sonoma.edu/winebiz.

Certification Programs in Wine Industry Finance and Accounting, Direct-to-Consumer Wine Sales Launch in November
12 October, 2016

Early Registration Ends October 26 for Wine Business Institute’s Professional Training Seminars 

Rohnert Park, California - The Wine Business Institute (WBI) at Sonoma State University (SSU) today announced its Fall 2016 schedule of professional training seminars toward the Certificate in Direct-to-Consumer Wine Sales begin Thursday, November 3, and seminars toward the Certificate in Wine Industry Finance and Accounting begin Wednesday, November 16. Seminars are open to the public and may be taken individually over time or together to earn a certificate.  

“We’ve assembled a roster of industry heavyweights to teach this season’s seminars, from leading practitioners at Burr Pilger Mayer and Moss Adams, to marketing legend Paul Wagner of Balzac Communications,” Ray Johnson, Executive Director of the Wine Business Institute said. “For industry professionals, these programs lead to insights on today’s toughest challenges. For newcomers to the industry, the exposure to wine-specific issues, as well as the credential, opens doors to key areas for success in the industry.” 

Core seminar topics covered in the Certificate in Wine Industry Finance and Accounting include financial, managerial, and cost accounting for wineries, as well as financial strategies, budgeting, forecasting, and best practices. Core seminar issues addressed in the Certificate in Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) Wine Sales include e-commerce for wineries, building wine clubs and winery events, and tasting room sales and management. Elective seminar topics include Wine Marketing Basics, Tasting Room Management, Financial Planning and Strategy for Wine Businesses, Vineyard Taxation, and Winery Taxation, among other topics.

Cost of the Certificate in Direct-to-Consumer Wine Sales and Certificate in Wine Business Finance and Accounting is $150 per seminar for those who register by October 26. 

The WBI is an education and research institute of the School of Business and Economics at SSU. Registration for wine business certificates and seminars is administered by the School of Extended and International Education. For more information regarding professional wine industry certifications or advanced degree programs, please contact (707) 664-3235 or winebiz@sonoma.edu.


Duckhorn Wine Company is Latest Backer of Global Wine Business Education Center
15 September, 2016

Construction Underway for the $9.15 Million Innovative Learning Hub at Sonoma State University

Rohnert Park, California - The Wine Business Institute (WBI) at Sonoma State University (SSU) today announced a gift from Napa Valley’s Duckhorn Wine Company in support of the Wine Spectator Learning Center, an international education facility and future home of the Wine Business Institute at SSU. The gift will be used to equip the new building with advanced education tools to connect wine business scholars and professionals around the world, including state-of-the-art technology classrooms and multimedia venues for production and broadcast of public seminars and events.

"It’s important for the industry to give back to academia to educate the next generation of wine business professionals and elevate the wine industry in a competitive global market. The Wine Business Institute has a unique position in that it is the only institution of higher learning in the world with a focus on the business of wine,” Alex Ryan, Chief Executive Officer of Duckhorn Wine Company and Wine Business Institute Board Member said.

"For the past decade, Alex Ryan and Duckhorn Wine Company have supported our vision to be the global leader in wine business research and education. We’re honored to have their partnership as we move through this next stage of growth for the benefit of our students, faculty, and wine industry stakeholders everywhere,” Ray Johnson, Executive Director of the Wine Business Institute said.

Construction of the 15,000-square-foot project began on June 1, 2016 with an official groundbreaking ceremony attended by over 300 people, including California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, U.S. Congressman Mike Thompson, Wine Spectator editor and publisher, Marvin Shanken, and other luminaries in government, education, and industry. The facility is expected to open in 2017 and will be available to all students and departments.

The WBI is an education and research institute of the School of Business and Economics. SSU is the first institution of higher learning in the U.S. to offer professional certificates and degrees specializing in the business of wine, and the first school of business in the world to offer an executive-level wine business degree. For more information about the Wine Spectator Learning Center project, please visit www.sonoma.edu/winebiz, call 707-664-3235, or email winebiz@sonoma.edu.


Fall 2016 Schedule Announced for Graduate Program Information Sessions
12 September, 2016

Rohnert Park, California - The School of Business and Economics (SBE) at Sonoma State University (SSU) today announced a series of public information sessions regarding the Sonoma MBA programs will take place October 15, November 12, and November 14, 2016 in Darwin Hall, Room 101 on the SSU campus in Rohnert Park. The November 12 event will showcase a panel discussion with program alumni and the November 14 session is highlighted by a networking mixer with current students.

Information sessions are designed to provide members of the public and interested professionals an opportunity to connect with program staff, students, faculty, and alumni in an informal setting that promotes dialogue about life as an MBA student and the benefits, timing, structure, and other details of each program.

"We encourage professionals in the San Francisco Bay Area to join and connect with students, faculty, and alumni, to learn first-hand why the Sonoma MBA programs provide the right return on investment. Through equal emphasis on business acumen and leadership ability, a deep network throughout the region, and a strong grounding in entrepreneurship, ethics, and sustainability, these programs help students align their passion and profession, and make a positive impact on their organizations and broader community," John Stayton, Executive Director of Graduate and Executive Programs said.

Fall 2016 Information Sessions:

Saturday, October 15, 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Sonoma MBA for Professionals / Sonoma Executive MBA
Sonoma State University, Darwin Hall, Room 101

Saturday, November 12, 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Sonoma Executive MBA / Sonoma Executive MBA in Wine Business
(w/ Alumni Panel)
Sonoma State University, Darwin Hall, Room 101

Monday, November 14, 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Sonoma MBA for Professionals
(Mixer w/ Current Students followed by Info Session)
Sonoma State University, Darwin Hall, Room 101

For more information regarding upcoming information sessions or to RSVP, please visit http://www.sonoma.edu/mba/ or contact the Graduate and Executive Programs office at (707) 664-3501 or mba@sonoma.edu.

 


Ray Johnson Promoted to Executive Director of Wine Business Institute
08 August, 2016

Expanded Role Includes Operational Oversight of the Wine Spectator Learning Center

Rohnert Park, CA – The School of Business and Economics (SBE) at Sonoma State University (SSU) today announced the promotion of Ray Johnson from Director to Executive Director of the Wine Business Institute (WBI), an education and research institute of SBE. In addition to current activities involving organizational development and program execution, the expanded role includes responsibility for the operation of programs and events at the future Wine Spectator Learning Center, including activities related to alumni engagement, student learning, and faculty development and research projects. The new facility is expected to open in 2017.

“We’ve accomplished great things on behalf of our students and the next generation of wine business leaders. It’s an honor to help guide the Wine Business Institute in its next stage and an exciting future for the global wine industry. Our expert faculty, diligent staff, wonderful benefactors, and everyone who chooses to be part of our international wine business community can look forward to a home base at the Wine Spectator Learning Center and Sonoma State University,” Ray Johnson, Executive Director of the Wine Business Institute said.

During his tenure as Director, Ray Johnson oversaw a significant increase in annual enrollment and revenue for wine business programs. Over five years leading the Institute, he secured over $10,000,000 in support for leadership in wine business education and research, and expanded access for students to wine industry careers, scholarships, and internships.

“Ray’s leadership is pivotal to the growth and trajectory of international wine business education and research. From industry certifications and Master’s degrees in global wine business, to leading-edge research working to solve the industry’s most pressing needs, Ray’s deep background and attention to our students and stakeholders make him uniquely positioned to take on this expanded role,” Dr. William Silver, Dean of the School of Business and Economics at Sonoma State University said.

Construction of the 15,000-square-foot, $9.15 million Wine Spectator Learning Center began on June 1, 2016 with an official groundbreaking ceremony attended by over 300 people, including California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, U.S. Congressman Mike Thompson, Wine Spectator editor and publisher, Marvin Shanken, and other luminaries in government, education, and industry.

For more information about the Wine Spectator Learning Center, or wine industry certifications and advanced degree programs of the Wine Business Institute, please contact (707) 664-3235 or email winebiz@sonoma.edu.


Global Wine Business Education Center Receives $100,000 Gift from Republic National Distributing Company
03 August, 2016

Latest Donation to Benefit Technology-Enabled, Globally Accessible Classrooms

Rohnert Park, California - The Wine Business Institute (WBI) at Sonoma State University (SSU) today announced the latest round of financial support for the future Wine Spectator Learning Center from Republic National Distributing Company, a family-owned business and the second largest wholesale wine and spirits distributor in the country. The $100,000 Icon Level gift will support construction of the new education and industry hub and future home of the Wine Business Institute, featuring advanced technology classrooms, a student commons and gardens, and a collaborative space for faculty and business leaders. The facility is expected to open in Summer 2017.

"Investing in education and the Wine Spectator Learning Center will enlighten our industry. We’re incredibly fortunate to be part of its growth,” Alan Dreeben, Partner at Republic National Distributing Company said.

"Alan and Republic National Distributing Company have made a significant commitment to support the future of the wine industry through this investment in wine business education and research. We’re pleased to have their partnership as we embark on this major project for the University and the global wine business community," Dr. William Silver, Dean of the School of Business and Economics and the Wine Business Institute said.

Construction of the 15,000-square-foot, $9.15 million learning center began on June 1, 2016 with an official groundbreaking ceremony attended by over 300 people, including California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, U.S. Congressman Mike Thompson, Wine Spectator editor and publisher, Marvin Shanken, and other luminaries in government, education, and industry.

The WBI is an education and research institute of the School of Business and Economics. SSU is the first institution of higher learning in the U.S. to offer seminars, certificates, and degree programs focused on the business of wine, and the first school of business in the world to offer an executive-level wine business degree. For more information about the Wine Spectator Learning Center project, please visit www.sonoma.edu/sbe, call 707-664-3235, or email winebiz@sonoma.edu.


Sonoma MBA Program for Executives Public Information Session June 25
21 June, 2016

 Rohnert Park, California – The School of Business and Economics (SBE) at Sonoma State University (SSU) today announced a public information session regarding the Sonoma MBA for Executives degree program will take place Saturday, June 25 from 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. in Darwin Hall, Room 101, on the SSU campus. Information sessions are open to the public and designed for interested professionals to meet with administrators, faculty, alumni, and current students for a discussion of the program, outline of courses, and application counseling and support.   

 
“The Sonoma MBA for Executives is designed as an intensive leadership training, from start to finish. Leaders come away with an improved ability to influence, negotiate, work inter-culturally, and resolve conflict. In addition to finance, accounting, marketing, and operations, these are skills that ultimately drive career success and advancement for managers and executives,” John Stayton, Executive Director of Graduate and Executive Programs said.
 
The 17-month program starts in October and takes place on alternating Fridays and Saturdays. An experiential learning component includes international consulting and study tours, and a leadership and teamwork sailing excursion as part of the program. Study tours have engaged business and community leaders in Argentina, Chile, China, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Hungary, Malaysia, New Zealand, Poland, Singapore, Spain, and Vietnam. 
 
Application deadline for the upcoming MBA for Executives program is August 12, 2016. The June 25 info session will also address the Sonoma MBA degree for Wine Business Executives. Sonoma MBA programs are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), a standard of excellence shared by only five percent of business schools worldwide. For more information regarding the June 25 information session or to RSVP, please visit http://www.sonoma.edu/mba/ or contact the Graduate and Executive Programs office at (707) 664-3501 or mba@sonoma.edu. 

2016 Wine Business Institute Summer Intensive Gets Underway June 13
09 June, 2016

4-Day Wine Industry Credential Program Draws International and Out-of-State Professionals to California Wine Country


Rohnert Park, California – The Wine Business Institute (WBI) at Sonoma State University (SSU) today announced the 2016 Summer Intensive certificate programs in Wine Industry Finance and Accounting, and Direct-to-Consumer Wine Sales, will take place from June 13 – 16 on SSU’s Rohnert Park campus. Topics covered in the Wine Industry Finance and Accounting seminar series include financial, managerial, and cost accounting for wineries, as well as financial strategies, budgeting, forecasting, and best practices. Issues addressed in the Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) Wine Sales seminar series include e-commerce for wineries, building wine clubs and winery events, and tasting room sales and management.

“The accelerated four-day seminar series is for the convenience of international and out-of-state professionals, as well as those in California, who want to build key skills in wine operations and earn important credentials. These are University-level courses taught by industry trailblazers, and designed for owners and management teams seeking to take their winery to the next level,” Ray Johnson, Director of the Wine Business Institute said.

Cost of each certificate program is $1,440. Seminars may be taken individually or together to earn a certificate. Cost of individual seminars is $150 for those who register one week in advance of the seminar date.

Wine Business Institute Summer Intensive seminars are as follows:

• Financial Planning & Strategy for Wine Businesses
Monday, June 13, 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

• Social Media & Wine Marketing
Monday, June 13, 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

• Using QuickBooks in the Wine Industry
Monday, June 13, 1:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

• Innovative Wine Marketing & Brand Momentum
Monday, June 13, 1:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

• Financial Accounting for the Wine Industry
Tuesday June 14, 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

• Direct to Consumer Marketing
Tuesday, June 14, 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

• Managerial Accounting for the Wine Industry
Tuesday, June 14, 1:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

• Hands-On Intro to eCommerce for Small and Boutique Wineries
Tuesday, June 14, 1:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

• Calculating the True Cost of Your Wine
Wednesday, June 15, 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

• How to Build a Profitable Wine Club
Wednesday, June 15, 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

• Budgets, Forecasting and Best Practices for Wine Businesses
Wednesday June 15, 1:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

• How to Create and Execute Successful Winery Events
Wednesday, June 15, 1:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

• Selling Through the Tasting Room
Thursday, June 16, 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

• Vineyard Taxation
Thursday, June 16, 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

• Tasting Room Management
Thursday, June 16, 1:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

• Winery Taxation
Thursday, June 16, 1:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

For more information regarding the WBI Summer Intensive seminar series, please visit www.sonoma.edu/winebiz, call 707.664.3235, or email winebiz@sonoma.edu. Interested parties may register online.

 


Cecchetti Wine Company Backs Global Wine Business Learning Center
17 May, 2016

Roy Cecchetti, Sonoma MBA Class of 1989, Contributes $200,000

Rohnert Park, California – The Wine Business Institute (WBI) at Sonoma State University (SSU) today announced a major gift from Roy and Rachael Cecchetti of Cecchetti Wine Company, in support of the Wine Spectator Learning Center, a state-of-the-art education complex and future home of the Wine Business Institute. The $200,000 donation will be recognized in the Roy and Rachael Cecchetti Campus Lawns Stairway, which will connect the new building with existing lawns and international-themed gardens adjacent to the campus lakes. Roy Cecchetti earned his Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree at SSU in 1989. He was recently appointed to the Wine Business Institute Board of Directors.

“What has been created at SSU is extremely important to the future of the wine business and both Rachael and I are extremely proud to be a part of it. Education is the cornerstone in the continued development of any business and the Wine Spectator Learning Center will be at the forefront of this for the students wanting to become part of our industry. The future of the wine business depends on programs such as this and I can say, as an MBA graduate of SSU and a Director of the Wine Business Institute, the future of our industry looks very bright,” Roy Cecchetti of Cecchetti Wine Company, MBA ’89 said.

“This show of support is especially significant because it comes from one of our alumni. In their generosity, Roy and Rachael not only reinforce academic innovation and training of dynamic leaders, they also validate the quality of education and caliber of students coming through our programs. It is with pleasure and appreciation that we thank Roy and Rachael for their dedication and support,” Dr. William S. Silver, Dean of the School of Business and Economics said.

Construction crews expect to break ground on the $9.15 million project on June 1, 2016, with completion and grand opening set for Summer 2017. The project involves interior and exterior renovation of the current SSU Student Commons building. Features of the new building will include three state-of-the-art classrooms, multimedia venues for production and broadcast of public seminars and events, international-themed gardens and Student Success Pathway, and collaborative space for hands-on learning, including a student commons, faculty-industry hub, and café.

Project contributors announced to date include the Wine Spectator Scholarship Foundation; Alpha Omega Winery and Tolosa Vineyards & Winery; American AgCredit; Bouchaine Vineyards; Charmer-Sunbelt; Korbel Champagne Cellars; Wally Lowry, Professor Emeritus of Business at SSU; Peter Michael Winery; Pierce Education Properties; The Rubin Family of Wines; and Young's Market Company.

The Wine Business Institute (WBI) is an education and research institute of the School of Business and Economics. SSU is the first institution of higher learning in the U.S. to offer undergraduate and advanced degrees focused on the business of wine. It is the first school of business in the world to offer an executive-level wine business degree. For more information about the Wine Spectator Learning Center project, please visit www.sonoma.edu/sbe or contact 707-664-3235 or winebiz@sonoma.edu.


Dr. Damien Wilson to Keynote Conferences in Oakland and London May 18 and 25
12 May, 2016

Hamel Family Chair in Wine Business Deemed Industry Expert in Global Marketing and Technology

Rohnert Park, California – The Wine Business Institute (WBI) at Sonoma State University (SSU) today announced that Dr. Damien Wilson, Hamel Family Faculty Chair in Wine Business, will moderate the opening session titled, Quality – Cornerstone of Craft, at the Craft Beverage Expo on May 18 at 10 a.m. at the Oakland Convention Center in San Francisco’s East Bay. The event is sponsored by the Craft Beverage Education Association, which promotes collaboration and education in the growing craft beverage industry. Following that event, on May 26 at 3 p.m., Professor Wilson will address the International Cool Climate Wine Symposium at the Hilton Brighton Metropole outside London on England’s south shore. His presentation will explore how wine businesses can use innovative technologies to market and sell products more effectively.

“Technologies are influencing the supply chain, from vintner to consumer. Wine business leaders need to adapt to this modern environment, which means navigating a world of message-saturated, tech-savvy consumers. Success requires businesses to be aware of the latest innovations and understand how to plan and implement technology adoption strategies,” Dr. Damien Wilson, Hamel Family Chair in Wine Business said. “By engaging industry practitioners in a collective way, we can provide insight to best practices and real-life case studies that show how businesses benefit from the digital age.”

Professor Wilson has 20 years of international wine industry experience in Australia, France, and the U.S. He is former Director of Wine Business programs at Burgundy School of Business in Dijon, France, and widely known for expertise in wine production, distribution, sales, and service. His research specialties are wine consumer behavior, tourism, technology, and crowdfunding, including the recently published, “Tensions and ties in social media networks: Towards a model of understanding business relationship development and business performance enhancement through the use of LinkedIn,” in Industrial Marketing Management, an international journal of marketing for industrial and high-tech firms.

In 2015, Professor Wilson was appointed as the inaugural Hamel Family Faculty Chair in Wine Business at SSU. For more information about the Hamel Family Chair in Wine Business or the Craft Beverage Expo in Oakland and International Cool Climate Wine Symposium in England, or for information regarding wine business seminars, certificates, and degree programs at SSU, please visit www.sonoma.edu/sbe/winebiz, contact (707) 664-3235, or email winebiz@sonoma.edu.


Tourism Industry Examined from Global Wine Perspective in Latest Research
03 May, 2016

New Book Tests Theoretical Foundations of Strategic Business Management and Wine Tourism

Rohnert Park, California – The School of Business and Economics (SBE) at Sonoma State University (SSU) announced the publication of Strategic Winery Tourism and Management: Building Competitive Winery Tourism and Winery Management Strategy, a new book featuring chapter contributions by SBE professional faculty including Dr. Kyuho Lee, Assistant Professor of Marketing and editor of the book; Dr. Anisya Thomas Fritz, lecturer in wine business entrepreneurship and owner at Lynmar Estate; Dr. Liz Thach, Distinguished Professor of Wine Business; Dr. Michael Santos, Professor of Finance; Dr. Vincent Richman, Professor of Accounting; and Douglas Thornley, principal at Gould Evans architecture and board member at the Wine Business Institute (WBI), a research and education institute of SBE. In addition to SSU’s professional faculty, the book features contributions from international wine industry leaders in Germany, France, England, Austria, and China.

“We’ve brought together subject matter experts and contributors from SSU and around the world to provide a critical global perspective on wine tourism and strategic management. This book serves as a major source of wine business expertise for practitioners, researchers, and students of culinary, hospitality, and tourism management,” Dr. Kyuho Lee, Assistant Professor of Marketing at SSU and editor of Strategic Winery Tourism and Management said.

Topics addressed include product development and marketing for wineries as tourism entities, the role of special events in promoting wine and wineries, managerial issues in winery tasting room management, winery revenue management, winery service quality and brand management, and financial management in winery management.

“The tourism industry contributes trillions of dollars to the global economy and wine tourism is a sector of continued growth and impact. This book is one of the first to provide leading-edge research related to strategic winery management,” Dr. Karen Thompson, Chair of the Department of Business Administration and Managing Director of Academic Programs said.

For more information regarding Strategic Winery Tourism and Management: Building Competitive Winery Tourism and Winery Management Strategy, or for information regarding professional education certificates and seminars, or advanced degree programs with the Wine Business Institute and School of Business and Economics, please visit www.sonoma.edu/sbe, or contact (707) 664-3235 or winebiz@sonoma.edu.

 


Sixth Vintage Announced for “Sonoma State Cellars” Experiential Learning Project
28 April, 2016

May 5 Community Celebration Hosted by Students and Faculty of Wine Business Institute


Rohnert Park, California – The School of Business and Economics (SBE) at Sonoma State University (SSU) today announced the sixth vintage from Sonoma State Cellars, a project of the Wine Business Institute (WBI) that provides hands-on learning of the process and particulars of running a wine business. The 2015 Sauvignon Blanc from Sonoma County’s Dry Creek Valley will be revealed during a special community appreciation event on Thursday, May 5 at 6 p.m. at deLorimier Winery in Geyserville. The event is open to the public and features wine tasting, food selections, and live music. Since 2010, students in wine business have partnered with Kokomo Winery and Wilson Artisan Wineries as part of the Sonoma State Cellars project.

“Experiential learning sets Sonoma apart and this project has been a learning laboratory. We’re grateful to our alumni and winery partners for their time and energy in mentoring students and providing continuity to such a unique learning experience,” Ray Johnson, Director of the Wine Business Institute said.

The idea for Sonoma State Cellars was conceived by MBA students Liza Goldstein, Kendal Georgeson, Abigail Smyth, and Leah McNally, who conducted a feasibility study of the proposed brand with Dr. Armand Gilinsky, Korbel Professor of Wine Business. Past vintages include the 2011 Cuvee, 2012 Cuvee, and 2013 Cuvee and Zinfandel, all from Dry Creek Valley.

A public information session regarding SSU’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs in wine business will precede the May 5 community event at 5:15 p.m. For more information about the Sonoma State Cellars project or to attend the event, please RSVP or contact (707) 664-3235. All proceeds from the sale of Sonoma State Cellars wine benefit the Wine Business Institute Alumni Council. The Wine Business Institute is an education and research institute of the School of Business and Economics.


Geralyn Brostrom to Head Online Foundation Course in Wine Business Management
20 April, 2016

Former VP at Winebow Group Leads Tailored Program for Professionals Seeking Entry to Wine Industry

Rohnert Park, California – The Wine Business Institute (WBI) at Sonoma State University (SSU) today announced that Geralyn Brostrom, former Vice President of Wine Education at The Winebow Group and Managing Director at Vindeavour, a learning design consultancy based in Napa, will lead Foundation: Introduction to Wine Business, taking place online between May 4 – June 1. This is the first of three course levels that make up the Certificate in Wine Business Management, including foundation, intermediate, and advanced, with training in wine commerce and trade, marketing and sales, finance and accounting, e-commerce, viticulture and winemaking, and regulatory issues.

“The Wine Business Management certificate is our most comprehensive professional development offering in wine business. With Gerilyn at the helm, for the first time we’re able to tailor delivery of the program to professionals seeking entry to the wine industry, while providing the same important learning outcomes as before,” Ray Johnson, Director of the Wine Business Institute said.

Cost of the four-week foundation course is $590 for participants who register by April 27. Participants who complete all three online course levels and a cumulative exam will earn the Certificate in Wine Business Management. The two-year industry requirement is waived for those seeking admission to the MBA in Wine Business program.

Geralyn Brostrom is also co-founder and Education Director at Italian Wine Central, an industry trade education project, and a faculty member at the Viticulture and Enology Science and Technology Alliance (VESTA).

For more information regarding Geralyn Brostrom or the online Certificate in Wine Business Management, or for information regarding other professional seminars, certificate programs, and advanced degree programs of the Wine Business Institute, please contact (707) 664-3235 or email winebiz@sonoma.edu. The Wine Business Institute is an education and research institute of the School of Business and Economics.


First Wine Business Case Research Journal Unveiled for Global Wine Industry
14 April, 2016

New Research Vehicle “Closes Information Gap” for Economic, Social, and Management Issues in International Wine Commerce

Rohnert Park, California – The Wine Business Institute (WBI) at Sonoma State University (SSU) today announced the launch of the Wine Business Case Research Journal, the first academic case journal dedicated to international wine business issues. The new electronic journal will publish semiannually as an industry digest for qualified academics, scholars, students, and industry stakeholders. Case studies featured in the first issue include an examination of a Napa winery’s ascent to luxury brand; the challenges of diversification and leadership transition at two family-owned businesses in northern Italy; and demographic shifts and category expansion for a wine-serving pub in North Carolina.

View the complete first issue of the Wine Business Case Research Journal.

“Our journal advances wine business education by providing scholars and practitioners with cutting-edge, decision-focused research involving real people and real events in global wine businesses. Multimedia and traditional case studies increase student engagement and improve wine industry research, education, public policy, and business practices, ” Dr. Armand Gilinsky, Korbel Professor of Wine Business and Founding Editor of the Wine Business Case Research Journal said.

Members of the Wine Business Case Research Journal staff include Founding Editor and Korbel Professor of Wine Business, Dr. Armand Gilinsky; Associate Editor and Bordeaux-based international winemaking consultant, David Rowe; Production Coordinator and Sonoma MBA in Wine Business, Erin Rock; Founding Assistant Editor and winemaker at J Wine, Nicole Hitchcock; Consulting Librarian, Paula Hammett; and Student Editors Marieshka Barton and Tanisha Larsen. The publication’s founding editorial board includes five past editors of academic journals, wine business researchers, and university scholars from the U.S., France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Australia, Mexico, New Zealand, and South Africa.

“Dr. Gilinsky identified a need and an opportunity to close the information gap in the global wine industry. His strong solution was to create a gathering place for the leading minds in wine business. As our international network of scholars and experts continues to grow through this and other exciting projects, so too does our reputation as the global leader in wine business research and education,” Ray Johnson, Director of the Wine Business Institute said.

The Wine Business Institute is currently accepting submissions for the Spring/Summer 2016 issue. Cases are “double blind” reviewed so that authors and reviewers remain anonymous. Cases are published via the Scholastica platform in an open-access format so that authors can retain copyrights to their work. For more information about the contents of Volume 1, Issue 1, including sample case topics and submission guidelines, or to submit case research, please visit the Wine Business Case Research Journal online.

For more information regarding the Wine Business Case Research Journal, please contact wbizcase@sonoma.edu. The Wine Business Institute is an education and research institute of the School of Business and Economics. For more information regarding professional education certificates and seminars, or advanced degree programs in the School of Business and Economics, please visit www.sonoma.edu/sbe, or contact (707) 664-3235 or winebiz@sonoma.edu.

 


Marketing and Financial Experts Barbara Talbott and Jeanette Tan to Instruct Branding, Accounting Programs
12 April, 2016

Early Registration Deadline is April 27 for Professional Wine Business Certificate Courses Beginning May 11

Rohnert Park, California – The Wine Business Institute (WBI) at Sonoma State University (SSU) today announced that Barbara Talbott, founder and CEO of GlenLarkin Advisors and former Chief Marketing Officer of Four Seasons Hotels, and Jeanette Tan, accountant for Kokomo Winery and Sbragia Family Vineyards, were chosen to teach the professional development courses, Wine Branding Certificate: Building a Competitive Wine Brand, a four-day intensive program taking place May 11 – 14, and QuickBooks® Certificate: A Comprehensive Application for Your Wine Business, an eight-week online course on Wednesdays from May 11 – July 20.

Barbara Talbott is considered a leader in global branding and service innovation after directing the growth of Four Seasons as one of the world’s most valuable consumer brands. In 2009, she founded GlenLarkin Advisors to provide strategic counsel to senior executive teams. Jeanette Tan is owner of QB Winery Solutions, a specialized wine business accounting consultancy and Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor®.

“We’re dedicated to employing powerhouse instructors who are the best at what they do. In Barbara and Jeanette, participants have an opportunity to learn from experts at the top of their specialization, whether branding and marketing or finance and accounting. In either case, students will advance with new skills, renewed interest, and fresh ideas for their work and organization,” Ray Johnson, Director of the Wine Business Institute said.

Wine Branding Certificate: Building a Competitive Wine Brand is designed to provide wine industry professionals a theoretical foundation and practical insights on product differentiation and brand management. Case studies and guest speakers are expected to convey key concepts related to brand equity, brand portfolio, and brand positioning. Guest speakers include Carol Reber, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer for Duckhorn Wine Company; Ben Van Anda, Vice President at Southern Wine & Spirits; Carrie Murphy, Marketing Content Manager at Revinate, Inc.; and Jacques Rossouw, Creative Director & Managing Partner at Voicebox Creative in San Francisco.

Dr. Kyuho Lee, Assistant Professor of Marketing at SSU and editor of the book, Strategic Winery Tourism and Management, is course co-instructor. Cost of the program is $1,600 for those who register by April 27.

QuickBooks® Certificate: A Comprehensive Application for Your Wine Business teaches participants how to generate customized reports for wine business operations. Learning outcomes include an ability to identify winemaking cost pools, organizing overhead expenses and charts of accounts, entering a budget, and creating reports. Participants are required to have working knowledge of QuickBooks® and must successfully complete the Readiness Assessment to become eligible to register. Cost of the program is $960 for those who register by April 27.

Jeanette Tan will also lead the seminars, Financial Planning & Strategy for Wine Businesses and Using QuickBooks® in the Wine Industry on April 22, and Calculating the True Cost of Your Wine on May 6.

The Wine Business Institute is an education and research institute of the School of Business and Economics. For more information regarding professional education certificates and seminars, or advanced degree programs in the School of Business and Economics, please contact (707) 664-3235 or winebiz@sonoma.edu. Certificate programs are administered in partnership between the School of Business and Economics and the School of Extended and International Education.


Industry Icon Young’s Market Company Invests in Future Wine Business Learning Complex
01 April, 2016

128-Year-Old Family Business and Longtime University Partner Designates Largest Classroom in Industry Hub
 
Rohnert Park and Tustin, California  The Wine Business Institute (WBI) at Sonoma State University (SSU) and Young’s Market Company today announced a generous gift from the Tustin-based distributor of wine and spirits. The donation will be used in support of the future Wine Spectator Learning Center, a 15,000-square-foot education and industry hub at SSU expected to break ground on June 1. The facility will feature advanced technology classrooms, a student commons and gardens, and a collaborative space for faculty and business leaders. In recognition of this generosity, two rooms will be named in the company’s honor, including the Young’s Market Company Classroom and the Underwood Family Board Room.
 
“There is nothing more important to the future of the wine industry than education. Sonoma State is making a profound impact on the future of the wine business, and we are honored to help the university continue its legacy for learning and innovation.  Young’s is pleased to continue its longtime partnership with the university and excited by the collaborative learning environment that the Wine Business Institute will provide to a new generation of students,” Chris Underwood, CEO, Young’s Market Company said.
 
“For the past decade, Young’s Market Company has been a faithful collaborator in our work as the global leader in wine business research and education. Their core values of integrity, family, quality, and an entrepreneurial spirit align closely with our own, and we’re humbled by their generosity. Together, we’re building leadership for the future of a dynamic and changing industry,” Dr. William S. Silver, Dean of the School of Business and Economics said.
 
Since 2008, Young’s Market Company has been a corporate partner of the School of Business and Economics (SBE) at SSU. Young’s Market LIVE was launched on campus in 2014, and provides a forum for students to network with members of Young’s Market Company leadership team. Since 2014, nearly 30 SSU students have been hired into positions at Young’s Market Company. Approximately 40 percent of those students received a promotion within their first year. Young’s Market Company operates in Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.
 
For more information regarding the Wine Spectator Learning Center, or for information regarding wine business seminars, certificates, and degrees at SSU, please visit www.sonoma.edu/sbe/winebiz, contact (707) 664-3235, or email winebiz@sonoma.edu. For more information regarding Young’s Market Company, please visit www.youngsmarket.com.
 
# # #
 
 
About Wine Business Institute
The Wine Business Institute (WBI) is an education and research institute of the School of Business and Economics (SBE) at Sonoma State University (SSU). SSU is the first institution of higher learning in the U.S. to offer seminars, certificates, and degree programs focused on the business of wine, and the first school of business in the world to offer an executive-level wine business degree. With its unique location, outstanding faculty, and deep relationships in the world of wine, SSU and WBI attract current and future professionals from California and around the world. They come to experience first-hand the expertise and wealth of connections among students, alumni, and industry leaders.
 
About Young’s Market Company
Founded in 1888, Young’s Market Company is the premier distributor of wines, spirits and select beverages in the western United States: Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. Our best-in-class team lives by Young’s longstanding core values: Integrity, Family, Quality, and Entrepreneurial Spirit. Young’s is committed to adding value to our customers, providing exemplary professional representation of our client partners, reaching the highest standards of respect for our employees, and having a positive impact on people’s lives in the communities we serve.

Distinguished Professor of Wine Business Examines Best Practices in New Books on Tourism and Social Media
16 March, 2016

Dr. Liz Thach, MW, Publishes Eighth Book on Wine Industry and Strategic Wine Businesses


Rohnert Park, California – The Wine Business Institute (WBI) at Sonoma State University (SSU) today announced that Dr. Liz Thach, MW, published two new books including, Best Practices in Global Wine Business, a collection of 15 global case studies analyzing business methods used by successful wine regions and wineries, and Successful Social Media & Ecommerce Strategies, an examination of new communication platforms used in digital wine marketing. Professor Thach is the Distinguished Professor of Wine Business and a Professor of Management. She has authored over 120 articles on wine and eight books on wine business careers, marketing and sales, global commerce, and tourism, including a wine travel mystery novel series.

“These new books are the culmination of two years of diligence and creativity from great co-editors, authors, and student assistants. The wine industry is blessed with a global network of talented researchers who recognize SSU and the Wine Business Institute for expert faculty and industry training. We share a goal to prepare the next generation of leaders in a dynamic and evolving wine industry, and these books are tools to help make that happen,” Dr. Liz Thach, MW, author and Distinguished Professor of Wine Business said.

Best Practices in Global Wine Business describes wine business innovations to establish new wine regions, attract customers, create collaborative relationships, preserve the environment, and establish measurements for wine tourism. Featured case studies examine companies in the U.S., France, Italy, Argentina, China, New Zealand, and Australia, among others. The book was co-edited with Steve Charters, MW, and published by Miranda Press.

“An excellent collection of fascinating and useful case studies describing the challenges and triumphs of implementing a wine tourism strategy. An engaging read for wine hospitality managers, enthusiasts, and students,” Dr. Don Getz, author and Professor Emeritus of Tourism and Hospitality Management at Haskayne School of Business at University of Calgary.

Successful Social Media & Ecommerce Strategies explores how wineries use Facebook and other social media platforms to interact with consumers, crowdsourcing techniques to build a new wine business, cross-cultural analysis, and other tactics that give insight to the world of digital wine marketing. It was co-edited with Gergely Szolnoki and Dani Kolb, and published by Palgrave Pivot.

For more information about Professor Liz Thach and her work, or for information regarding wine business faculty research and programs at SSU, please visit www.sonoma.edu/sbe/winebiz, contact (707) 664-3235, or email winebiz@sonoma.edu. WBI is an education and research institute of the School of Business and Economics (SBE).


Executive MBA Students Engage Wine Industry Experts in Chile and Argentina March 13 - 24
10 March, 2016

Public Information Session Planned March 16 for Innovative Global Wine MBA Program

Rohnert Park, California – The School of Business and Economics (SBE) at Sonoma State University (SSU) announced that its current class of Executive MBA students and faculty in wine business are embarking on a two-week international study tour from March 13 – 24 for meetings and activities with industry executives and government officials in Santiago and Viña del Mar, Chile, and Mendoza, Argentina. The purpose of the excursion is to provide students an international business perspective on their studies and companies, by interfacing with experts and professionals in Latin American winery and vineyard operations. The student group includes professional winemakers, global sales executives, winery owners, and other senior managers and executives from the California wine industry.

Graduate Programs Executive Director, John Stayton, will also host a public information session on March 16 at 7 p.m. at the Atton El Bosque Hotel in Santiago, regarding the new Global Wine MBA program, the first full-time advanced business degree focused on wine commerce.

“The business of wine is increasingly complex and global, and study tours provide an important opportunity for students to interact and learn from counterparts and industry leaders abroad. The value of exposure to foreign operations and in-country consulting is unparalleled. It helps develop a global network and perspective, new strategies and new ways of thinking, as well as leadership communication and teamwork skills,” John Stayton, Executive Director of Graduate and Executive Programs said.

Meetings in Chile are scheduled with owners, executives, and officials at Vineyard Errazuriz, Concha Y Toro Vineyard, the Chilean-American Chamber of Commerce, Vineyard Veramonte, Vineyard Emiliana, and Vineyard Kingston. The student cohort will also meet with Pedro Torrejón, Chief of Marketing and Port Competitiveness at Valparaiso, Chile’s principal shipping port and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site, as well as visit La Sebastiana, the former home of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda.

Meetings in Argentina include owners, executives, and officials at Fundacion ProMendoza, a public-private entity focused on the import and export of products, winery Bodega Catena Zapata, glass manufacturer Verallia, Bodegas Caro of Domaines Barons de Rothschild, winery Bodega Nieto Senetiner, and winery Viña Cobos. Students will also have opportunity for horseback riding and trekking in La Alejandra near the Andes.

For more information about the upcoming international study tour or the MBA for Executives wine business at Sonoma State University, or other advanced degree programs in the School of Business and Economics, please call 707-664-3501, email mba@sonoma.edu, or visit sonoma.edu/mba.


Wine Business Institute and Southern Wine & Spirits of America Announce Wine Business Scholarship Fund
09 March, 2016

Student Scholarships to be Awarded Annually Over Five Years for Work Ethic, Relationship Skills and Passion for the Industry

Miami, Fla. and Rohnert Park, Calif. – Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. (Southern)—the nation’s leading wine and spirits distributor—and the Wine Business Institute (WBI) at Sonoma State University (SSU)—the global leader in wine business research and education—today announced the Southern Wine & Spirits of America Wine Business Scholarship Fund to provide two scholarships annually for five years to undergraduate or graduate students pursuing a degree in wine business.

Funds are awarded in support of career advancement and educational accomplishment to offset costs of tuition, books, fees, housing and other expenses. Eligibility requirements include a 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA) or higher, current or planned career in the wine industry, and demonstration of a strong work ethic, human relationship skills and a passion for the wine industry.

Since 2011, Southern has been a corporate partner of SSU in support of the Professional Sales Certificate program and annual etiquette dinner for students. Applications for the Southern Wine & Spirits of America Wine Business Scholarship Fund are due Friday, March 11, 2016.

“We are proud to partner with the Wine Business Institute in its commitment to further the education and learning of those interested in the wine business,” said Wayne Chaplin, Southern’s President & CEO. “This scholarship is one way Southern is showing our commitment to supporting world-class training and development for the future leaders of our industry.”

“Southern Wine and Spirits continues a legacy of support for student growth and learning with this generous scholarship in wine business. We value their confidence in Sonoma State University as the global leader in wine business research and education, and their partnership in creating a sustainable future for wine business leadership,” Ray Johnson, Director of the Wine Business Institute said.

# # #

About the Wine Business Institute
The Wine Business Institute (WBI) is an education and research institute of the School of Business and Economics (SBE) at Sonoma State University (SSU). SSU is the first institution of higher learning in the U.S. to offer seminars, certificates, and degree programs focused on the business of wine, and the first school of business in the world to offer an executive-level wine business degree. With its unique location, outstanding faculty, and deep relationships in the world of wine, SSU and WBI attract current and future professionals from California and around the world. They come to experience first-hand the expertise and wealth of connections among students, alumni, and industry leaders.

Additional available wine business scholarships include the La Tosh Wine Business Scholarship, Liz Thach Wine Industry Scholarship, Donn P. Reisen Scholarship Fund, Women for WineSense Scholarship, Sonoma Valley Cuisine Scholarship, and Charlie Palmer's Pigs & Pinot Annual Scholarship.

For more information regarding wine business scholarships, or for information regarding wine business seminars, certificates, and degree programs at SSU, please visit www.sonoma.edu/sbe/winebiz, contact (707) 664-3235, or email winebiz@sonoma.edu.


Graduate and Executive Programs Information Sessions Scheduled for Spring 2016
04 March, 2016

Informal Meetings Provide Insight to Life as a Master’s Student, Guidance on Accredited MBA Programs, Financial Aid, and Faculty Expertise

Rohnert Park, California – The School of Business and Economics (SBE) at Sonoma State University (SSU) today announced a series of public information sessions about its master’s degree programs will take place March 5 and 28, April 2 and 23, and May 21 on the SSU campus in Rohnert Park. Information sessions provide an opportunity for members of the public and interested professionals to meet with administrators, students, and faculty for an overview of the programs, outline of courses, and application counseling and support. The March 28 event includes a networking mixer and panel discussion with current MBA students. The May 21 session includes an opportunity to sit in on a class of the Executive MBA program.

“These meetings provide an intimate setting for interested professionals to identify the right program for them, whether an MBA, Global Wine MBA, or other. We believe that if participants have an opportunity to scrutinize these programs through conversation with current students and faculty, and by observing an actual class, the intrinsic value and return on investment in terms of personal and professional growth is clear,” John Stayton, Executive Director of Graduate and Executive Programs said.

Spring 2016 Information Sessions:

• Saturday, March 5, 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.
MBA / Executive MBA / Wine MBA
Sonoma State University, Darwin Hall, Room 101

• Monday, March 28, 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
MBA / Wine MBA / Global Wine MBA (w/ current students)
Sonoma State University, Ives Hall, Room 101

• Saturday, April 2, 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.
MBA / Executive MBA
Sonoma State University, Darwin Hall, Room 101

• Saturday, April 23, 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.
Executive MBA / Executive Wine MBA
Sonoma State University, Darwin Hall, Room 101

• Saturday, May 21, 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.
Executive MBA / Executive Wine MBA (class sit-in w/ EMBA students)
Sonoma State University, Darwin Hall, Room 101

For more information regarding upcoming information sessions or to RSVP, please visit http://www.sonoma.edu/mba/ or contact the Graduate and Executive Programs office at (707) 664-3501 or mba@sonoma.edu.


Susan Adams and Tim Wallace Named Executives-in-Residence, Provide Boost to Career Services and Wine Business Programs
01 March, 2016

Innovative Appointments Expected to Reinforce Operations, Enrich Community with Senior Management Perspective


Rohnert Park, California – The School of Business and Economics (SBE) at Sonoma State University (SSU) today announced that Susan Flannery Adams, SBE lecturer and coordinator of the Human Resource Management Certificate program at SSU, and Tim Wallace, former owner and President of Benziger Family Winery, were appointed as Executives-in-Residence in Human Resources (HR) and Wine Business, respectively. The new advisory and development positions are intended to support existing staff and leadership in the growth of programs and services, and strengthen community engagement across student, alumni, local business, and other stakeholder groups.

“Susan and Tim offer decades of complex executive leadership experience that will inform and advance our mission to provide transformational learning experiences to our young people, and shape best business practices in the North Bay and beyond. We expect to benefit from their perspective and expertise on multiple aspects of our operation, from curriculum development to alumni engagement to case research and more,” Dr. William Silver, Dean of the School of Business and Economics said.

Susan Adams has 18 years of HR experience in both non-profit and corporate environments, with specific expertise in evaluating, designing, and implementing HR systems and programs. She currently teaches HR Management courses in the undergraduate, master’s-level, and professional development programs at SSU. Previously, she was head of HR at PNI Sensor Corporation in Santa Rosa, and held senior positions at international consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton, and Chicago-based senior housing and healthcare provider United Methodist Homes and Services. She has a Master of Arts in Human Resources and Organization Development from the University of San Francisco, and holds certifications from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and HR Certification Institute.

“As the concept of career evolves into a lifetime focus, I hope to leverage my experience to continue to build our community and provide mutual benefit to businesses, alumni, and current and future students. It’s an exciting time to be part of SBE, whether the corporate partnership program, internship and mentor programs, or new graduate and professional programs. My focus as Executive-in-Residence is to work collaboratively with University Career Services and all stakeholders to support the growth and development of SBE’s Career Center programs and services,” Susan Adams, SBE Human Resources Executive-in-Residence said.

For the past 22 years, Tim Wallace has served as CEO of Benziger Family Winery, an award-winning wine producer known for its leadership in sustainability practices. His executive management experience organizing seven family owners and seventy-five full-time employees in all phases of business operations are expected to significantly enhance wine business education and academic program offerings at SSU. He is currently or previously a board member of California Wine Institute, Sonoma Valley Education Foundation, Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance, Sonoma Valley Film Society, and Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau, among other organizations. He has a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School.

“I’m fulfilling a dream that I’ve harbored for some time, which is to give back in a meaningful way to an industry that has enthralled and enriched me for almost three decades. The time has come for me to reorient my professional growth from one that has historically focused on success to one that now focuses more squarely on significance. In so doing, I hope to assist others on their journey to success,” Tim Wallace, Wine Business Executive in Residence and former CEO of Benziger Family Winery said. “The Wine Business Institute is a wine industry gem that is well on its way to becoming the world’s most significant contributor to wine business education and research. I’m committed to furthering that distinction in partnership with the students, faculty, and administration of the School of Business and Economics.”

For more information regarding Susan Adams, HR Executive-in-Residence, or Tim Wallace, Wine Business Executive-in-Residence, or for information regarding professional seminars, certificates, or degree programs in the School of Business and Economics, please contact (707) 664-3501, or visit www.sonoma.edu/sbe.


Wine Business Institute Journeys “Down Under” for 9th Academy of Wine Business Research Conference
17 February, 2016

Sonoma-Based Professors of Wine Business Engage International Experts and Academics in Adelaide, Australia February 16-18

Rohnert Park, California – The Wine Business Institute (WBI) at Sonoma State University (SSU) announced that a group of Professors in Wine Business are presenting research and expertise at the 2016 Academy of Wine Business Research Conference at the University of South Australia in Adelaide between February 16 – 18. WBI faculty in attendance include Dr. Armand Gilinsky, Korbel Professor of Wine Business, Dr. Liz Thach, Distinguished Professor of Wine, Dr. Janeen Olsen, Professor of Wine Business and Marketing, and Dr. Tom Atkin, Professor of Wine Business and Quality. The annual academic conference includes presentations, collaboration, and discussion of interest to wine business educators and researchers worldwide.

“It’s important that the Wine Business Institute put forward a ‘show of force’ at this annual conference because of our role as the global leader in wine business research and education. Rather than simply meeting the wine industry’s needs, our faculty are helping to shape how the industry evolves within the demands of globalization, technology, demographic shifts, and changing regulations. The collaboration that takes place during this event is essential to our ability to inform public policy, develop industry leadership, and drive important innovation through research and education,” Ray Johnson, Director of the Wine Business Institute said.

Professor Gilinsky is expected to present, Strategy and Leadership in U.S. Wine Businesses: 15 Years On, a study conducted with Dr. Robert Eyler, Professor of Economics at SSU, and examines results from a survey and investigation into strategy and leadership at U.S. wineries. Dr. Gilinsky is also leading a workshop session on how to write and publish a case study. Professor Janeen Olsen and Professor Liz Thach are presenting, Melting Pot or Blended Wine: Does Ethnicity Still Matter in Understanding Consumer Wine Behavior, a study exploring consumer preferences and wine consumption behavior based on market segmentation by ethnicity. Dr. Thach and Dr. Olsen will be joined by Professor Tom Atkin to present, Marketing by What Matters: Using Schwartz’s Theory of Basic Values to Identify Wine Consumer Segments, a study examining consumer behavior using a values-based segmentation of the U.S. wine market.

WBI faculty have facilitated the conference since its inception in 2002, and SSU hosted the conference in 2005. The gathering has grown to include up to 150 researchers and academics representing as many institutions and countries around the world. In previous years, the conference was held in France (Montpellier and Bordeaux), Italy, New Zealand, Canada, and Germany.

In Spring 2016, WBI expects to launch the Wine Business Case Research Journal, a semi-annual publication founded by Dr. Gilinsky and featuring teaching cases in the global wine business context. For more information about the 2016 Academy of Wine Business Research Conference, or for information about wine business faculty research and programs at SSU, please visit www.sonoma.edu/sbe/winebiz, contact (707) 664-3235, or email winebiz@sonoma.edu. WBI is an education and research institute of the School of Business and Economics (SBE).


U.S. Army Veteran Earns Industry Accolade with Rally Point Wines, Credits Entrepreneurship Certificate Program
15 February, 2016

“For Love of Wine and Love of Humanity” is Latest Mission for Winemaker and Veterans Advocate Tim Burgess



Rohnert Park, California – The Wine Business Institute (WBI) at Sonoma State University (SSU) today recognized Rally Point Wines founder Tim Burgess, an alumnus of the WBI Certificate in Wine Business Entrepreneurship, for earning important industry awards recently for his Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Viognier, including three Gold Medals at the 2016 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, and two Gold Medals at the 2015 North Coast Wine Challenge. Rally Point Wines was established in 2015 by Mr. Burgess and his wife, Kate, also a U.S. Army Veteran. Together, they represent over 18 years of combined active-duty military service, and donate a portion of revenues from their wine business to numerous veteran organizations, including Sonoma County Vet Connect, Blue Star Families, The Fisher House Foundation, Gary Sinise Foundation, and the Society of American Military Engineers.

“Rally Point Wines started with a yearning to do more, to give more. The name comes from the military and means ‘meeting place.’ We see our company and products as a meeting place for the love of wine and the love of humanity,” Tim Burgess, founder of Rally Point Wines and WBI alumnus said. “Thanks in large part to the preparation and support of the Entrepreneurship certificate program, I was given the tools to align my business plan with my mission and vision, and grow a network of wine industry professionals, many of whom remain close friends and business associates. The instructor’s passion and desire for our success was the push I needed to launch my own wine brand. It wouldn’t have happened without this program.”

The WBI Certificate in Wine Business Entrepreneurship is designed to provide small wine business owners and those seeking to start a wine business, the time and guided focus to develop a successful business plan. Participants are exposed to the regulatory climate for making and selling wine, financial frameworks to develop a vineyard and winery, how to create a virtual brand, and different models for wine business profitability.

Instructor Anisya Fritz, Ph.D., is proprietor at Lynmar Estate and CEO of LynnCo Supply Chain Solutions. She is also co-founder of the Fritz Institute, a non-profit focused on improving disaster relief, and a published author on competitive strategy, international entrepreneurship, and humanitarian relief in Harvard Business Review, Strategic Management Journal, and the Journal of International Business Studies.

“The complexity of wine business goes far beyond making wine and selling grapes. The process from growing or purchasing to production to sales can be overwhelming to even the most courageous entrepreneurs and family owners. Our expert instructor, Dr. Anisya Fritz, has designed a program that helps make the journey into wine enjoyable, productive, and ultimately successful. Tim Burgess and Rally Point Wines is a shining example,” Ray Johnson, Director of the Wine Business Institute said.

The WBI Certificate in Wine Business Entrepreneurship is an eight-week lecture and workshop course on Thursdays from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. between March 3 and April 29. Cost of the professional certificate program is $960 for those who register before February 18, 2016.

WBI is an education and research institute of the School of Business and Economics (SBE). WBI seminars and certificate programs are administered in partnership between SBE and the School of Extended and International Education. For more information or to register for the Certificate in Wine Business Entrepreneurship, or other wine business seminars, please visit www.sonoma.edu/sbe/winebiz, contact (707) 664-3235, or email winebiz@sonoma.edu.


Hamel Family Chair in Wine Business to Address Inaugural U.S. Beverage Industry Expo February 18
11 February, 2016

Dr. Damien Wilson Invited to Provide Global Thought Leadership on Recent Movements in $400 Billion U.S. Adult Beverage Industry

Rohnert Park, California – The Wine Business Institute (WBI) at Sonoma State University (SSU) today announced that its Hamel Family Chair of Wine Business, Dr. Damien Wilson, will address the inaugural U.S. Beverage Industry Expo (USBevX) in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, February 18 from 8:30 – 9:30 a.m. Dr. Wilson will join the event’s culminating session, The Future is the New Normal, a debate-style panel designed to explore the “convergence, consolidation, and competition” among beer, cider, wine, and spirits categories. The national conference and trade show convenes producers and professionals from the adult beverage industry February 16 – 18 at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel for dialogue and insights on recent consumer and business trends, and beverage industry innovations.

“There’s a dynamic future ahead for the beverage industry and for wine business, in particular. This conference allows the Wine Business Institute to both demonstrate its leadership in research and education, and represent Sonoma State University and the California wine industry at the national level among experts and policymakers,” Dr. Damien Wilson, Hamel Family Chair and Associate Professor of Wine Business said. “While the European wine sector is eager to ingest criticism of business practices connected to the wine sector, the North American interest is more akin to discovering what works and developing best practices. Competing beverages need to recognize and respect each other's strategic advantages in a changing market, so our discussion will focus on the takeaways and outlook for wine in relation to other industry players.”

Dr. Wilson has 20 years of international wine industry experience in Australia, France, and the U.S. He is former Director of Wine Business programs at Burgundy School of Business in Dijon, France, and widely known for expertise in wine production, distribution, sales, and service. His research specialties include wine consumer behavior, tourism, technology, and crowdfunding. In 2015, he was appointed as the Hamel Family Faculty Chair in Wine Business, a five-year renewable term based in the future Wine Spectator Learning Center, an education and industry hub designed around advanced technology classrooms, a student commons and gardens, and a collaborative space for faculty and business leaders.

Attendees to USBevX include cider makers, distillers, brewers, winemakers, general managers, hopyard managers, vineyard managers, sales and marketing professionals, chief financial officers, and brewery, cidery, meadery, distillery, and winery owners. Representatives of WBI will be in attendance both days to engage conference participants regarding wine business education seminars, certificate programs, and degree programs at SSU.

The WBI is an education and research institute of the School of Business and Economics (SBE). WBI programs are administered in partnership between SBE and the School of Extended and International Education. For more information about the upcoming USBevX event, Wine Business Institute, or Hamel Family Chair in Wine Business, please call 707-664-3235 or visit www.sonoma.edu/winebiz.


Wine Business Institute Picks Local Architect, Builder for Wine Spectator Learning Center
26 January, 2016

TLCD Architects and BNBT Builders Partner on Innovative Industry-Education Complex at Sonoma State University

Rohnert Park, California – The Wine Business Institute (WBI) at Sonoma State University (SSU) today announced that TLCD Architecture based in Santa Rosa and BNBT Builders of San Francisco were chosen to partner on design and construction of the future Wine Spectator Learning Center (WSLC), an education and industry hub designed around advanced technology classrooms, a student commons and gardens, and a collaborative space for faculty and business leaders. Crews expect to break ground on the $9.15 million project on June 1, 2016, with completion and grand opening set for Summer 2017.

TLCD Architecture specializes in civic, commercial, healthcare, hospitality and education sectors, with clients including the City of Santa Rosa, American Ag Credit, Kaiser Permanente, Santa Rosa Junior College, and Napa Valley College, among others. BNBT Builders specializes in all phases of construction with projects spanning the life sciences, healthcare, education, commercial office and mission critical sectors. Their client list includes the University of California at Berkeley, Davis, Santa Cruz, and San Francisco; Stanford Hospital and Clinics and Stanford School of Medicine; and companies including Dignity Health, Vantage, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and GitHub, among others.

“As the educational nucleus of a thriving regional economy, it was important to us to engage local professionals on this project. We decided after a lengthy review of top quality firms that TLCD and BNBT have the right combination of skill and experience. Over the coming months, a cutting-edge facility will take shape on campus, designed and built to provide the University community a teaching and learning environment that meets its demands and exceeds expectations as one of California’s leading institutions of higher education,” Dr. William Silver, Dean of the School of Business and Economics said.

“The planning process so far has been comprehensive and well-coordinated, and bodes well for our ambitious timeline and our vision as the global leader in wine business research and education. On behalf of SSU and the Wine Business Institute, we’re excited to work with TLCD and BNBT, and look forward to sharing updates as the project continues,” Ray Johnson, Director of the Wine Business Institute said.

The WSLC will be located on the site of the current SSU Student Commons building on campus. The project involves interior and exterior renovation of the building to meet advanced learning and education requirements, and to support the executive, professional, and degree programs of the Wine Business Institute, including all activities, events, and research projects.

Exterior features of the building will include extensive international-themed gardens on the north side, adjacent to the campus lakes. The south side will showcase a second garden with grape vines and the “Student Success Pathway,” including flagstones with student names linked to a scholarship dedicated to first generation college students and children of vineyard and winery workers. The classrooms, student commons, faculty-industry hub, and overall interior of the building will be equipped with advanced technology features, such as multi-point video conferencing for technology-enabled learning, video production with broadcast capabilities, and multi-media exhibit and research stations.

“It is a real privilege for the opportunity to be involved in such an innovative project. Sonoma State University and the Wine Business Institute have taken a very sustainable approach by revitalizing one of the original campus buildings. We believe the transformation will be truly stunning, and provide a perfect home for this forward-thinking regional and international program,” Brian Wright, Principal at TLCD Architecture said.

“Our team is excited to be back on campus and partnering with Sonoma State University again. This project will reshape how generations of students learn about the wine business. BNBT is enormously proud to support SSU’s vision and be part of their commitment to excellence in higher education,” David Becker, Principal of BNBT Builders said.

Project contributors to date include the Wine Spectator Scholarship Foundation; Alpha Omega Winery and Tolosa Vineyards & Winery; American AgCredit; Bouchaine Vineyards; Charmer-Sunbelt; Korbel Champagne Cellars; Wally Lowry, Professor Emeritus of Business at SSU; Peter Michael Winery; Pierce Education Properties; The Rubin Family of Wines; and Young's Market Company.

For more information about the Wine Spectator Learning Center at Sonoma State University, or for information about Wine Business Institute programs and degrees, please visit www.sonoma.edu/sbe/winebiz, contact (707) 664-3235, or email winebiz@sonoma.edu. The WBI is an education and research institute of the School of Business and Economics (SBE). WBI programs are administered in partnership between SBE and the School of Extended and International Education.


Spring 2016 Schedule Released for Wine Business Institute Professional Seminars and Certificates
07 January, 2016

Half-Day Seminars and University Credential Programs in Branding, QuickBooks™ and Entrepreneurship

Rohnert Park, California – The Wine Business Institute (WBI) at Sonoma State University (SSU) announced its Spring 2016 schedule of professional training and education certificates, including the Wine Business Management Certificate online, with the first of three required courses beginning January 13; Direct-to-Consumer Certificate and Wine Business Finance and Accounting Certificate, with core and elective seminars beginning February 26; Wine Entrepreneurship Certificate beginning March 3; and Building a Competitive Wine Brand Certificate and QuickBooks™ Certificate online, both beginning May 11.

“Busy professionals who are interested in career advancement and skills development need learning opportunities that are convenient as well as constructive. Our focus in designing this collection of university-level courses was to find the right mix of format and timing, to ensure the right return on investment for our students. We’re particularly excited about the return of the Wine Entrepreneurship Certificate, which is taught by Dr. Anisya Thomas Fritz of Lynmar Estate and the Fritz Institute. Each of our credential programs is taught by and for wine industry and global business professionals who expect the highest level of training at the highest value,” Ray Johnson, Director of the Wine Business Institute said.

Cost of the Wine Business Management Certificate online ranges from $710 for the four-week Foundation Level to $960 for the eight-week Intermediate and Advanced Levels. Cost of the Direct-to-Consumer Certificate and Wine Business Finance and Accounting Certificate, which require completion of eight seminars to earn the certificate, is $150 per seminar for those who register by February 12. Cost of the eight-week Wine Entrepreneurship Certificate and eight-week QuickBooks™ Certificate online is $960 for those who register at least two weeks prior to the starting dates of March 3 and May 11, respectively. Cost of the four-day Building a Competitive Wine Brand Certificate is $1,600 for those who register by April 27. All online courses and seminars may be taken individually or together to earn a certificate.

The WBI is an education and research institute of the School of Business and Economics. For more information regarding professional education certificates and seminars, or advanced degree programs, please contact (707) 664-3235 or winebiz@sonoma.edu. Certificate programs are administered in partnership between the School of Business and Economics and the School of Extended and International Education.


Winemaker and Winery Management Expert to Teach Online Foundation-Level Course Beginning January 13
18 December, 2015

Rohnert Park, California – The Wine Business Institute (WBI) at Sonoma State University (SSU) today announced the addition of Patrick Baker to its roster of industry experts teaching the innovative online Certificate in Wine Business Management beginning January 13, 2016. He currently serves as North American Sales Director for Vintrace, formerly VINx2, a cloud-based software company that helps companies track developments in production, inventory, quality, sales, compliance, and reporting. The Certificate in Wine Business Management is made up of three course levels with training in wine commerce and trade, marketing and sales, finance and accounting, eCommerce, business issues associated with viticulture and winemaking, and regulatory issues.

“Patrick is a wine industry veteran with more than 10 years of experience as a grower, winemaker, and winery General Manager. His expertise on the technology side of production, in particular, provides important perspective for anyone seeking a basic understanding of the industry and marketplace, and the importance of harnessing data as standards and procedures continue to evolve,” Ray Johnson, Director of the Wine Business Institute said.

In addition to his role with Vintrace, Patrick Baker has served as Winegrape Grower and Winemaker at 3 B's Vineyard; General Manager at California Winery Properties LLC; General Manager for Carneros Vintners; and Vintner and Proprietor at Fortunatus LLP. Prior to his career in the wine industry, he had a successful career in commercial insurance. He has experience in all aspects of winery general management, production operations, process improvement, supply chain management, and regulatory compliance.

“I think it’s imperative for new entrants to the wine industry and current wine industry members get a full breadth of exposure to topics they’ll deal with daily and potentially in the future. It’s generally the ‘business of wine’ not the ‘wine business’ that can actually take up a majority of time. For those who are prepared and exposed to those business elements, the reward is regaining a focus on your passion while maintaining the daily business successfully,” Patrick Baker, Vintrace Sales Director and WBI Instructor, said.

Other instructors of the Certificate in Wine Business Management include Ronald Scharman, Chief Operating Officer of Chatterbox Wine Marketing Services & VinoVisit.com; Dr. Tom Atkin, Associate Professor of Operations and Supply Chain Management at SSU; and Tim Hanni, MW. Participants who complete all three online course levels and a cumulative exam will earn the certificate. The two-year industry requirement is waived for certificate earners seeking admission to the MBA in Wine Business program.

For more information regarding Patrick Baker and the online Certificate in Wine Business Management, other professional seminars, certificate programs, and advanced degree programs of the Wine Business Institute and School of Business and Economics, please contact (707) 664-3235 or winebiz@sonoma.edu.


Popular Eight-Week Wine Business Entrepreneurship Program Returns in Spring 2016
16 December, 2015

Dr. Anisya Thomas Fritz of Lynmar Estate and Fritz Institute Guides Focus for Business Plan Success

Rohnert Park, California – The Wine Business Institute (WBI) at Sonoma State University (SSU) today announced the return of its Certificate in Wine Business Entrepreneurship, an eight-week lecture and workshop course on Thursdays from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. between March 3 and April 29, 2016. The program is designed to provide small wine business owners and those seeking to start a wine business, the time and guided focus to develop a successful business plan, whether for a new product, new business, or career in the wine industry. Participants are exposed to the regulatory climate for making and selling wine, financial frameworks to develop a vineyard and winery, how to create a virtual brand, and different models for wine business profitability. Cost of the education certificate program is $960 for those who register before February 18, 2016.

“People often think of wine business in terms of making wine or selling grapes. The complexity of tending to a vineyard or producing wine can be overwhelming to entrepreneurs looking to start a winery, or owners of small family wine businesses. As a result, the journey into wine becomes stressful or chaotic. This program provides individuals the space and time to reflect on their vision and the path they need to travel to get there. We’re thrilled that Dr. Fritz is returning to lead this program and guide participants. Her international reputation as a business thought leader combined with her wine industry expertise make her a vital asset to the experience,” Ray Johnson, Director of the Wine Business Institute said.

Program participants are provided opportunity to engage with industry leaders and veterans for insight on experiences and lessons learned. Using various tools and frameworks, they refine their mission and vision, and evaluate the competitive landscape and current industry environment, with the goal of producing and presenting a written business plan at the end of eight weeks.

Anisya Thomas Fritz, Ph.D., owns Lynmar Estate, a family-owned producer of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, where she serves as the Director of Marketing and Consumer Sales. She is also Chief Executive Officer and Chair of LynnCo Supply Chain Solutions, a logistics provider, and co-founder of the Fritz Institute, a non-profit organization that works to improve global humanitarian aid and disaster relief from a systems perspective. She has published articles in the Harvard Business Review, Strategic Management Journal, and the Journal of International Business Studies, among others, on topics including competitive strategy, international entrepreneurship, and humanitarian relief.

The WBI is an education and research institute of the School of Business and Economics. WBI seminars and certificate programs are administered in partnership between the School of Business and Economics and the School of Extended and International Education. For more information or to register for the Certificate in Wine Business Entrepreneurship, or other wine business seminars, please visit www.sonoma.edu/sbe/winebiz, contact (707) 664-3235, or email winebiz@sonoma.edu.


Professor Emeritus Wally Lowry Expands Legacy to Future Wine Spectator Learning Center
07 December, 2015

Legendary Founder of Wine Business Education Designates Leadership Suite in 15,000-Square-Foot Advanced Technology Facility

Rohnert Park, California – The Wine Business Institute (WBI) at Sonoma State University (SSU) today announced that Professor Emeritus Wally Lowry contributed $300,000 to student scholarships and the future Wine Spectator Learning Center, an education and industry hub designed around advanced technology classrooms, a student commons and gardens, and a collaborative space for faculty and business leaders. Between 1969 and 2001, Professor Emeritus Lowry taught all areas of accounting, auditing, and taxation in the School of Business and Economics at SSU. In 1996, as program director he helped launch the first Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Wine Business Strategies. During this time, in addition to operating an independent accounting firm, he participated as a board member for numerous community benefit organizations, many of which he continues to serve today, including the Santa Rosa Rotary Club, Sonoma County Alliance, Sonoma State University Academic Foundation, and as president of the Empire Breakfast Club.

“Since the beginning, wine business education at SSU has been a partnership between industry and education built on a love of wine. We started the program because the industry had a need and we had solutions. In the early days, we grew the curriculum from the ground up and helped wineries learn techniques to reduce tax liability through new inventory procedures and capitalizing leases of high-cost equipment, among other strategies,” Wally Lowry, Professor Emeritus of Business at Sonoma State University said. “Today, those techniques are the international standard and the Wine Business Institute is a global leader in research and education. I’m proud to give alongside the great names in the wine industry. Through it all, we’ve developed important friendships among winery owners, workers, and families, such as Gary Heck at Korbel, Henry Trione, Walt Klenz at Beringer, the Sterling family, Gallo family, and others. Their wonderful support combined with the School’s enhanced reputation is at the heart of our shared success.”

Professor Emeritus Lowry is a retired U.S. Navy Captain and holds a degree in economics from Stanford University and a Master in Business Administration from the University of California at Berkeley. He began his career in public accounting in 1959. In addition to his substantial gift to the Wine Spectator Learning Center, he supports students through annual scholarships for Business Majors in Accounting and Finance through the SSU “Wally & Ellie Lowry Accounting & Finance Scholarship Fund.”

“This is a special gift since it’s from one of our own. When I’m in the community speaking with alumni, many of them mention Wally as one of the faculty who had a major impact on their career and lives. Among his greatest contributions to the School of Business and Economics are the first wine business classes ever taught, and the creation of the Wine Business Institute. On behalf of the entire University community, I thank him for his selfless dedication to the next generation of business leaders, and for his strong legacy of public service,” William S. Silver, Dean of the School of Business and Economics said.

Construction of the Wine Spectator Learning Center is expected to begin in 2016 with completion in 2017. The new facility will provide an educational experience befitting the unique location, curriculum, and depth of network and expertise available to students of wine business. Additional partners and contributors to date include the Wine Spectator Scholarship Foundation; Robin and Michelle Baggett of Alpha Omega Winery and Tolosa Vineyards & Winery; Gerret and Tatiana Copeland of Bouchaine Vineyards; Gary Heck of Korbel; Terry Lindley of American AgCredit; Charles Merinoff of Charmer Sunbelt; The Michael Family of Peter Michael Winery; Fred Pierce of Pierce Education Properties; Ron Rubin of The Rubin Family of Wines; and Chris Underwood of Young’s Market Company.

For more information about the Learning Center project, or for information about wine business education seminars, certificates, and degree programs of the Wine Business Institute, please call 707-664-3235 or visit www.sonoma.edu/winebiz.

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Dr. Damien Wilson to Advise on State of North Coast Wine Industry December 3
24 November, 2015

Industry Network Picks Wine Business Chair to Lead Discussion of Competitive Threats and Innovation

Rohnert Park, California – The Wine Business Institute (WBI) at Sonoma State University (SSU) today announced that Dr. Damien Wilson, Hamel Family Faculty Chair and Associate Professor of Wine Business, will moderate the inaugural session of the Wine Industry Network’s North Coast Wine Industry Trade Show and Conference on December 3 from 9:15 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. The session, entitled, “State of the North Coast Wine Industry” will provide a forum for Professor Wilson to engage fellow industry leaders Eric Thomson of Pernod Ricard, Ron Lindenbusch of Lagunitas Brewing, and Ryan O’Connell of Naked Wines, in a current year review and discussion of market competition from craft beer, cider, and spirits. Discussion is also expected to include the challenges and opportunities that legalization of cannabis could create, and examples of successful business models that have embraced and leveraged competitive threats as opportunities for growth.

“We’re looking forward to a spirited discussion that inspires all of us think outside the square and rethink business-as-usual. Consumer demographics are changing the competitive landscape and this means a shifting set of risks and rewards for industry players. My hope and expectation is that audience members come away energized with a fresh perspective on how to make and embrace change in their industry and place of business,” Professor Damien Wilson, Hamel Family Faculty Chair said.

Professor Wilson has 20 years of international wine industry experience in Australia, France, and the U.S. He is former Director of Wine Business programs at Burgundy School of Business in Dijon, France, and widely known for expertise in wine production, distribution, sales, and service. His research specialties include wine consumer behavior, tourism, technology, and crowdfunding. In 2015, he was appointed as the Hamel Family Faculty Chair in Wine Business, a five-year renewable term based in the future Wine Spectator Learning Center, a 15,000 square foot educational and industry complex.

For more information about the upcoming State of the North Coast Wine Industry panel discussion moderated by Dr. Damien Wilson, or for information about wine business education seminars, certificates, and degree programs of the Wine Business Institute, please call 707-664-3235 or visit www.sonoma.edu/winebiz.

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November 20 Seminar on Human Resources Management for Wine Business Professionals
18 November, 2015

Session to Focus on Tools for Legal Compliance, Talent Development, and Reducing Risk for Profitable Operation

Rohnert Park, California – The Wine Business Institute (WBI) at Sonoma State University (SSU) today announced its Wine Business Human Resource (HR) Management seminar will take place Friday, November 20, from 1:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. in Salazar Hall, Room 2025 on the SSU campus. The seminar is designed for wine business owners and managers interested in learning the relevant regulatory agencies in California, including tactics for how to stay ahead of changing information and issues. The seminar will also address people-related challenges of running a wine business, including tools for developing talent and mitigating liabilities. Cost of the one-day seminar is $180. Successful completion of the seminar counts toward the Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) Certificate and Wine Industry Finance and Accounting Certificate.

“As with each of our programs, the HR seminar is designed and built from real business challenges affecting California’s wine industry, and taught by leaders at the top of their field. In this case, HR expert Lisa Meyer will guide participants through a timely and relevant session that strikes at the core of wine business owners’ and managers’ greatest fears and aspirations regarding personnel management,” Ray Johnson, Director of the Wine Business Institute said.

Instructor Lisa Meyer is the HR Director for Pernod Ricard USA, with HR oversight for over 150 employees at Mumm Napa and Kenwood wineries, including labor budget management, talent acquisition, leadership and management training, development, employee relations, payroll, and compensation and benefits. Previously, she worked with Domaine Chandon, Newton Vineyard, and Thomas Keller, Chef of the renowned French Laundry restaurant, as he expanded his group to include Per Se, Bouchon Las Vegas, and Bouchon Bakery. She has worked in the public sector, high tech, and child care management industries, leading either hyper-growth or start-up environments.

The Wine Business Institute is an education and research institute of the School of Business and Economics. Wine Business Institute seminars and certificate programs are administered in partnership between the School of Business and Economics and the School of Extended and International Education. For more information, or to register for this or other wine business seminars, please visit www.sonoma.edu/sbe/winebiz, contact (707) 664-3235, or email winebiz@sonoma.edu.

 


November 7 Graduation Planned for Napa Executive Wine MBA Students
05 November, 2015

Industry Leaders and Veterans Among Recipients of World's Only Executive Degree in Wine Business

Rohnert Park, California – The School of Business and Economics (SBE) at Sonoma State University (SSU) today announced a graduation celebration for its latest cohort of Napa-based Executive Master of Business Administration in Wine (Executive Wine MBA) students will take place on campus November 7, 2015, from 2 - 5 p.m. in the Student Commons and future home of the Wine Spectator Learning Center, a 15,000-square-foot facility dedicated to wine business education, research, and industry. The event begins with a welcome reception followed by presentation of degrees, including opening remarks by Dr. William Silver, Dean of the School of Business and Economics, and class remarks by graduate Christopher Sebastiani of Pacific Wine and Spirits, and graduate Towle Merritt, General Manager and Viticulturist for Walsh Vineyards Management. The Executive Wine MBA program is offered at locations in both Napa and Sonoma counties.

"It's gratifying to witness the growth of our students over the course of their program, and this group of professionals developed in remarkable ways, both personally and professionally. While every cohort is different, our executive-level programs draw the industry's top talent, who in turn benefit from the curriculum and each other in developing their leadership and wine business acumen,” Executive Director of Graduate and Executive Programs, John Stayton said.

Other graduates of the Executive Wine MBA, Class of 2015, include Matthew Belli, Accountant for Atlas Vineyard Management; Johanna Bernstein, Director of Sales & Marketing for Fort Ross Vineyard & Winery; Aimee Chang, Proprietor and General Manager of Nine Suns Estate Winery; Natalie Darves-Bornoz, Owner and President of Cougar Acres Consulting; Brandon deLeuze, Associate Winemaker with ZD Wines; Michael Fassler, counsel with Lubin Olson & Niewiadomski; Christopher Hyde, Manager of Hyde Wines; Adam Ivor, Co-Founder and Director of Operations for Gliding Eagle; David Junod, Operations Manager for Domaine Chandon and Newton Vineyards; Scott Lloyd, Vice President of National Sales with Frank Family Vineyards; Leslie McCain, Marketing Associate with Chambers & Chambers Wine Merchants; Natalia Peregoy, Production Accountant for Don Sebastiani & Sons; William Phelps, Sales Representative for Joseph Phelps Vineyards; Evan Roades-Brown, Operations Analyst for Kenwood Vineyards; William Thomas, Viticulturist with Ridge Vineyards; Stacy Vogel, Winemaker for Miner Family Winery; and Shannon Walker, Marketing Coordinator at Free Flow Wines.

For information regarding the upcoming Executive Wine MBA graduation celebration, or for information regarding graduate and executive programs in the School of Business and Economics, please visit http://www.sonoma.edu/mba or contact the Graduate and Executive Program office at (707) 664-3501 or mba@sonoma.edu.

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About the Wine Spectator Learning Center:
The Wine Spectator Learning Center is a 15,000 square foot educational complex designed around advanced technology classrooms, a student commons and gardens for student-run businesses and collaboration, and an industry center for professional and academic faculty and program leadership. The new building is expected to facilitate an educational experience befitting the unique location, curriculum, and depth of network and expertise on offer. Construction is slated to begin in 2016, with completion in 2017. Partners and contributors to date include the Wine Spectator Scholarship Foundation; Robin Baggett of Alpha Omega Winery and Tolosa Vineyards & Winery; Gerret and Tatiana Copeland of Bouchaine Vineyards; Gary Heck of Korbel; Terry Lindley of American AgCredit; Charles Merinoff of Charmer Sunbelt; The Michael Family of Peter Michael Winery; Fred Pierce of Pierce Education Properties; Ron Rubin of The Rubin Family of Wines; and Chris Underwood of Young’s Market Company.

About the School of Business and Economics:
The School of Business and Economics (SBE) is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), a standard of excellence shared by only 15 percent of business schools worldwide. Its mission is to create extraordinary student learning experiences and advance best business practices in the north San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. It is committed to a triple bottom line for organizational success, including social equity, environmental stewardship, and economic prosperity. SBE fosters a vibrant community and sustainable business model for entrepreneurship in higher education, including innovative campus-wide, community-based initiatives that serve as the educational nucleus of a thriving regional economy with global impact. With undergraduate, graduate, and executive programs serving over 1,600 students each year, and degrees and concentrations in Accounting, Finance, Management, Marketing, Wine Business, and Economics, SBE offers some of the most unique and in-demand programs available. For more information, please visit http://www.sonoma.edu/sbe.


New Wine Business Seminars Address Retail Sales Strategies, Family Business Operations
02 November, 2015

Wine Business Institute to Host Latest Engagements on November 6

Rohnert Park, California – The Wine Business Institute (WBI) at Sonoma State University (SSU) today announced two new seminars, including “Sales and Product Strategies for a Changing Market”, and “Family Business Management”, both happening Friday, November 6, 2015. The retail sales seminar takes place from 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. in Salazar Hall, Room 2025, and addresses topics related to selling wine through retail outlets, including product and price positioning, traditional distribution and distributor relations, direct-to-consumer management, product line extensions, public and press relations, and account management. The family business seminar takes place from 1:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. in Salazar Hall, Room 2019, and addresses issues that arise as family businesses navigate organizational and personal life cycles, from start up to growth and transition.

“These seminars are tailored to feedback from our wine industry stakeholders. We heard loud and clear that these subjects represent enormous value to student’s continuing education, and to their personal and professional development. Whether it’s innovating or refining a business model to capture more sales, or including estate and succession planning as part of an overall business strategy, these are core concerns for many wine businesses. Expert instructors will help participants advance these issues, whether wine business professionals, executives, or owners and families,” Ray Johnson, Director of the Wine Business Institute said.

“Sales and Product Strategies for a Changing Market” is taught by Michael Yurch, a 33-year veteran of the industry who is considered one of the country’s leading wine professionals. He is former President and buyer for retailer Sherry-Lehmann, and provides expertise and commentary, including for the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) program, “Burt Wolf's Travels and Traditions", National Public Radio's (NPR) "The Splendid Table", and the nationally syndicated "Joey Reynolds Show". His current venture, Bluest Sky Group, is a company dedicated to increasing retail presence of wineries in the U.S. market.

“Family Business Management” is taught by Jay Silverstein, JD LLM, who leads the Wealth Services group for both the Santa Rosa and San Francisco offices of Moss Adams LLP, one of the 15 largest accounting firms in the U.S. Mr. Silverstein focuses on ownership succession strategies and estate planning for closely held business owners and their families, and provides estate and tax planning for high net-worth individuals and their families. As a member of the Moss Adams Wine Industry group, he is a frequent writer and speaker on complex tax, business, and personal issues involved with succession and estate planning for winery owners and their families.

For more information, or to register for these or other wine business seminars, please contact (707) 664-3235, email winebiz@sonoma.edu, or visit www.sonoma.edu/sbe. Completion of these seminars counts toward the Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) Certificate or Wine Industry Finance and Accounting Certificate.

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November 3 Hearing Set for California Senate and Assembly Select Committees on Wine
29 October, 2015

Wine Business Institute Hosts State Government Panel to Provide Insight and Expertise on Issues Faced by Wine Industry

ROHNERT PARK, California – The Wine Business Institute (WBI) at Sonoma State University (SSU) today announced that it will host a joint hearing of the California Senate and Assembly Select Committees on Wine on Tuesday, November 3, 2015, from 2 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. in Ballroom B on the third floor of the Student Center on SSU’s campus in Rohnert Park, California. Assemblymember Bill Dodd (D-Napa) and Senator Lois Wolk (D-Davis), are respective Chairs of the Assembly and Senate Select Committees on Wine. The hearing is expected to address issues impacting the California wine industry and will be structured as three panel discussions, including water and sustainability issues, labor and farmworker housing, and innovation and entrepreneurship in wine-related education.

“Sonoma State University is one of California’s primary institutions of higher learning and the leader in wine business research and education. As such, we serve an important role as convener of different groups and thought leaders seeking common ground on today’s toughest challenges. Questions of sustainability, inclusion, and innovation represent the pressing and significant issues of our time. Our hope and expectation is that this discussion will facilitate public policies that make sense for California’s wine industry, its workers, families, and businesses, today and for generations to come. We look forward to working with Chair Dodd and Chair Wolk on legislative solutions to the challenges faced by one of California’s most dynamic industries,” Dr. William Silver, Dean of the School of Business and Economics said.

“The wine industry has a significant impact in our region and across the entire state. That’s why it’s critical to bring the Assembly and Senate Select Committees on Wine to the heart of Wine County to hear firsthand from the experts and evaluate how the state can improve our policies. I could think of no better location than the Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State University to host this important hearing, and I look forward to strengthening the partnership between the legislature and SSU.” Assemblymember Bill Dodd said.

Panel experts for Growing with the Drought: Water and Sustainability in Wine Agriculture include Katie Jackson of Jackson Family Wines; Susan Boswell of Chateau Boswell Wines; Amrith Gunasckara, Science Advisor for California’s Department of Food and Agriculture; Jim Verhey of Verhey Advisors; Grant Davis, General Manager of Sonoma County Water Agency; and John Stayton, Executive Director of MBA Programs at SSU, including the Wine Business MBA and Executive MBA, who is expected to address key aspects of sustainable enterprise and sustainability education in business.

Panel experts for Cultivating the Future of the Industry: Strengthening Farmworker Housing include Larry Florin, Director of Housing and Intergovernmental Affairs with Napa County; Pete Richmond with Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation; Laura Whittall-Scherfee, Deputy Director of California’s Department of Housing and Community Development; and Angel Calderon, Manager of River Ranch farmworker housing.

Panel experts for Cultivating the Future of the Industry: Promoting Awareness of Wine Education Programs include David Block, Viticulture and Enology Department Chair at U.C. Davis; and Ray Johnson, Director of the Wine Business Institute at SSU, who is expected to highlight changes in the industry, its positive social and economic contributions to communities, and innovations in education that are evolving the industry’s best practices.

For more information regarding the upcoming Legislative Wine Committee Joint Hearing, or for information regarding the Wine Business Institute and School of Business and Economics at Sonoma State University, please contact (707) 664-3501 or visit www.Sonoma.edu/sbe.


Wine Industry Disruption Explored in New Business Case on Crowd Funding
27 October, 2015

Prominent Case Research Journal Selects Work by Dr. Sandra Newton and Dr. Armand Gilinsky

Rohnert Park, CA – The Wine Business Institute (WBI) at Sonoma State University (SSU) announced that Dr. Sandra K. Newton and Dr. Armand Gilinsky, Jr., wine business professors at SSU, received notification that their case study, “NakedWines.com – Disrupting the Wine Industry?”, will be published in the Fall 2015 (Vol. 35, No. 4) issue of the Case Research Journal, a leading academic journal for cases in business and related disciplines. The case study will also be available from Harvard Business School Publishing, among other case distribution outlets. It was originally presented at the North American Case Research Association conference in British Columbia, Canada, where it won the Gold Award for best case.

“It’s gratifying to be recognized by a highly selective and demanding research journal that accepts less than 16 percent of submissions it receives. More importantly, it’s rewarding to know that students and faculty around the country will benefit from the insights provided by our case study and Instructor's Manual,” Professor and co-author Sandra Newton said.

“We’re grateful for the assistance of the company’s two founders, Rowan Gormley, Chief Executive Officer, and Derek Hardy, Chief Technology Officer, who visited with our undergraduate, MBA, and EMBA students and provided invaluable help on this project,” Professor and co-author Armand Gilinsky said.

“Time and again, our faculty address the industry’s urgent issues with case scenarios that represent an evolving and dynamic marketplace. This is helpful to wine business students, faculty, and professionals everywhere. Wine education programs worldwide will be teaching this along with other SSU case studies. It’s testament to our role as global leader of wine business research and education,” Damien Wilson, Hamel Family Faculty Chair of Wine Business said.

The NakedWines.com (NWC) business model uses revenue generated from online subscribers, who make up 95 percent of NWC customers, to fund startup winemakers. Recipient winemakers work on consignment to sell their wine through a restricted mobile application that allows subscribers to rate and purchase featured wines. The company is projecting to grow from 100,000 subscribers to 200,000 and $96 million in sales by the end of the year.

For more information about the case study, “NakedWines.com – Disrupting the Wine Industry?”, or for information regarding wine business seminars, certificates, and degree programs with the Wine Business Institute and School of Business and Economics, please contact (707) 664-3235, winebiz@sonoma.edu, or visit www.sonoma.edu/sbe.
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Wine Study Tour Heads to Rome and Southern Italy in May 2016
19 October, 2015

10th Anniversary Trip to Campania, Puglia, and Sicily Wine Regions Open to Public

Rohnert Park, CA – The Wine Business Institute (WBI) at Sonoma State University (SSU) announced that a 12-day international wine study tour will take place May 23 – June 3, 2016, with travel to Rome and the Amalfi Coast, including the wine regions of Campania, Puglia, and Sicily. In previous years, international wine study tours have been reserved for undergraduate and postgraduate wine business students. This year marks the 10th anniversary of SSU educational wine trips abroad, with special invitation to members of the public and regional wine enthusiasts. Travel guides include Dr. Liz Thach, MW, SSU Professor of Management and Wine Business, and Dr. Janeen Olsen, Certified Sommelier and SSU Professor of Marketing and Wine Business.

“It was important to us this year to open our doors to the broader community and expose local wine enthusiasts to our tradition of guided, educational travel. In the past, we’ve explored the wine regions of Chile, Argentina, France, and Spain. This year is special, and we welcome all travelers for what promises to be a fun and informative 10th anniversary adventure,” Professor Janeen Olsen said.

The trip itinerary includes eight wineries in addition to cultural sites in southern Italy. Cost is $3875 for airfare, hotel, transportation, winery visits, some excursions, all breakfasts, and three dinners. Interested students are eligible for educational credit through the School of Extended and International Education. Those not taking the trip for credit are responsible for a $200 educational fee. A $100 discount is available to all interested parties who register before November 1, 2015. Space is limited to 25 travelers.

“These educational wine trips are truly amazing. I participated in the Northern Italy Wine tour when I was enrolled in the Wine MBA program and it was so useful that after graduating I signed up to go on the Spain trip,” Jorge Covarrubias, Class of 2013 said.

“It was while I was on the Chile wine trip that I began to realize what an incredible industry this is and decided to pursue a career in wine,” Ian Cauble, co-founder of Somm Select said.

For more information regarding the 10th anniversary international wine study tour, please contact Liz@lizthach.com or janeenolsen@gmail.com. For information regarding wine business seminars, certificates, and degree programs, please contact (707) 664-3235, winebiz@sonoma.edu, or visit www.sonoma.edu/sbe.

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Future Learning Center for Wine Business Gains More Support
19 October, 2015

Charmer Sunbelt Group Bolsters Commitment to Leadership in Wine Business Education

Rohnert Park, CA – The Wine Business Institute (WBI) at Sonoma State University (SSU) today announced more financial support of the future Wine Spectator Learning Center, a 15,000 square foot building designed around three classrooms, a student commons for collaboration and student-run businesses, and an industry center for professional and academic faculty and program leadership. The latest contribution in the amount of $100,000 results from the generosity and foresight of Charmer Sunbelt Group, a family-owned beverage distributor that employs 7,000 people with operations in 14 states and the District of Columbia.

“On behalf of SSU and the Wine Business Institute, we deeply appreciate Mr. Merinoff’s generosity and foresight. Our students will benefit directly from a customized learning facility that aligns with our goals as the global leader in wine business research and education. Generous individuals and organizations like Charles Merinoff and Charmer Sunbelt Group have helped make it possible to provide a learning experience that is unmatched worldwide,” Ray Johnson, Director of the Wine Business Institute said.

Construction of the new Wine Spectator Learning Center is slated to begin in 2016 with completion in 2017. For more information regarding the project, or professional seminars, certificate programs, and advanced degree programs of the Wine Business Institute and School of Business and Economics, please contact (707) 664-3235 or winebiz@sonoma.edu.


Charles Krug Winery Scholarship Fund Announced in Honor of Peter Mondavi, Sr.
15 October, 2015

$25,000 Scholarship Offered for Executive Wine MBA Program Starting Spring 2016

Rohnert Park, CA – The Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State University today announced the Peter Mondavi, Sr. and Charles Krug Winery Scholarship Fund to provide financial support for one or more students who work in the wine industry and have been accepted to the upcoming Executive Master of Wine Business Administration (Executive Wine MBA) program. The $25,000 award was collected by the Napa-Sonoma division of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, an international gastronomic society, in honor of Peter Mondavi, Sr.

“A lifelong champion of education, Dad is overjoyed to give to the future leaders of the industry he loves,” Peter Mondavi, Jr., with C. Mondavi & Family said.
“The Chaîne des Rôtisseurs is committed to educational pursuits of our professional community and honored to collaborate with the Peter Mondavi, Sr. and Charles Krug Winery Scholarship Fund to make award of this scholarship a possibility and look forward to seeing the future success of its recipient," Gene Daly of La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs said.
The application deadline for the scholarship is March 11, 2016. Applicants must be accepted into the Executive Wine MBA program beginning spring 2016 and have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 in their last 60 units of completed coursework. Applicants must also be employed in the Wine Industry. Selection for the award will be announced to the public in May, 2016.

“Peter Mondavi Sr. is a pioneer in the history of California wine and the Napa Valley in particular. He represents a legacy of excellence in family wine production that is appreciated around the world. We’re humbled to be able to provide this support to a deserving wine business professional who demonstrates the same passion and dedication to research, innovation, and sustainable wine business practices,” Ray Johnson, Director of the Wine Business Institute said.

For more information about the Peter Mondavi, Sr. and Charles Krug Winery Scholarship Fund, to apply, or for information regarding wine business seminars, certificates, and degree programs, please contact (707) 664-3235, winebiz@sonoma.edu, or visit www.sonoma.edu/sbe.

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About Charles Krug Winery
Founded in 1861 by Charles Krug, the 27-year old Prussian immigrant came to America with little besides willpower and a willingness to work hard to build the cornerstone of the first winery in the Napa Valley. He became the major local winery figure of his era, greatly influencing Napa Valley's development as a world-renown wine producing region. Now under the guidance of Peter Mondavi Sr., the Charles Krug Winery honors its roots while forging ahead to the future. From the Wild West to the twenty-first century, relatively crude beginnings gave way to the finest form of winemaking. Above all else, Charles Krug Winery is a family winery. Peter Sr. and his sons Marc and Peter Jr. continue their dedication to producing the finest Bordeaux style wines in the Napa Valley.

About La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs
La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs traces its heritage to The Royal Guild of Goose Roasters founded in 1248 A.D. at the request of the King of France. Its mission was to greatly improve the quality and safety of food. Since that time, the society has grown into an international organization dedicated to the advancement of food and wine excellence. In 1950, this mission was revived in Paris with the creation of the Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, an organization which has grown internationally and now boasts over 23,000 members in about 80 countries worldwide, including about 6,000 members in some 125 chapters around the United States.

About the Wine Business Institute
WBI is an education and research institute of the School of Business and Economics at Sonoma State University (SSU). SSU is the first institution of higher learning in the U.S. to offer an undergraduate degree and advanced degrees focused on the business of wine, and the first school of business in the world to offer an executive-level wine degree. With its unique location, outstanding faculty, and deep relationships in the world of wine, SSU and WBI attract current and future professionals from California and around the world. They come to experience first-hand the expertise and wealth of connections among students, alumni, and industry leaders.


First International University Partnership Formed with China’s Penglai Wine College
13 October, 2015

Graduate and Executive Program Director, John Stayton, Embarks on Diplomatic Tour to Eastern China

Rohnert Park, CA – The School of Business and Economics (SBE) at Sonoma State University (SSU) today announced that the first international university partnership in wine business has been organized between SSU and the University of Jinan Quancheng College in Shandong Province on China’s northeast coast. The study exchange will provide opportunity for students from Penglai Wine College to pursue SSU’s Wine Business Management online certificate and enroll in the Global Wine MBA program. Coursework and classroom experience is expected to be enhanced through sharing of knowledge and expertise from the countries’ respective wine regions. The program has been in development since 2011, when Sonoma County’s Cline Cellars brought the idea of a transcontinental partnership to SSU.

“This is an important opportunity to engage the international community while building an educational partnership that helps inform and sustain a key trade relationship for California and the national economy,” Dr. William Silver, Dean of the School of Business and Economics said. “The exchange of ideas in a classroom or business setting provides enormous benefit to the growth and development of our students and their organizations, both at home and abroad.”

Executive Director of Graduate and Executive Programs, John Stayton, is scheduled to visit Penglai and Beijing from October 12 – 16, as part of a diplomatic engagement and recruiting delegation. In addition to meeting with students, faculty, and administrators at the University of Jinan Quancheng College, he will meet with Sun Yebao, Mayor of the City of Penglai, as well as with commercial service and export officials at the United States Embassy in Beijing.

The University of Jinan Quancheng College is an independent college authorized by China’s Ministry of Education and the government of Shandong Province to offer undergraduate degrees and specialty studies, including the study of wine business. The area around the City of Penglai has been a prominent grape-growing region in China since the 1870s. Sonoma, California and Penglai, China are sister cities.

For more information about the SSU-Penglai partnership or Executive Director John Stayton’s visit to China, or information regarding undergraduate and advanced degree programs in the School of Business and Economics, please contact (707) 664-3501, or visit www.sonoma.edu/sbe.


Financial Support Continues for New Wine Business Learning Facility
12 October, 2015

Pierce Education Properties Extends Impact to Wine Business Research and Education

Rohnert Park, CA – The Wine Business Institute (WBI) at Sonoma State University (SSU) today announced more support for the future Wine Spectator Learning Center in the form of a $100,000 contribution from student housing management and investment company, Pierce Education Properties (PEP). Since founding in 1995, PEP and has overseen the acquisition, planning, and development of student housing and university-supporting projects totaling more than 13,000 student beds.

“The Wine Spectator Learning Center will be a transformational facility for students studying Wine Business at Sonoma State University,” said Wine Business Institute Board Member and former California State University Trustee Frederick W. Pierce. “I felt it was an important message to send to individuals and companies considering supporting this project, that our Board Members – either individually or through their companies – are personally invested, as well.”

“Pierce Education Properties continues a tradition of support for important educational endeavors by stepping forward with this generous gift. We’re fortunate to have a collaborator in Fred and his organization, for the benefit of our students, faculty, and for a sustainable future for wine business leadership,” Ray Johnson, Director of the Wine Business Institute said.

“Fred’s support and involvement has been essential to achieving our vision as the global leader in wine business research and education. Not only in this contribution from Pierce Education Properties, but in his role as Trustee Emeritus of the California State University system, and as an active member of the Wine Business Institute Board of Directors. We thank him for his dedication and service,” Dr. William S. Silver, Dean of the School of Business and Economics said.

For more information regarding the Wine Spectator Learning Center, please contact (707) 664-3235 or winebiz@sonoma.edu. For information regarding professional seminars, certificate programs, and advanced degree programs of the Wine Business Institute and School of Business and Economics, please visit www.sonoma.edu/sbe.


Wine Business Law Seminar Tackles Social Media and Intellectual Property
08 October, 2015

Technology and Software Patent Expert Andrew Greenberg to Teach First-of-Its-Kind Seminar

Rohnert Park, CA – The Wine Business Institute (WBI) at Sonoma State University (SSU) today announced a new seminar, “Legalities of Social Media and Intellectual Property for Wine Businesses”, designed to address the legal and compliance issues surrounding the use of social media in the wine industry, as well as the importance of intellectual property in protecting brand identity for wine-related companies. The seminar takes place Friday, October 23, 2015, from 1:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. at the SSU campus in Rohnert Park, CA.

“The Wine Business Institute is continuously improving its programs, not only to meet the goals of today’s professionals, but to anticipate the industry’s needs of tomorrow,” Ray Johnson, Director of the Wine Business Institute said. “The Internet has disrupted the traditional wine industry business model. This seminar will help professionals and organizations refine their practices and protect their assets. It’s yet another example of the world-class education that makes Sonoma State University the global leader in wine business research and education.”

Lecturer Andrew Greenberg has 40 years of experience in software and technology development with a focus on strategic planning and patent law. In addition to leading the new seminar, he works for DigiVino in Napa, CA, a digital media company serving wine businesses.

WBI is an education and research institute of the School of Business and Economics. For more information, or to register for this or other wine business seminars, please contact (707) 664-3235, email winebiz@sonoma.edu, or visit www.sonoma.edu/sbe. Completion of the seminar counts toward the Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) Certificate and Wine Industry Finance and Accounting Certificate.


Wine Spectator Learning Center Recognized Regionally with Latest Donation
05 October, 2015

Alpha Omega and Tolosa Wineries Show Support for Education and Leadership in Wine Business

Rohnert Park, CA – The Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State University today announced the latest contribution in support of the future Wine Spectator Learning Center from Robin and Michelle Baggett, owners of Alpha Omega Winery in Napa and Tolosa Winery in San Luis Obispo. The generous donation of $200,000 will be put toward the construction of a new Learning Center conference room, which is slated for completion in 2017. The Alpha Omega and Tolosa Wine Business Institute Conference Room will provide a state-of-the-art collaboration and mentoring space for current and future wine industry professionals to further their education.

“The Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State University provides an invaluable educational experience to the future leaders of our industry. Alpha Omega and Tolosa wineries are proud to partner with the Wine Spectator to create a very special home for this innovative program,” said Mr. Baggett.

Mr. Baggett is a third generation Californian who began his wine career in 1988 as a grape grower, planting over 800 acres of grapes in San Luis Obispo. In 1997, he founded Tolosa Winery and Courtside Cellars. Robin and Michelle founded Alpha Omega in Napa Valley in 2006.

“This gift is a demonstration of Mr. Baggett’s confidence in Sonoma State University as the global leader in wine business research and education. It reinforces our shared belief that the study of wine business is every bit as important as the study of viticulture and enology in shaping a sustainable future for the wine industry,” Ray Johnson, Director of the Wine Business Institute said.

For more information regarding the Wine Spectator Learning Center, please contact (707) 664-3235 or winebiz@sonoma.edu. For information regarding professional seminars, certificate programs, and advanced degree programs of the Wine Business Institute and School of Business and Economics, please visit www.sonoma.edu/sbe.


October Information Sessions Set for Advanced Degree Programs
05 October, 2015

Bay Area Professionals Encouraged to Learn about Sonoma MBA, Executive MBA, and Wine MBA Offerings

 

Rohnert Park, California – The School of Business and Economics (SBE) at Sonoma State University (SSU) announced a series of public information sessions about its advanced degree programs will take place October 5 and 31 on the SSU campus in Rohnert Park, and October 24 on the St. Helena campus of Napa Valley Community College. Information sessions are designed for incoming students and interested professionals to meet with administrators, faculty, alumni, and current students for an overview of the program, outline of courses, and application counseling and support.

 

“Our goal in hosting these information sessions is to communicate the value and convenience of our programs. Whether you’re a young professional seeking career growth, a new manager looking for skills development and new opportunities, or an established executive wishing to enhance your portfolio, there’s something here for you,” John Stayton, Executive Director of Graduate and Executive Programs said. “Our alumni report their return on investment comes from a convenient course schedule, the quality and depth of our professional network, and the individualized attention from faculty.”  

 

October Information Sessions:

 

·         Monday, October 5, 6 - 8 p.m.
MBA and Wine MBA Info Session (includes mixer with current students)
Sonoma State University, Stevenson Hall, Room 3042

 

·         Saturday, October 24, 10 – 11:30 a.m.
Executive Wine MBA Info Session
Napa Valley Community College, St. Helena campus, Rooms 9A and 9B   

 

·         Saturday, October 31, 10 – 11:30 a.m.

MBA and Executive MBA Info Session

Sonoma State University, Darwin Hall, Room 101

 

For more information regarding upcoming information sessions or to RSVP, please visit http://www.sonoma.edu/mba/ or contact the Graduate and Executive Programs office at (707) 664-3501 or mba@sonoma.edu

 

 


Professor Armand Gilinsky Proposes “Triple Bottom Line” for Global Wine Business
01 October, 2015

New Book Offers Benchmarks for Social, Environmental, and Financial Stewardship

Rohnert Park, CA – The School of Business and Economics (SBE) at Sonoma State University (SSU) today announced that Dr. Armand Gilinsky, Jr., Korbel Professor in Wine Business, has a new book slated for release tomorrow, October 2, 2015, entitled, Crafting Sustainable Wine Businesses: Concepts and Cases. Dr. Gilinsky’s latest work focuses on methods being used by organizations inside and outside the wine industry to set and measure business sustainability standards. The book includes New and Old World case studies, including from contributors at universities in Spain and New Zealand. It was written by Dr. Gilinsky as part of ongoing research within the Wine Business Institute, an education and research institute of SBE.

“The number one priority of sustainable wine businesses around the world is to leave the land in better shape for the next generation, not simply to extract the largest amount of money possible. This book is a practical resource for practitioners and academics who want to learn how a triple bottom line of social, environmental, and financial stewardship can lead to long-term business success for wine businesses and every business,” Dr. Armand Gilinsky, Jr., Korbel Professor in Wine said.

“Dr. Gilinsky unearths crucial wine business truths in this research. Most importantly, revealing metrics for wine businesses seeking a strategy based on sustainability. In this book, successful wine industry practitioners distinguish between growth and profitability, while minimizing harmful environmental and social impacts of the supply chain, operations, products, and services,” Damien Wilson, Hamel Family Chair in Wine Business said.

Dr. Gilinsky has taught at SSU since 1998 and is author of over 40 business case studies and articles on wine business strategy, entrepreneurial strategy, and socially responsible entrepreneurship. Prior to SSU, he taught at Harvard Business School, California State University (CSU) East Bay, Northeastern University, and has lectured at the University of Florence and the University of Macerata in Italy. In May 2015, Dr. Gilinsky founded the Wine Business Case Research Journal, a semi-annual publication of cases in the global wine business context.

For more information about Dr. Gilinsky and his work, or information about SBE degree programs, please visit www.sonoma.edu/sbe or call (707) 664-2377.


Prominent Finance Professionals Join Roster at Wine Business Institute
03 September, 2015

Students Benefit from Decades of Leadership in Complex Finance and Accounting

Rohnert Park, CA – The Wine Business Institute (WBI) at Sonoma State University (SSU) today announced the addition of well-known financial industry experts from the region’s top firms to its roster of instructors for the upcoming Wine Industry Finance and Accounting Certificate program. Applications are still being accepted for the program beginning September 11, 2015.

Guest Lecturers and Co-Instructors slated for Fall Semester 2015 include Corinne Meddaugh, Controller at Spring Mountain Vineyard in St. Helena, Betsy Stewart and Danielle Sandoval from Zainer Rinehart Clarke (ZRC), Sabina Kay, Director of Commercial Finance and Operations at Winery Exchange, Toni Moheng, Stacey Gilligan, Michelle Crosbie, and Michelle Ausburn of Burr Pilger Mayer (BPM), and Sara Harper, Anya Lopez, Michael Ricioli, and Jay Silverstein of Moss Adams. Corinne Meddaugh earned her MBA at SSU. Betsy Stewart and Danielle Sandoval are also SSU alumni.

“This group of tax and accounting experts brings deep, critical knowledge to wine business education and we’re thrilled and fortunate to welcome them to the Wine Business Institute. We’re confident our students will benefit from leadership expertise that comes from years of navigating common and complex accounting issues faced daily by wineries, vineyards, and industry professionals,” Ray Johnson, Director of the Wine Business Institute said.

Collectively, the group provides expertise in corporate financial and managerial accounting, wine industry auditing and accounting, vineyard taxation, tax planning and compliance, Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) compliance, and initial public offerings (IPO). They represent experience with Roll Global, Hewlett Packard, Agilent Technologies, Hanna Winery, Deloitte, Electronic Data Systems, Justin and Landmark Wineries, Sebastiani and Sons, Brown-Forman, and MillerCoors, among other companies. 

For more information regarding professional seminars, certificate programs, and advanced degree programs of the Wine Business Institute and School of Business and Economics, please contact (707) 664-3235 or winebiz@sonoma.edu.


Steven Tradewell of NVV Receives Chief Financial Officer Award
28 August, 2015

“Remarkable Group” of Regional Finance Professionals Honored by North Bay Business Journal

Rohnert Park, CA – The School of Business and Economics at Sonoma State University announced that Steven Tradewell, Executive Masters of Business Administration (EMBA) Class of 2013 and CFO for Napa Valley Vintners, was honored today by the North Bay Business Journal during its fifth annual North Bay Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Awards. Eleven CFOs were recognized from various industries, including natural products, technology, energy, finance, and wine, among others.

“We’re thrilled for Steve to win this award and join a select group of finance experts. His willingness to be challenged by a program that ensures its graduates develop the skills necessary to navigate change in a complex business environment was exemplary,” Dr. William S. Silver, Dean of Sonoma State University School of Business and Economics said.

Steven Tradewell earned a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Santa Clara University in 1990, and his Executive MBA from Sonoma State University in 2013. Prior to joining Napa Valley Vintners, he served as Director of Finance and Operations for the California Film Institute.

“I’m honored to receive this award in recognition of the contributions that finance professionals make to so many local businesses. I also want to thank my employer for being supportive of my educational pursuits by allowing me the time needed to complete my master’s degree,” Steven Tradewell said.

For more information regarding wine business programs and other advanced degrees in the School of Business and Economics at Sonoma State University, please contact (707) 664-3501, or visit www.sonoma.edu/sbe.

# # #


Student Project Benefits Local Wine Business
24 August, 2015

Brand Management Study Opens Doors and Perspective for both Students and Managers

Rohnert Park, CA – The School of Business and Economics (SBE) at Sonoma State University (SSU) announced that a group of students in the Brand Marketing course of the Executive Wine MBA program were invited to present their final project findings to tasting room managers at Duckhorn Vineyards, a Napa Valley wine producer. The culminating project was designed to evaluate brand “touch points”, or the various points at which the public interfaces with the winery – before, during, and after a transaction. Based on the group’s findings, company officials requested that the students return to provide additional context and present their results directly to Duckhorn Vineyard team members.
 
“Continuous improvement is a core part of our operational philosophy, so we value any opportunity to receive constructive feedback from bright, thoughtful people who can help us refine our customer experience,” Carol Reber, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing & Business Development Officer for Duckhorn Vineyards said. “The findings were enlightening and a great reminder of how careful you have to be when trying to solve operations problems. The project allowed students to see and understand the outcomes and often consequences of tackling operational challenges. Solving one challenge often creates another.”
 
The student team, which consisted of Brian Allard, Steven Arnwine, and Mindy Worth, was tasked with evaluating whether the winery’s various touch points are in alignment with the company’s visual identity and communications, its position within the marketplace, and its reputation among consumers. Students assessed consumer reviews, web presence, signage, parking, landscaping, architecture, artwork, furniture, music, sound, and smell, among other considerations.
 
Student Mindy Worth used the experience to inform the upcoming launch of her own wine label, Boucher Wines. She and her husband have produced red and white wines for the past two years and are now completing the regulatory compliance process.
 
“This was an amazing class for someone like me who is starting a new wine label. It connected me with people who are doing this successfully and opened my eyes to how to create a brand, which is really about customer experience,” Mindy Worth said. “The project also demonstrated how important a network is for help and insight. I respect that the Duckhorn team took time to review our assessment. It shows they really care about the brand and company they work for.”
 
For more information regarding the project, course curriculum, and the Executive Wine MBA program at Sonoma State University, or other advanced degree programs in the School of Business and Economics, please contact (707) 664-3501, or visit Sonoma.edu/sbe.

# # #

About the School of Business and Economics

Sonoma State University School of Business and Economics' vision is to be the educational nucleus of a thriving North Bay economy. Its mission is to create extraordinary learning experiences for our students and to advance best business practices in the North Bay and beyond. With undergraduate, graduate, and executive programs serving over 1500 students each year and concentrations in Accounting, Finance, Management, Marketing, Wine Business, and Economics, the School offers the most in-demand degree on the Sonoma State campus. The School of Business and Economics is accredited by AACSB (the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business), making it one of 15% of all business schools in the world to meet these standards of excellence. For more information, visit sonoma.edu/sbe


Master of Wine, Liz Thach, Honored as SSU's Distinguished Professor of Wine
13 July, 2015

Rohnert Park, CA - Master of Wine, Liz Thach is named Sonoma State University's (SSU) Distinguished Professor of Wine. The new title came as part of the Wine Business Institute Board's resolutions to support the growth of the WBI and its academic and research programs. "I am pleased to grant this well-deserved title of Distinguished Professor of Wine to Liz Thach. Her accomplishments as a professor and Master of Wine make her the ideal candidate to carry out the initiatives of the Wine Business Institute within the scope of this new role," said Ruben Armiñana, president of Sonoma State University.

As the SSU Distinguished Professor of Wine, Liz will work collaboratively with the faculty, staff, board, and leadership of the Wine Business Institute to conduct ongoing wine research programs; provide thought leadership to the global wine business industry; teach courses, seminars, and workshops in wine and wine business; and connect with SSU alumni working in global wine industry businesses.

"I feel so honored to receive this new title," Liz stated. liz_web_two.jpg "My passion is to teach and conduct research in wine business, and to obtain recognition for this makes it even more special.  I look forward to expanding my work with faculty, students, alumni, and industry members to develop innovative and useful solutions for the global wine industry."   Liz holds a doctorate in Human Resource Development from Texas A&M University, and a Master in Business Communication from Texas Tech University. In 2011, Liz received her Master of Wine from the Institute of Masters of Wine in London. She has published six wine books, over 120 trade and scholarly articles, and eight book chapters throughout her career. Her most recent book is Call of the Vine: Exploring Ten Famous Vineyards of Napa and Sonoma, which won the 2014 Gourmand Award for Best Women in Wine Book in the US.

In addition to the many accolades that Liz has brought to the Wine Business Institute, she has made significant impact in students' education and the careers of alumni. "Liz has a collaborative style of teaching that empowered me as a student. She provided the path to where I am now as National Sales Director at Ehler's Estate," said Armen Khachaturian, who graduated in 2002 with his bachelors in Wine Business Strategies.

"Even in the program's infancy, Liz had a vision for what it would do to elevate students in their careers. A defining moment for me with Liz was when we were sitting down to a SSU Wine Sense Club meeting and she very clearly told me that she could envision me as an Executive in the international department at a leading winery," shared Elizabeth Rice, Director of International Operations & Marketing at Delicato Family Vineyards. "Her words helped me navigate my way into my now career at Delicato, a leading California wine brand."

Additional resolutions passed by the Board are to allocate further resources for wine business research and curriculum development, and recognize the work and successes achieved by the faculty and staff of the Wine Business Institute.

"Our world class faculty and staff have been the reason for the success of our programs, and the acclaim we have received.  Simply said, they are world class. Their research has informed important industry issues such as direct to consumer marketing, financial benchmarking, strategic decision making, and sustainable business practices. The great experiences they create for students in the classroom, and the sincere and sage mentoring they provide, create transformational learning and lead to career and life success," observed Bill Silver, dean of SSU's School of Business and Economics.

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For more information regarding the Distinguished Professor of Wine or the Wine Business Institute, please contact Valery Vue at 707-664-2220 or valery.vue@sonoma.edu.

About Sonoma State University's Wine Business InstituteSonoma State University's Wine Business Institute is located in the heart of California wine country and was created through a public-private partnership between the university and the wine industry. Founded in 1995, it is the first program in the United States to offer undergraduate and graduate degrees focused exclusively on the business aspects of the wine industry. In addition to its academic programs that include the first undergraduate and graduate degrees with a concentration in wine business, the Wine Business Institute offers an array of professional development courses for the industry. Its faculty members are published experts, active researchers, and requested presenters on pressing industry topics.  The Wine Business Institute operates within Sonoma State's School of Business and Economics, a fully accredited AACSB institution.  Learn more at sonoma.edu/winebiz
About Sonoma State University School of Business and Economic Sonoma State University School of Business and Economics' vision is to be the educational nucleus of a thriving North Bay economy.  Its mission is to create extraordinary learning experiences for our students and to advance best business practices in the North Bay and beyond. With undergraduate, graduate, and executive programs serving over 1500 students each year and concentrations in Accounting, Finance, Management, Marketing, Wine Business, and Economics, the School offers the most in-demand degree on the Sonoma State campus. The School of Business and Economics is accredited by AACSB (the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business), making it one of 15% of all business schools in the world to meet these standards of excellence. For more information, visit sonoma.edu/sbe


Sonoma State University Announces Global Wine MBA
12 March, 2015

Rohnert Park, CA-   Sonoma State University is now accepting applications for their new Global Wine MBA program, set to begin in fall 2015.  The program is a full-time, one-year accelerated Wine MBA program, focused on serving the global wine business professionals who desire to further their wine industry knowledge while living in the heart of California wine country.

For those students coming from abroad, Sonoma State has an English language immersion program, offered through its American Language Institute (SSALI).

Vicente Johnson, an independent winemaker and Board of Director member of Casas del Toqui Winery in Chile who received his Executive MBA from SSU, said, “I developed my English proficiency in SSU’s American Language Institute (SSALI) where I studied almost 5 months before starting the EMBA program.  In the SSALI program I met and worked with professionals from different areas, experiences, and cultures.”

In the global wine format, students will learn from leading experts and world-renowned faculty, while having the opportunity to get hands-on experience at first-class wineries located just down the road from Sonoma State’s campus. Containing all the content from SSU’s two-year Wine MBA, the Global Wine MBA accelerates the class schedule and program requirements, permitting students to graduate in one calendar year. In addition, weeknight classes allow students to work on projects or internships while in the program.    

“SSU changed the direction of my life,” said Sonoma State alumnus and Master Sommelier, Ian Cauble. “There were so many great resources, I was located near the greatest wineries of California, and had the opportunity to work for those wineries while going to school.” Cauble, star of the movie SOMM, recently co-founded SommSelect, a direct-to-consumer website where wine enthusiasts receive special offers of unique wines from around the world, hand selected by Cauble.

Sonoma State recognizes that as the global wine industry continues to evolve, wine industry professionals must learn new ways to solve problems.  “Sonoma State has a rigorous Wine MBA program taught by internationally distinguished faculty,” said Jingmei Su who moved from Zhangjiang, China, to study in the Wine MBA program. SSU provides the world’s most comprehensive wine business education to prepare emerging and existing wine leaders across the globe for success in the growing wine industry. 

Click here to learn more or apply for the Global Wine MBA: http://sonoma.edu/mba/programs/evening-global-wine-mba.html

### For more information, please contact Christine Pinella at 707-664-3501 or Christine.Pinella@sonoma.edu.

About Sonoma State University's School of Business and Economics: Sonoma State University School of Business and Economics' mission is to create extraordinary learning experiences for our students and to advance best business practices in the North Bay and beyond.  Its Wine Business Institute is recognized around the world for its expert faculty, business-focused research, and the first undergraduate and graduate degree programs in wine business in the United States.  Creating a vibrant community, developing a sustainable business model for entrepreneurship in higher education, and developing and delivering innovative programs are the goals for its campus-wide, community-reaching entrepreneurship initiative. With undergraduate, graduate and executive programs serving over 1600 students each year and degrees and concentrations in Accounting, Finance, Management, Marketing, Wine Business, and Economics, the School offers the most in-demand programs on the Sonoma State campus.  The School of Business and Economics is accredited by AACSB (the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business), making it one of 15% of all business schools in the world to meet these standards for excellence.  For more information visit, www.sonoma.edu/sbe


Students Compete in Wine Mixology Contest at SSU and Texas Tech to Enhance Wine Market Share
20 February, 2015

Rohnert Park, CA -Students studying wine marketing at Sonoma State University and Texas Tech University are concerned about the toll craft beer and spirits may take on wine market share in the US. In order to combat this, they are engaging in a friendly contest between universities to see who can concoct the most creative and tasty wine cocktail.

Professors of wine business, Dr. Liz Thach, MW from Sonoma State and Dr. Natalia Velikova from Texas Tech, hatched up the idea for the friendly wine mixology competition when attending the Wine Industry Financial Symposium last autumn. "While we were listening to some of the speakers describe the gains in market share of craft beer and spirits, and the allure of mixology," explained Thach, "we started wondering why people weren't doing more with wine mixology."

"Many wine countries around the world have a healthy culture of wine cocktails," added Velikova, "but except for wine spritzers, the US hasn't really shown much creativity around wine mixology." Therefore the two professors developed a joint project for the spring semester, and are encouraging students to research wine cocktails of the world, and add some new ingredients and clever names to create a renewed interest in wine mixology.

Students will present their projects the first week of April and each university will vote on their top three. The final six wine cocktails will then be judged blind by a panel of experts who will decide on the first, second, and third place cocktails. The experts include two Master Sommeliers from California, Ian Cauble and Gillian Balance, and two Master Sommeliers from Texas, James Tidwell and Melissa Monosoff. Tim Hanni, MW, who has an excellent background in food and wine recipes, will make up the five person panel.

The results will be released in mid-April. Winners will receive cash prizes that have been donated by the Wine Industry Symposium Group, Young's Market Company, and Dolan Family Ranches. All of the wine cocktails will be featured on a new blog, https://winecocktails.wordpress.com/.

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For more information, please contact Liz Thach at liz@lizthach.com.

About Sonoma State University's School of Business and Economics:
Sonoma State University School of Business and Economics' mission is to create extraordinary learning experiences for our students and to advance best business practices in the North Bay and beyond.  Its Wine Business Institute is recognized around the world for its expert faculty, business-focused research, and the first undergraduate and graduate degree programs in wine business in the United States.  Creating a vibrant community, developing a sustainable business model for entrepreneurship in higher education, and developing and delivering innovative programs are the goals for its campus-wide, community-reaching entrepreneurship initiative. With undergraduate, graduate and executive programs serving over 1600 students each year and degrees and concentrations in Accounting, Finance, Management, Marketing, Wine Business, and Economics, the School offers the most in-demand programs on the Sonoma State campus.  The School of Business and Economics is accredited by AACSB (the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business), making it one of 15% of all business schools in the world to meet these standards for excellence.  For more information visit, www.sonoma.edu/sbe

For more information about Texas Tech, visit, http://www.rawlsnews.ba.ttu.edu/


Wine Sensory Evaluation Workshops
25 November, 2014

Sensory Evaluation Workshop

VESTA Wine Sensory Evaluation instructor Zoran Ljepovic, Director of Quality Assurance at Constellation Brands, Robert Mondavi Winery, Oakville, CA, will be leading attendees through the principles of wine sensory evaluation used in commercial winemaking. Learn standard benchmarks with sensory kits, faults and flaws, and sensory evaluation tips from a pro in the wine industry. See his impressive bio on www.vest-usa.org in the faculty and staff slide show/read more.

The first day will focus on white wine, and the second on red wine. VIN 266 students must attend both days, but others may choose to attend just one. This workshop is scheduled for Wednesday and then Friday. (See detailed schedule below) On Thursday anyone that attends the workshop will be given a complimentary ticket to attend the Wine Industry Network Expo (http://wineindustrynetwork.com/suppliers/north-coast-wine-industry-expo.html, which is held at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds as well.

When: December 3rd and 5th, 2014
Where: Sonoma County Fairgrounds, Santa Rosa, CA
Cost: $200/ full day, $100/one day LUNCH INCLUDED

To register: http://www.sonoma.edu/sbe/wine-business-institute/education/sensory-evaluation-workshop.html

8:00-8:30 – Introduction to White Wine Varieties
8:30 – 9:00 – Understanding Color
9:00-10:00 – Evaluate White Wine Primary Aromas from Grapes

1. Citrus (lemon, lime, grapefruit)
2. Tree (pear, apple, peach)
3. Tropical (lychee, pineapple, mango, melon)
4. Herbaceous/vegetative (bell pepper, cut grass, hay)
5. Floral/Spice (honeysuckle, orange blossom, rose, acacia, anise, boxwood)
6. Mineral (rock, chalk, flint)
10:00-10:15 – Morning Break
10:15-11:15 – Evaluate Secondary aromas developed during Fermentation/ Aging
1. Fermentation (bread, butter, yeast, lees)
2. Oak (vanilla, toast, coconut, , butterscotch)
3. Spice (clove, nutmeg, anise)
4. Nutty (walnut, almond,)
5. Aging (honey, orange peel, petrol)
11:15 – 12:00
12:00-1:00 Lunch

Evaluate Wine Components

Influence of various levels of
Acid/tannin/sugar/alcohol on the taste of wine
1:00-2:15 Understanding Flaws
1. Ethyl acetate – nail polish remover
2. Acetic acid – vinegar
3. Geranium
4. Dimethyl sulfide – canned corn/asparagus/cabbage
5. Hydrogen sulfide – rotten egg
6. Diethly sulfide – rubber
7. Bettanomyces – mousey/horsey/barnyard
8. Oxidation – sherry
9. Moldy cork (TCA taint) – musty
2:15:-3:00 Afternoon Break
3:00-5:00 Wine Evaluation – Descriptive Analysis
Tasting the white wines from various World growing regions

Day Two - Red Wines(10 glasses per student)
8:00-8:30 – Introduction to Red Wine Varieties
8:30 – 9:00 – Understanding Color
9:00 – 10:00 – Evaluate Primary Red Wine Aromas from grapes
1. Tree fruits (cherry, plum, fig)
2. Floral (violets, rose, geranium)
3. Berries (black currant, blackberry, strawberry, raspberry)
4. Vegetal (bell pepper, tea, green bean, black olive)
5. Spice (black pepper, licorice)
6. Earthy (dusty, mushroom, potting soil/dirt)
10:00-10:15 – Morning Break
10:15-11:15 – Evaluate Secondary Aromas developed during Fermentation and Aging
1. Fermentation (soy sauce, chocolate)
2. Oak I (vanilla, coconut, chocolate, toast)
3. Oak II (coffee, smoke, cedar)
4. Spice (licorice, black pepper)
5. Nutty (walnut, almond)
6. Aging (balsamic, tobacco, leather, cooked fruit)
11:15 – 12:00 – Evaluate Wine Components
Influence of various levels of
Acid/tannin/sugar/alcohol on the taste of wine
12:00-1:00 Lunch
1:00-2:15 – Understanding Flaws
1. Ethyl acetate – nail polish remover
2. Acetic acid – vinegar
3. Geranium
4. Dimethyl sulfide – canned corn/asparagus/cabbage
5. Hydrogen sulfide – rotten egg
6. Diethly sulfide – rubber
7. Bettanomyces – mousey/horsey/barnyard
8. Oxidation – sherry
9. Moldy cork (TCA taint) – musty
2:15:-3:00 – Afternoon Break
3:00-5:00 – Wine Evaluation – Descriptive Analysis
Tasting the red wines from various World growing regions

 


Fall 2014 Feature Seminar Series at Domaine Chandon and Launch of the New Direct to Consumer Certificate
29 September, 2014

The Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State University hpartners with Domaine Chandon to hold a Fall 2014 Feature Seminar Series at their award winning estate in Yountville.  The series will include 2 of the 5 core seminars in the new Direct to Consumer Certificate launching for this first time this fall.  This is a great opportunity for those interested in Wine Business to attend the Wine Business Institute seminars without the commute to Rohnert Park.  

Fall 2014 Feature Seminar Series Schedule

For more information including a full Fall 2014 Seminar Schedule contact the Wine Business Institute at winebiz@sonoma.edu or 707-664-3235


Sonoma State Recognizes Korbel Owner Gary Heck with 2014 Honorary Degree
05 May, 2014

Wine industry icon Gary Heck, who is recognized not only for his business success but also for his leadership and integrity, will receive Sonoma State's 2014 honorary degree at the University's May 10 commencement at the 3 p.m. ceremony.

Heck, owner of Korbel Champagne Cellars, has served as its president since 1982. Working his way up through the ranks, he became Chairman of the Board in 1984, continuing the legacy of his father. Heck has built Korbel into the leading premium California champagne producer in this country. In a separate facility, Korbel also produces one of the country's most respected brandies. His dedication to quality, both in the vineyard and in the cellar, is at the heart of his distinguished award-winning portfolio.

Mr. Heck has enjoyed a long-standing relationship with Sonoma State University since 1995. Under his leadership as Chairman of the Board of Directors, Sonoma State's Wine Business Institute launched the first Executive MBA in Wine Business in the United States in 2012, in addition to the first online certificate in Wine Business Management, which has been completed by students in a dozen countries.

Over the past 18 years his support and belief in the mission of the University has been pivotal to the success of Sonoma State's Wine Business Institute. Four years ago, he created the F. Korbel Brothers, Inc. Professorship in Wine Business, a position held originally by Dr. Liz Thach and now rotating to Dr. Armand Gilinsky.

This was the first industry-supported professorship at Sonoma State and the first from a wine industry company. Most recently, Mr. Heck made a generous $1 million commitment to support the new home of the Wine Business Institute.

Dr. William Silver, Dean of the School of Business and economics says, "Gary has made a tremendous difference, not only in business and industry, but more importantly, in our community. His legacy of leadership and generosity has touched and enriched many lives."

"Gary was there from the beginning and has been instrumental in the advancement of the Wine Business Institute. Eighteen years ago he declared the need for education focusing on the business of wine and today we serve more than 500 people annually in our certificate and degree programs," says Ray Johnson, Director of the SSU Wine Business Institute.

In addition to his work with Korbel and Sonoma State University, Gary Heck has served as Chairman of the Board of The Wine Institute, the trade association of California wineries, and continues to be active on its board.

He is Supreme Knight of the Brotherhood of the Knights of the Vine, an organization whose goals are to promote American wines and wine-producing regions, to introduce and recognize quality wines from around the world and to rekindle the respect of wine and wine culture for mankind and country.

Mr. Heck is also a member of Les Amis du Vin, an organization whose goal is to provide a forum for the appreciation of fine wine and food.

####

For more information, contact:
Annemarie Brown, SSU School of Business & Economics, 707-664-2221,annemarie.brown@sonoma.edu
Susan Kashack, SSU Chief Information Officer, 707-664-2122, susan.kashack@sonoma.edu 
Margie Healy, Korbel, 707-824-7715, mhealy@korbel.com  

About Sonoma State University's Wine Business Institute:
Sonoma State University's Wine Business Institute is located in the heart of California wine country and was created through a public-private partnership between the University and the wine industry. Founded in 1995, it is the first program in the United States to offer undergraduate and graduate degrees focused exclusively on the business aspects of the wine industry. These include a B.S. with a concentration in wine business strategies (since 1998), an MBA with an emphasis in wine business (since 2008), and an executive MBA in wine business (since 2012). In addition to its academic programs, the Wine Business Institute offers an array of professional seminars and certificates for the industry on relevant topics like accounting and finance, and wine sales and marketing, including an online certificate in wine business management that has reached professionals in a dozen countries since its launch in 2012.  Its faculty members are published experts, active researchers, and requested presenters on pressing industry topics locally and around the world. The Wine Business Institute operates within Sonoma State's School of Business and Economics, a fully accredited AACSB institution. Learn more atwww.sonoma.edu/winebiz

About Gary Heck:
Gary Heck, the owner of Korbel, has served as its president since 1982 and became Chairman of the Board in 1984. In 1965 he began his full-time career at Korbel Champagne Cellars occupying many positions spanning all areas of winery operations from assistant office manager to traffic manager and sales representative to vice president. Under Heck's leadership, Korbel's sales have grown from 150,000 cases annually to 1.3 million, continuing a 132 year tradition of family business, wine-making and industry innovation.  Heck serves as the chair of Sonoma State's Wine Business Institute Board and ex-officio member of the board of directors for the Wine Institute, is a member of Les Amis du Vin and was named a Supreme Knight of the Knights of the Vine.  


The Wilson Family with St. Anne’s Crossing Winery Teams with SSU’s Sonoma State Cellars Wine Program
23 April, 2014

Rohnert Park, CA- Sonoma State Cellars, a wine venture started by students of Sonoma State's Wine Business MBA program, has added an additional industry partner with the Wilson Family and St. Anne’s Crossing Winery.  Community members are invited to buy wine and be a part of this first release of Sonoma State Cellars Dry Creek Valley Sauvignon Blanc. A pick-up party will be held this Friday, April 25th at St. Anne’s Crossing in Kenwood, from 5:30 – 7pm. Everyone is welcome to enjoy great wine, delicious food pairings and live music while picking up their allocation of 2013 Sonoma State Cellars Sauvignon Blanc. A great time is guaranteed. Orders of two or more bottles may also be shipped within the state of California. 

The Wilson Family noticed the success of the first two vintages of Sonoma State Cellars and Kokomo Winery and wanted to support the growing program by donating a white wine. The Sonoma State Cellars team is delighted to have the addition of the Sauvignon Blanc to their portfolio along with the support of the Wilson Family.  Not only do the industry partners donate the wine, but they also provide learning opportunities for the students at their wineries and vineyards, rounding out the full business experience. All proceeds from the wine go to fund such programs like this and many others through the Wine Business Institute. This year marks the 3rd release of the initial Sonoma State Cellars Cuvée with an additional Pinot Noir donated by Kokomo Winery along with the St. Anne’s Crossing Sauvignon Blanc.

Sonoma State Cellars wine program began in 2012 with its first release of Dry Creek Valley Cuvée, donated by Erik Miller and Kokomo Winery. The project initiated in 2010 from a group of MBA students who conducted a feasibility study to assess the viability of the proposed brand. The students did community presentations on these studies and Erik Miller happened to be at one of them. Erik was impressed by the students' enthusiasm and immediately offered his support. Now is your chance to support this impactful program for our students, community and wine industry.

If you would like more information on purchasing wine or attending the release party this Friday, please reach out to winebiz@sonoma.edu or contact Jessica Heing, Jessica.heing@sonoma.edu or 707.664.3347.


Dennis Carroll to speak at Sonoma State’s Annual Spring Mixer on April 17th
11 April, 2014

Each year the Wine Business Institute and School of Business and Economics Career Center co-host the Spring Mixer at Sonoma State University. The Spring Mixer brings the local business community together with the current student body in a structured networking environment with the goal of spurring recruitment for internships and job placements.

This year the keynote speaker for the Spring Mixer will be Dennis Carroll. Dennis designed and developed the successful brand portfolio for Purple Wine Company and also built Sonoma Wine Company from a single facility to the full wine contract service business it is today. He was also the lead in the development, growth and ultimate sale of Mark West pinot, which sold to Constellation Brands for $160 million. Dennis will share his story and insights with the students on building a career path in the wine industry.

We invite and encourage industry professionals to join us Thursday, April 17th from 5:15 – 7:00pm in the new Student Center on the Sonoma State Campus. Light refreshments and hors d’oeuvres will be served. Please RSVP to  Erin Ringstad: Ringstad@sonoma.edu or 707.664.323 if you would like to attend.

 

About Sonoma State University's Wine Business Institute

 

Sonoma State University's Wine Business Institute is located in the heart of California wine country and was created through a public-private partnership between the university and the wine industry. Founded in 1996, it is the first program in the United States to offer undergraduate and graduate degrees focused exclusively on the business aspects of the wine industry. In addition to its academic programs the Wine Business Institute offers an array of seminars and certificates. Its faculty members are published experts, active researchers, and requested presenters on pressing industry topics.  The Wine Business Institute operates within Sonoma State's School of Business and Economics, a fully accredited AACSB institution.  Learn more at sonoma.edu/winebiz


Wine Business Institute Wine Entreprenuership
27 January, 2014

Wine Entrepreneurship takes a systematic look at the different components of a successful wine brand and assists you in creating a strategy for sustainable profitability and cash flow. You hear from industry leaders and veterans who describe their experiences and lessons learned.

Instructor Anisya Thomas Fritz, Ph.D., brings her first-hand experience as proprietor of Lynmar Estate, a family-owned producer of ultra-premium Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, where she serves as the Director of Marketing and Consumer Sales, to help you begin a business plan that lays a solid foundation for your wine business. Access more information about the wine entrepreneurship certificate.


Summer Offering: Online Wine Business Management Certificate-Foundation Level
14 May, 2013

This level offers an overview of global wine commerce--how wine is distributed and sold around the world. While moving wine through the value chain is similar to other products, there are a number of practices and customs that are different. These differences arise out of the nature of wine as food, wine as an alcoholic beverage product, and wine as a highly differentiated luxury good. This introductory course brings the participants up to speed on the currently accepted protocols and the standards associated with the successful selling of wine. The ability to properly develop marketing and sales messaging is an intrinsic part of successful selling and management of sales channels.

At the conclusion of this level, participants will be able to:

  • Explain global wine commerce
  • Understand the interrelatedness of grape growing, wince production, sales, marketing, distribution and direct to consumer
  • Outline the process of getting from the vineyard to the retailer
  • Understand and outline the process of:
    • Selling wine in stores (off-premise)
    • Selling wine in restaurants and bars (on-premise)
    • Selling wine online and in other venues
  • Communicate the future of wine commerce

Application Deadline: May 27th, Class starts June 5- July 3, 2013. Apply Here


Celebrate with Sonoma State Cellars!
29 March, 2013

The current class of Sonoma State Cellars MBA students warmly invites you to celebrate the culmination of their marketing project for the 2011 Dry Creek Valley Cuvee.

 Join the students, friends, and partners for the release party on Saturday, April 20th from 1:00 to 4:00 at Kokomo Winery, located at beautiful Timbercrest Farms in Dry Creek Valley.  Kokomo will be selling the wine at the party.

 This is the second release of Sonoma State Cellars, a hands-on, MBA-level, wine business course that teaches students the ins and outs of running a wine business.  This year, Stephen Sterling, co-owner of Esterlina Vineyards and Everett Ridge (and a Wine Business Institute Board member), is teaching the students with lessons in the classroom and through field visits to leading North Coast wine operations. With our bonded winery partner, Kokomo Winery, the students are applying their lessons in how to market and sell a current release.

 Tell them you're coming to the party, and get event and wine details.

Contact Dana Swilley at swilley@sonoma.edu with any questions.


Grow Your Wine Business with Sonoma State
22 March, 2013

Hello from the Wine Business Institute in California’s North Coast. 

I want to share a personal message about our upcoming online programSince its launch in the fall of 2011, over 250 people have completed our foundation course in Wine Business Management.  Participants have enthusiastically described their experience and the value of the program, noting its practical nature and ease of access online.  That coupled with the expertise and welcoming approach of Tim Hanni has made for a winning combination.

Quotes like this one from my friend Chris Millard at Newton have been common:  “Thank you for the great courses and a very positive experience.  The content was suited to my interests and the areas I wanted to focus on for my future development. Additionally, the pace and presentation via the web suited my work and personal time constraints.”


Join the program; it’s an investment in your future success.               

Ray Johnson

Director

Sonoma State University’s Wine Business Institute

 

 

Application deadline:  March 29, 2013
 
Course Dates:  Monday, April 8 – Friday, May 3
 
Price: $590

To Apply:APPLICATION-Foundation Level Course
To learn more about the Online Wine Business Management Certificatevisit our website.

If you have any questions please call Dana Swilley, (707) 664-3347, or email swilley@sonoma.edu.


Sonoma State Launches a New Program: Value Creation in the Wine Industry
22 February, 2013

Brand equity trumps real estate in many acquisitions and whether a business is being managed for sale or legacy, the objective must be the same –maximizing value. Since value is measured by the investor or buyer, business owners must target the drivers of value in their day-to-day operating plans.

The two-day seminar targeted to wine company principals, senior leadership and their advisors will concentrate on what drives value growth and how that is accomplished in today’s ultra-competitive wine industry. It starts with the consumer but is equally dependent on developing an effective access to the market - distribution. Topics include; measuring returns on sales and marketing investment, brand building, successful personnel management, matching distribution strategies to the business, financial forecasting, partnering, selling and the M&A process.

Returning to SSU to lead the new program are Martin Jonesand Michael Houlihan, who together bring forty years of experience in the beverage alcohol industry.  Joining Jones and Houlihan will be Kris Karlson and Eric Bergman, Principals with M&A specialists “California Winery Brokers” along with Quinton Jay, Managing Director at Bacchus Capital, Strategic Wine Industry Investors.

Houlihan spent 19 years at the helm of the Barefoot brand, taking it to approximately 600,000 cases per year. After capitalizing on Barefoot’s brand equity through a sale to E&J Gallo in 2005, Michael stayed on with Gallo, acting as an advisor and transition ambassador, solidifying brand integrity while broadening consumer exposure and distribution. Three years later, Barefoot sales exceeded 7 million cases a year.

Jones began his career in brand management. In 1992, he was appointed President & CEO of Corby Distilleries, a public company and the largest producer, marketer, and importer of wines and spirits in Canada. In 1996, he initiated and led the merger of Allied Domecq's US businesses, becoming President and CEO of Allied Domecq Spirits USA. In 2001, he became General Manager of Premier Wine & Spirits, a leading New York wine distributor, before establishing his own consulting practice in 2005.

March 18 & 19, 2013 8am-5pm

More Information

Please contact Dana Swilley at (707)664-3347, or swilley@sonoma.edu, with any questions.


Advanced Seminar - Value Creation in the Wine Industry
12 February, 2013

Wine has moved beyond its agricultural roots to become a mass-market consumer commodity. With over seven thousand wineries now operating in America and over 50,000 domestic and import brands vying for attention, the business cannot be run like a country fruit stand. Strategies that create and sustain relevance for the customer and value for the investor are essential to success. Whether a business is being managed for legacy or sale, the objective must be the same –maximizing value. Value is often an intangible element measured by markets and significantly affects opportunities for succession, exit, finance or investment.

Brand equity trumps real estate in most acquisitions. Understanding how value is created in the affordable luxury wine industry and developing strategies for growth, exit or legacy will pave the road to prosperity. Since value is measured by the investor or buyer, business owners must target the drivers of value in their day-to-day operating plans. The curriculum is developed to support the development of best practice. It is equally well suited for managing an investor due diligence process.

Taught by Martin Jonesand Michael Houlihan, who partner together to bring forty years of experience in the beverage alcohol industry driving marketing and value enhancement programs.

March 18 & 19, 2013 8am-5pm 

Location: Stevenson 2016

Cost: $595

 

More Information

Register here for class #3713

Please contact Dana Swilley at (707)664-3347, or swilley@sonoma.edu, with any questions.


Introducing the new Wine Industry Finance & Accounting Certificate
18 January, 2013

Sonoma State's new certificate program will be taught by wine industry professionals in the finance and accounting fields. Each seminar is designed to deliver core quantitative concepts illustrated by wine industry examples. The new program is appropriate for wine industry professionals who see greater understanding of the quantitative side of their business. No previous finance and accounting experience is required.

Joining Sonoma State’s Wine Industry faculty to deliver this new program are:

  • Rick Boland: Moss Adams LLP
  • Ted Elliott: Sonoma Cutrer Winery
  • Allison Jordan: Wine Institute, California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance
  • Corinne Meddaugh: Landmark Winery, SSU Business Administration lecturer, Culinary Institute of America lecturer
  • Toni Moheng: BPM
  • Jay Silverstein: Moss Adams LLP
  • Jeanette Tan: Kokomo Winery and Sbragia Family Vineyards

An introductory elective, Finance for Non-Finance People, will be held on Friday, February 8th from 8am-12pm - register here. To earn the certificate you must complete eight, 4-hour, short seminars split between core and elective offerings. Core seminars include:

Financial Accounting for Your Wine Business

Available: Friday February 15th, 8am-12pm-register here

 

Cost Accounting for Wineries

Available: Friday February 15th, 1-5pm-register here

 

Managerial Accounting for your Wine Business

Available: Friday April 19th, 8am-12pm-register here

 

Budgets, Forecasting, and Best Practices for your Wine Business

Available: Friday April 19th, 1-5pm-register here

 

For a list of available electives please visit our website.

Cost: $150 per seminar; $1,200 for certificate (8 seminars total)

For more information please call Dana Swilley at 707-664-3347, or email: swilley@sonoma.edu


NEW Spring Wine Business Certificate Offerings
10 January, 2013

The Spring seminar schedule has been released! We will be offering short, 4 hour, seminars on Fridays starting February 8th. Course offering cover various industry topics from direct shipping, staffing, marketing, wine club management, sales, to accounting and budgeting. With these seminars, you will have the opportunity to enhance your career by earning our Tasting Room Management Certificate or our new Wine Industry Finance and Accounting Certificate.

The new Wine Industry Finance and Accounting Certificate gives an overview of the financial and accounting concepts that will enable you to make better business decisions. Taught by industry professionals in the finance and accounting fields, each seminar is tailored to provide the individual with core concepts that are presented with wine industry examples. The program can be used as a refresher or to gain more understanding in the finance and accounting aspects of the wine industry, but no previous experience is required.

Seminar Dates: Fridays (8am -12pm or 1pm -5pm); February 8 – April 26.  
View Schedule

Registration Deadline: Two days before the seminar date 
Register Here

 

Sonoma State Online Wine Business Management Certificate
Application Deadline February 1 for the Foundation Course  
 

Inspired by the Sonoma State University Wine Business MBA, the Wine Business Management Certificate allows participants to strengthen their knowledge of wine business fundamentals, marketing and finance in an online format.

The Foundation Course is an overview of global wine commerce - how wine is distributed and sold around the world. It is taught by Tim Hanni MW who is one of the first two Americans to earn the title Master of Wine. He is also an internationally recognized wine educator involved in research projects focused on understanding wine consumer preferences, attitudes and behaviors.

At the conclusion of the Foundation Course, participants will gain an understanding of the strategies, costs and key decisions that go into growing, producing, marketing and selling wine. From there, the Intermediate and Advanced courses will provide an in-depth exploration of the components of wine business.
 

Application deadline:  February 1, 2013
 
Course Dates:  February 11th  –  March 8th
 
Price: $590

To learn more about the Online Wine Business Management Certificatevisit the website.

To Apply:APPLICATION-Foundation Level Course.

If you have any questions please call Dana Swilley, (707) 664-3347, or email swilley@sonoma.edu.

 

 


 


NEW Spring 2013 Wine Business Education Offerings!
19 December, 2012

The Spring schedule has been released. Seminars will begin February 8th. Also, introducing the Wine Industry Finance and Accounting Certificate.

For more information on our seminars, advanced seminars, and certificates, please visit us online. 

If you have any questions, contact Dana Swilley at swilley@sonoma.edu or (707) 664-3347.


Business of Viticulture Seminars at Sonoma State
24 October, 2012

 Practical Vineyard Management and The Experts Secrets to Selling Wine Grapes

Rohnert Park, CA- Business principles don’t start and stop in the winery, but must be applied to the vineyard as well. These short, 4-hour seminars will bring together leading industry professionals that have years of experience with the business aspects of running and managing a working vineyard.

Practical Vineyard Management- Friday, November 2nd, 1pm – 5pm
This seminar will be led by Aaron DeBeers, general manager at Teucer in Coombsville. As owner and founder of Vinoptic Consulting, he has worked with renowned vineyards such as Duckhorn Vineyards, Cakebread, Opus One and Paul Hobbs. Aaron will bring his knowledge of vineyard and winery management and development to help you recognize and develop your own personal system to measure your inputs versus outputs in relationship to your vineyard health and performance, grape quality, and your buyers' expectations.

Register Here- use class #3947
More Information

 The Experts Secrets to Selling Wine Grapes – Friday, November 30th, 8am – noon
Nick Frey, President of the Sonoma County Winegrape Commission will lead a panel of experts including Dave Magnasco, Director of Grower Relations at Constellation and Randy Luginbill, VP of Winery Relations at Silverado Premium Properties, in a discussion on how to successfully market wine grapes. In a competitive environment knowing how to best market your grapes to potential buyers is key in making sales and creating lasting contracts. Nick and the panelists will also provide helpful insights into contract negotiations and other issues important to grape growers.

Register Here- use class #3952
More Information 

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For more information, please contact:
Jessica Heing, 707-664-3347, jessica.heing@sonoma.edu


About Sonoma State University's Wine Business Institute:

Sonoma State University's Wine Business Institute is located in the heart of California wine country and was created through a public-private partnership between the university and the wine industry. Founded in 1995, it is the first program in the United States to offer undergraduate and graduate degrees focused exclusively on the business aspects of the wine industry. In addition to its academic programs that include the first undergraduate and graduate degrees with a concentration in wine business, the Wine Business Institute offers an array of professional development courses for the industry. Its faculty members are published experts, active researchers, and requested presenters on pressing industry topics.  The Wine Business Institute operates within Sonoma State's School of Business and Economics, a fully accredited AACSB institution.  Learn more at sonoma.edu/winebiz

 

 


Sonoma State Releases Fall Seminar Schedule Friday Seminars Starting October 26th
09 October, 2012

The Wine Business Institute has released their fall seminar schedule and is now accepting enrollments.

Andrew Healy from Three Rock Marketing, Jack Ryno of Winery Transitions and Liza Zimmerman, wine journalist, will be joining the team of industry experts currently teaching in the program. Regular contributors returning to teach this semester include: Elizabeth Slater, Nyk King, Aaron DeBeers, Wendell Lee, Gary Finnan, Nick Frey, Jil Child and Paul Wagner.

Seminars are offered individually or can be taken as part of the Tasting Room Management Certificate. Candidates for the certificate complete three core seminars and five electives. The program can be completed in one semester or at the participant’s own pace. The three topics covered by the core curriculum are Building a Profitable Wine Club (October 26), Current and Upcoming Winery Compliance Issues (November 9), and Introduction to Tasting Room Management (November 30).

Electives reach beyond the tasting room to include additional topics in wine marketing, e-Commerce, selling wine grapes, social media and vineyard management.

All seminars are offered on the university campus in Rohnert Park and are open to the public. There are no prerequisites and industry experience is not required. Tuition for each class is $150.

Seminar Dates: Fridays (8am -12pm or 1pm -5pm); October 26 – December 14.  
View Schedule
Registration Deadline: Two days before the seminar date 
Register Here

For more information, please contact:
Jessica Heing, 707-664-3347, jessica.heing@sonoma.edu


Sonoma State Online Program Graduating First Group of Students
29 August, 2012

The Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State is graduating its first group of students in the new online Wine Business Management Program. The inaugural group of 22 students has progressed through three levels of instruction over 28 weeks. Those who successfully complete the cumulative final exam will graduate and earn the Wine Business Management Certificate.

Students in the program included those already working in the wine industry as well as those looking to change careers and transition into the industry.  “This is a great course whether you're a beginner or a leader in the wine industry. I was the beginner in a course full of professionals and felt the course was just as relevant to me as it was to the professionals already in the industry,” noted student Julie Overstreet, CSW.

A survey was given to students at the completion of each level, and the results showed that the majority of the students felt that the certificate would enable them to move into the wine industry or to take a higher position within it. One student said it helped him secure a job with a distributor while another student is using the knowledge to advance her career, “ the program was very helpful to me in my career advancement in wine marketing and provided me with a broader understanding of the unique challenges present in the industry,” said Alexis Traverso, Account Manager, Williams-Sonoma Wine.

The Foundation and Intermediate Levels were taught by Tim Hanni MW, who is the one of the first two Americans to earn the title Master of Wine. He is also an internationally recognized wine educator and joined Sonoma State’s wine industry faculty for the launch of the new program. He is involved in cutting edge sensory and behavioral research projects focused on understanding wine consumer preferences, attitudes and behaviors.

The Foundation Level offers a systematic overview of the wine business – how wine is produced, distributed and sold – using an online wine business planning and financial program.  The Intermediate Level expands on the Foundation Level, providing an in-depth exploration of the various components of the wine business, including global statistics, business issues with viticulture and enology, wine marketing, branding, distribution, sales, public relations, and exporting.

In the Advanced Level students completed two courses, the first titled Strategic Wine Marketing and the second titled Production and Quality in the Wine Supply Chain. The marketing course was taught by Sonoma State Wine Business faculty member, Janeen Olsen whose work in wine marketing research has produced numerous published articles. The production and quality course was also taught by a Sonoma State Wine Business faculty member, Tom Atkin whose research on sustainable business practices in the wine industry has produced numerous published articles as well.

Applications are being accepted for the next series of courses which begins on September 10.  The deadline to apply for the fall Foundation Level Course is September 5.

For more information and to apply online, visit Wine Business Management at Sonoma State


Contact Jessica Heing 707-664-3347, jessica.heing@sonoma.edu, with questions about this and other programs at Sonoma State’s Wine Business Institute.

Foundation Course Dates: September 10th – October 5th
Application Deadline September 5th

 

###

About Sonoma State University's Wine Business Institute
Sonoma State University's Wine Business Institute is located in the heart of California wine country and was created through a public-private partnership between the university and the wine industry. Founded in 1995, it is the first program in the United States to offer undergraduate and graduate degrees focused exclusively on the business aspects of the wine industry. 

 

In addition to its academic programs that include the first undergraduate and graduate degrees with a concentration in wine business, the Wine Business Institute offers an array of professional development courses for the industry. Its faculty members are published experts, active researchers, and requested presenters on pressing industry topics.  The Wine Business Institute operates within Sonoma State's School of Business and Economics, a fully accredited AACSB institution.  Learn more at sonoma.edu/winbiz 

 


2012 Wine Tourism Conference- $75 Off!
27 August, 2012

Sonoma State

partners with the upcoming

Wine Tourism Conference

Use the link below to get $75 off the registration cost! 
SSU Special Rate

 

November 14 - 15, Flamingo Hotel, Sonoma County


The conference will appeal to:

  • Wineries
  • Wine and tourism promotion agencies and chambers of commerce
  • Tour operators, travel agencies, transportation companies, event planners, hotels, and restaurants
  • Public relations professionals and other consultants
  • Academics and students
  • Media and bloggers

Keynote speakers include:

For more information visit: http://winetourismconference.org/
For information on SSU's Wine Business Institute: http://www.sonoma.edu/sbe/wine-business-institute/


Wine MBA Students Launch New Brand in Dry Creek Valley
29 June, 2012

Sonoma State Cellars 2010 Dry Creek Valley Cuvée is the culmination of a partnership between Kokomo Winery and the Wine MBA students of Sonoma State University.

Over the past two years, over a dozen wine business students have worked with the team at Kokomo Winery and Timber Crest Farms in Dry Creek Valley to create the first Sonoma State wine.  The idea for the brand was first considered by a group of four MBA students working with Dr. Armand Gilinsky, Jr.,  Professor of Business at Sonoma State University.  Liza Goldstein, Kendal Georgeson, Abigail Smyth and Leah McNally, who have since graduated and grown in their careers, conducted a feasibility study to assess the viability of the proposed brand during the summer of 2010.

During the following semester, a second group of MBA students worked with Dr. Gilinsky to develop a business plan for the new venture.  Jacob Avery, Stephanie Gremban, Sean Headden, Kendall Hoxsey, Dylan Karahalios, Marin McElhany, Brian Perkins, Andrew Pimentel and Nick Rood outlined the start-up necessities and a path to sustainability.  At the end of the semester, the students created a 40 page report and delivered their final  presentation to members of the wine business faculty, administration and the wine industry.

Attending the presentation that evening was Erik Miller, owner and winemaker at Kokomo Winery in Dry Creek Valley.  Erik was impressed by the students’ enthusiasm and immediately offered his support.  After crush was over, he set aside a barrel of his 2010 Red Cuvée to provide the foundation for the program and the first release of the future Sonoma State Cellars.

Over the course of the following year, he coached the students on the start-up of a winery and the building of the brand.  One of the student team members went on to work with Erik and his assistant winemaker Josh Bartels, while others contributed to the project whenever they could, squeezing in hours between study and work.   In the fall of 2011, Ruth Waltenspiel, the proprietor of Timber Crest Farms, hosted a launch party where the students shared their story with a group of 60 friends and supporters. 

Throughout the project, the MBA students were guided by the leaders of the Wine Business Institute Alumni Council, whose members work in key positions throughout the North Coast.  The alumni will provide continuity to the nascent program over successive semesters and generations of students.  With the label approval from the TTB, Sonoma State Cellars is now ready to launch. 

A limited quantity of wine is available to the public. For details, visit Sonoma State Cellars Allocation.  Contact Jessica Heing 707-664-3347, jessica.heing@sonoma.edu, with questions about this and other activities at Sonoma State’s Wine Business Institute.


SSU's Wine Business Institute Now Accepting Applications for their Online Wine Business Management Certificate
01 May, 2012

Now accepting applications for the first level Foundation course which starts June 18, 2012.

The Wine Business Institute is pleased to announce the latest addition to its wine education programs - the Wine Business Management Certificate Series, an online program with a global perspective.

Advance your wine business knowledge. Advance your career.

In an ever-changing market, having an advanced understanding of the business of wine is essential. Inspired by the Sonoma State University Wine Business MBA, the Wine Business Management Certificate allows participants to strengthen their knowledge of wine business fundamentals, marketing and finance in an online format accessible in every corner of the world.

Created by professionals for professionals.

The academically developed levels, taught by wine business experts, were carefully crafted for business professionals seeking advanced knowledge of wine business operations. Whether you're a current wine industry professional, a business professional wanting to enter the wine industry or a winemaker or viticulturist, the Wine Business Management Certificate is right for you.

Topics that matter. 

The Wine Business Management Certificate Series is made up of three levels: Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced. Each level builds upon the next and is designed to challenge participants while creating a superior understanding of wine business operations. Areas of focus include:

  • Wine commerce and trade
  • Wine marketing and sales
  • E-commerce 
  • Business issues associated with viticulture and winemaking
  • Traditional business functions of strategy in building a wine business
  • Finance, accounting and management applied to the wine industry
  • Regulatory issues concerning wine
  • Optional certification at the successful completion of the advanced level.

One year of the two-year industry experience requirement will be waived for those seeking admission to Sonoma State University's accredited MBA in Wine Business with the completion of the Advanced Level and passing of the exam. Basic admission requirements apply


Tim Bucher, Founder of Tastingroom.com to Speak at SSU Spring Mixer
26 March, 2012

Wednesday, April 11 in the 5:00 hour.  Tim has quite a story and will be addressing the students at the annual Spring Mixer. Read more about Tim.
 
Join the event, bring a bottle of wine to share and meet our students.  If you have a position opening up this would be a great time to snag some talented undergrad and Wine MBA students.  There’s a seminar at 4:30 specific to recruiting, internships and more.  Even if you’re not planning on a new hire soon, come and make some connections for the future during the mixer.  Please RSVP by March 30th to Tracy Navas: tracy.navas@sonoma.edu or 707-664-2377. A map and parking information will be provided when you RSVP.
 
4:30 - 5:00 - "Top 10 Reasons to Hire SSU Students"  
Student Union Multi-Purpose Room 
5:00 - 6:30 - Mixer and Guest Speaker: Tim Bucher, CEO & founder of TastingRoom.com
University Commons 


Sonoma State Survey Shows What Winery Owners Want From Suppliers
07 March, 2012

Rohnert Park, CA: Did you know that more than 67% of winery owners believe that the right suppliers help their business maintain a competitive edge? This finding plus many more interesting facts and statistics are now available in a new study recently completed by the Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State University in California. 

Developed by Dr. Janeen Olsen and Dr. Liz Thach, MW, the study highlights the opinions of more than 117 winery owners, winemakers, and purchasing managers. Positive supplier relationships have always been important in the wine industry, but with increased global competition and pressure to reduce costs, wineries often scrutinize suppliers more closely to obtain better pricing.

This study describes the factors that drive a winery's decision in supplier selection, as well as the types of areas in which they hope to add suppliers. Published by the Wine Industry Network Advisor, a free copy of the study results is available at: http://wineindustrynetwork.com/blog/2012/02/21/to-buy-or-not-to-buy-factors-impacting-winery-supplier-choice/.


Sonoma State's Wine EMBA in Napa: Applications Close February 29th
20 February, 2012

Sonoma State University is bringing its Executive Masters of Business Administration program (EMBA) to the Napa Valley this spring. Applications are due Wednesday, February 29. "We're partnering with Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) to make the program accessible to wine professionals in the region who want to support their career growth," said program director Robert Eyler. Classes begin April 12 and will be held in St. Helena at NVV's headquarters.

The program provides students with an accredited MBA degree in 17 months, starting with an orientation weekend from April 12-14, 2012. The executive format is alternating Fridays and Saturdays, from 8am - 5pm, where students attend year-round except for a harvest break from September 1 to November 8, 2012. Courses end on Aug 31, 2013. "Students complete the program as one group or cohort, meaning they gain additional learning from the small- and large-group dynamics and benefit from the extended network that develops out of that," noted Dr. Rob Eyler, EMBA program director at Sonoma State.

This will be the fourth cohort of business leaders to undertake this executive degree program, but the first to emphasize wine industry issues. Courses include strategic brand management, global wine operations, using social media as a strategic tool in marketing throughout the distribution chain, compliance and government relations, financial statement analysis, talent management, and much more. In addition to an off-site experience where the attendees travel to San Diego for a team sailing exercise as a metaphor for business operations and leadership, there is also an international travel and business experience associated with the global operations course. Books, materials, travel, and other needs are all included in the program fees. The culminating experience is a strategic plan for a new or existing business, which provides budding wine entrepreneurs a way to have their ideas mentored, shaped, and potentially funded.

Wine industry professionals with at least five years of professional experience are encouraged to apply. Other experienced professionals seeking to change careers will also be considered.

The application and additional information can be found at www.sonoma.edu/emba. Please contact Program Director Dr. Robert Eyler at 707-664-4256 or emba@sonoma.edu.

About Sonoma State University's School of Business and Economics:
Sonoma State University School of Business and Economics' mission is to create extraordinary learning experiences for our students and to advance best business practices in the North Bay and beyond.  Its vision: to be the educational nucleus of a thriving North Bay economy.  Its Wine Business Institute is recognized around the world for its expert faculty, business-focused research, and the first undergraduate and graduate degree programs in wine business in the United States.  With undergraduate, graduate and executive programs serving over 1500 students each year and concentrations in Accounting, Finance, Management, Marketing, Wine Business, and Economics, the School offers the most in-demand degree on the Sonoma State campus.  The School of Business and Economics is accredited by AACSB (the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business), making it one of 15% of all business schools in the world to meet these standards for excellence.  For more information visit, www.sonoma.edu/sbe

About the NVV:
The Napa Valley Vintners is the non-profit trade association responsible for promoting and protecting the Napa Valley appellation as the premier winegrowing region. From seven founding members in 1944, today the association represents more than 420 Napa Valley wineries and collectively is a leader in the world-wide wine industry. To learn more about our region and its legendary American wines, visit www.napavintners.com


Sonoma State: Tasting Room Management Classes Starting in Sonoma and Napa
09 February, 2012

Sonoma State University’s Wine Business Institute will launch its latest series of classes in the Tasting Room Management Certificate Program.  Dan Berger, Michael Houlihan and Martin Jones will join the team of industry experts currently teaching in the program.

Candidates for the Tasting Room Management Certificate are required to complete three core courses and five electives.  The program can be completed in one semester or at the participant’s own pace.

The three topics covered by the core curriculum are Building a Profitable Wine Club (February 24), State Compliance for Direct Shipping and Introduction to Tasting Room Management (both offered on March 2).  Electives reach beyond the tasting room to include additional topics in wine marketing, compliance and human resources. 

Regular contributors returning to teach this semester include:  Wendy Bruce, Jil Child, Steve Cuellar, Gary Finnan, Marie Gewirtz, Steve Gross, Nyk King, David Sandri and Elizabeth Slater. 

In partnership with the Napa Valley Vintners, two of the electives will be offered at the

Vintners’ headquarters in St. Helena:  Innovative Wine Marketing & Brand Momentum and Practical Strategies to Increase Wine e-Commerce Sales on March 16.

On the university campus in Rohnert Park, seven electives will be offered, including:  Winning Distribution StrategiesExit Strategy:  Brand Building and ValueManaging Performance of Tasting Room EmployeesIntroduction to IRI/Nielsen Scan DataWine MarketingSelling Through the Tasting RoomThe DNA of Consumer Experience and Federal Wine Compliance: Taking the Mystery Out of the Process

These professional development courses are open to the public and may be taken individually.  There are no prerequisites and industry experience is not required.  Tuition for each class is $150.

For more information about this program, visit the Wine Business Institute online at

Sonoma State’s Wine Business Institute Professional Programs (http://www.sonoma.edu/sbe/wine-business-institute/professional-development/tasting-room-management-certificate.html) or contact Marcia Harrigan at 664-3011.  Register directly through the following link:  Spring Registration (http://www.certain.com/system/profile/form/index.cfm?PKformID=0x1194303b607).

 


Applications for Online Wine Business Management Close Monday Feb. 6th
06 February, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 2, 2012

Applications for Online Wine Business Management Close Monday

Rohnert Park, CA:  Sonoma State’s Online Wine Business Management Certificate launches its second round of foundation classes next week.  Monday, February 6, is the last day to apply.  This new certificate program kicked off in the fall and concluded with great feedback on the four-week foundation level course taught by Tim Hanni. 

“Like any business there is a foundation of knowledge needed in the wine business that is particular to this industry. This course set the relevant expectations and provided a good foundation of understanding the complexities and financial resources needed to participate,” said Rickey Trombetta of TrombettaFamily Wines.

The foundation course that runs from February 13 to March 9 is presented via online video lectures, course conference calls, and a unique WineBizSim business planning project that allows students to build a financial model for a wine business. Specific topics cover production, marketing and sales fundamentals, wine styles of the world, distribution, and global wine markets.

“The wine business is an ever-changing market and people need access to solid business principles and strategies to be successful,” noted instructor Tim Hanni MW, who teaches both the Foundation and Intermediate Levels in the Certificate Program.  “The online format makes it accessible to everyone.”  Last fall, 79 students from across the US and the world participated in the inaugural round.  Apply for the February 13th Foundation Level course now.

The Wine Business Management Certificate offered exclusively online was created for professionals already in the industry who want to advance their knowledge of wine business operations, winemakers or viticulturists wanting to expand their understanding of business strategies and principles, and professionals in other industries seeking to enter the wine industry. While the perceived glamour of the business draws many to the industry, it is business acumen that is vital to its long-term success and to the success of its owners and employees. The series consists of a Foundation level, along with Intermediate and Advanced levels, with optional certification at the completion of the Advanced level. The Intermediate class begins in March.

“As someone looking to make a career change and enter the wine industry I was looking for a reputable and flexible way to gain some necessary education. Tim Hanni is a fantastic instructor and offers in-depth industry knowledge that has fueled my interest in the industry even more and I look forward to the next level,” said career changer Jeff Zielinski.

Learn about the Certificate and other professional development offerings at Sonoma State’s Wine Business Institute Professional Programs

* * * * * * * * * *

For more information, contact:

Annemarie Brown, 707-664-2221, annemarie.brown@sonoma.edu

 

About Sonoma State University’s Wine Business Institute:

Sonoma State University’s Wine Business Institute is located in the heart of California wine country and was created through a public-private partnership between the university and the wine industry. Founded in 1995, it is the first program in the United States to offer undergraduate and graduate degrees focused exclusively on the business aspects of the wine industry. In addition to its academic programs, the Wine Business Institute offers an array of professional development courses for the industry. Its faculty members are published experts, active researchers, and requested presenters on pressing industry topics. The Wine Business Institute operates within Sonoma State’s School of Business and Economics, a fully accredited AACSB institution. Learn more at www.sonoma.edu/sbe

About Tim Hanni, MW:

Tim Hanni MW, one of the first two Americans to earn the title Master of Wine, is an internationally recognized wine educator and professionally trained chef who consults to wine and hospitality businesses. Hanni is a recognized leader in developing marketing and education programs that break down barriers which have historically hindered the unfettered enjoyment of wine. He is also involved in cutting edge sensory and behavioral research projects focused on understanding wine consumer preferences, attitudes and behaviors. Hanni has a unique perspective and passionate curiosity in the worlds of food, wine and sensory sciences. Hanni teaches wine marketing programs at Sonoma State University and the Wine & Spirits Education Trust in London, England, has adopted his wine and food principles in their international curriculum.  Learn more about Hanni at www.timhanni.com.


Bordeaux Wine & Spirits MBA Students Learn from North Coast Industry Leaders
02 February, 2012

"There is no place on earth quite like Sonoma," read the opening slide in Honore Comfort's presentation at the Sonoma County Vintners last Wednesday. The words of James Laube were an apt framework for the twenty graduate wine business students from around the world who are here to learn from leaders across the North Coast wine industry.  The two-week session hosted by Sonoma State's Wine Business Institute is year one of a collaboration between two of the top wine business programs in the world. 

Tasting through the wines, Comfort gave an overview of the distinctive features of Sonoma's AVAs and the students had an opportunity to see the different expressions of the grapes grown in Sonoma County. In addition to practical lessons for the students, the program provides a voice for regional leaders into the 20 countries the students represent, to the people who are influencing others in the trade and consumers around the world.

"Coming to Sonoma allows us as a group to learn key insights of the Northern Californian wine industry, the challenges that they face with the U.S. domestic market, what they face when it comes to exporting outside California, and how the wineries deal with marketing their wine," said Krister Bengtsson of Stockholm. 

The day in Sonoma County continued with a visit to Korbel where Gary Heck and his team walked the cohort through the complexities of sparkling wine production at the winery on the Russian River. Here, a key lesson was in production size and how to balance the nuances of large scale production while maintaining consistent quality.

Later, Paul Hobbs and his team discussed the business of import and export of their luxury brands in California and Argentina. On another day, the students stopped at Sonoma Cellars where they appreciated the distinctive licensing arrangement where multiple wineries are represented in one venue operating as a wine bar, in addition to tasting room.

While here, the students will also see Napa Valley from Carneros to Calistoga and meet leaders from Michael Mondavi, Treasury Wine Estates, and Chateau Montelena.  

"Participating in this program gives me broad international exposure, an understanding of customer needs and tastes that vary across the world and the chance to know each of the different consumer markets better," said Irving So of Hong Kong, who is currently based in Japan. 

These field lessons are combined with classroom lessons in wine marketing, strategic management, corporate finance and supply chain management from industry experts Lewis Perdue, Tim Hanni, Mario Zepponi, Pete Scott, and Jim Bielenberg, as well as distinguished faculty from Sonoma State Armand Gilinsky, Janeen Olsen, Liz Thach, and Tom Atkin.

"The skills and the experience of the faculty are why we chose to partner with Sonoma State.  I knew that they use the latest information in the classroom with our students because they are at the forefront of research in the wine industry," states Hervé Remaud, academic director for Bordeaux Management School, who guides the group through all the segments of the program.  In addition to Sonoma and Bordeaux, these include visits to Adelaide and London, as well as online classes.

The students conclude their North Coast intensive on January 20th and will return to their home countries - from London and Lebanon to Argentina and Australia, from Taiwan to Portugal - with strengthened relationships with California industry leaders and a deeper appreciation of the United States wine market, a market that we call home. 

 

About Bordeaux School of Management:

Founded in 1874 by the Bordeaux Chamber of Commerce and Industry, BEM is one of the oldest Management Schools in France. Located in Bordeaux, Paris, Dakar and Malaysia, BEM offers 12 management programs ranging from Bachelor to MBA courses.  It now has 3,200 students, 12 diploma programs and 110 partnerships with schools in 40 countries. Recognized for its expertise in supply chain management, purchasing, wine and creative industries, BEM stands out from other schools with its pioneering commitment to produce responsible managers. A member of the "Conférence des Grandes Ecoles", BEM awards certificates which are either recognized or approved by the State. BEM is accredited by EQUIS, AMBA and AACSB.  Learn more at www.bem.edu

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Paul Hobbs shares insights on luxury brands during a tasting and tour at the winery.

 

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Honore Comfort of Sonoma County Vintners walks Bordeaux students through the distinctions of Sonoma County grapes.

 

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Louie DeVincenzi, AVP for Sales & Marketing at Korbel, continues lessons on sales management over lunch.

 

 


Sensory Evaluation Workshop Follows Unified at Sonoma State
12 January, 2012

Staying ahead of flaws in the cellar and quantifying differences and preferences are critical to a winery’s bottle line.  Following the conclusion of Unified, Sonoma State’s Wine Business Institute will partner with VESTA to offer a workshop focusing on sensory evaluation and sensory test methods.
 
The workshop will cover a number of topics in the arena of sensory evaluation, including tasting methodology, wine components, a special emphasis on wine flaws, errors in the perception of wine and sensory test methods, including difference and preference testing.

The workshop will weave lectures with practical tasting exercises, including a myriad of wine flaws, varying levels of wine components and a sampling of divergent styles of wine from around the globe.  Likewise the modules on sensory test methods will employ hands-on activities to teach participants how to conduct difference and preference testing at the winery.

This workshop will benefit winemakers, cellar workers and others in the industry t seek a deeper understanding of these topics and their impact on a winery’s success.

Pat Henderson, Senior Winemaker at Kenwood Vineyards and David Sandri of Winesecrets will guide the participants through the complexities of sensory evaluation and the identification of wine flaws.  Ray Johnson, Director of Sonoma State University’s Wine Business Institute, will facilitate a segment on world wine styles and their relationship to tolerance of flaws outside the range of typical California standards. The three will also teach the important work of test methods that assist winemakers in quantifying differences between samples of wine and assessing the preferences of consumer segments that wineries are targeting.

The workshop will be held in Santa Rosa at the Landmark Executive Center (home of Chloe’s French Café) on January 27 and 28, from 8-5 on Friday and 8-1 on Saturday.  The center is located at 3883 Airway Drive, Santa Rosa, CA 95403.

Cost of the 1.5 day workshop is $249 per person.  Pre-registration is required.  Follow this link to access the registration form:  Sensory Evaluation Workshop.  For questions, please contact Emily Gray, Coordinator at the VESTA National Center by email EmilyGray@missouristate.eduor phone 417-836-8967.
 
A light breakfast will be included on site both mornings and a simple lunch will be included on Friday.


LYNMAR ESTATE PROPRIETOR TO TEACH WINE COURSE AT SSU
04 January, 2012

Winter Semester at Sonoma State University Kicks Off with Wine Entrepreneurship Course

Taught by Anisya Fritz

 

Sonoma County, Ca. (December 20) – Beginning February 2, 2012 Wine Entrepreneurship will commence its weekly meetings, covering a broad array of topics focused on creating and managing businesses in the wine industry.  Seasoned professor Anisya Thomas Fritz, who has taught strategic management and entrepreneurship at other well-known universities, brings her first-hand experience of running the operations at Lynmar Estate to the students of the Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State University. 

 “The wine industry is at a very interesting phase in its evolution, and the skills of managing people and resources are becoming more critical to survival and success.  Yet, because this industry sits at the nexus of agriculture, the management of cash and marketing, and has rigorous regulatory compliance requirements, there are nuances that are important to understand,” Anisya explains.

 The course will focus on the creation of a plan for a new business in the wine industry and the process and method for building a model for a successful venture. The emphasis will be on developing critical thinking and problem solving skills that can be used in any business context. Topics covered will include an assessment of the competitive landscape, models of profitability, financial and regulatory frameworks, distribution and wholesale versus direct-to-consumer sales and the elements of a successful brand. Well known industry guest speakers will include:

  • Honore Comfort, Executive Director, Sonoma County Vintners
  • Tammy Boatright, President, Ving Direct
  • Clayton Fritz, President, Fritz Winery
  • Charles and Diana Karren, Proprietors, Terra De Promisso
  • Ken Freeman, Proprietor, Freeman Winery

 

About Anisya Thomas Fritz, Ph.D.

Anisya Thomas Fritz, Ph.D., is a Proprietor of Lynmar Estate, a family-owned producer of ultra-premium Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, where she serves as the Director of Marketing and Consumer Sales.

The author of numerous articles on competitive strategy, international entrepreneurship, and humanitarian relief, Dr. Fritz has published in leading journals such as the Harvard Business Review, Strategic Management Journal, and the Journal of International Business Studies. She has an extensive consulting and executive education background and has worked with a diverse array of international companies from Autocampo in Finland to Carnival Cruise Lines and the Disney Corporation.

Previously, Dr. Fritz was the managing director of Fritz Institute, a not-for-profit organization that works on improving the system of humanitarian aid and disaster relief around the world (www.fritzinstitute.org). In that capacity she worked with major disaster relief organizations such as the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, The World Food Program and UNICEF developing research, training and technology to increase the timeliness and appropriateness of relief supplies after major disasters such as the South Asian Tsunami. She was also a co-founder of Lynnco Supply Chain Solutions (www.lynnco-scs.com) where she is currently the CEO and Chairman of the Board.

 Prior to that Dr. Fritz was associate professor at Florida International University in Miami and a Visiting Professor at the Stockholm School of Economics in Stockholm, Sweden. She received her B.A. at Loyola College in Maryland and her M.S. and Ph.D. at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia.

To learn more about the program, or keep abreast of future online programs from the Wine Business Institute, visit Sonoma State online (http://www.sonoma.edu/sbe/wine-business-institute/professional-development/).

For more information, contact:

Shalyn Eyer, 707-664-2260, winebiz@sonoma.edu

 

 


Sonoma State Wine Business Classes Go Online
14 November, 2011

In response to wine industry demand, Sonoma State is creating online wine classes focusing on the business of wine. "Throughout the United States and abroad, members of the industry have persistently requested access to our classes from a distance. These new programs will satisfy that demand across a broad series of wine business topics," said Wine Business Institute Director, Ray Johnson.

Existing wine business classes at Sonoma State have been migrating to a hybrid of online and in-person content. New classes have also been created, in particular those that are available to non-matriculating students who are not at a stage in life where they can commit to a full Bachelor's or Master's program of wine business study.

The first new offering, exclusively online, is the Wine Business Management Certificate. The Certificate Program was created for professionals already in the industry who want to advance their knowledge of wine business operations, winemakers or viticulturists wanting to expand their understanding of business strategies and principles, and professionals in other industries seeking to enter the wine industry. While the perceived glamour of the business draws many to the industry, it is business acumen that is vital to its long-term success and to the success of its owners and employees. The series consists of a Foundation level, along with Intermediate and Advanced levels, with optional certification at the completion of the Advanced level.

The inaugural session of the Foundation level kicks-off in early November and the deadline for applications is October 21. The four-week course will be presented through video lectures, course conference calls, and a unique WineBizSim business planning project, allowing the students experience in building a financial model for a wine business. At the end of this foundation level, participants will have gained an introductory understanding of global wine commerce, the strategies and decisions involved in getting from the vineyard to the retailer, the process and outlets for wine sales, as well as the major wine markets and their products.

Tim Hanni MW will teach the Foundation and Intermediate Levels in the new Certificate Program. Hanni MW, one of the first two Americans to earn the title Master of Wine, is an internationally recognized wine educator Hanni and sits on the Board of Directors for the Institute of Masters of Wine. He is an innovative researcher and wine educator whose wine and food principles have been adopted by the Wine & Spirits Education Trust in London.

"The wine business is an ever-changing market and people need access to solid business principles and strategies to be successful," noted Hanni. "I'm excited to teach the class online because it makes this knowledge easily available to people in every corner of the world."

Hanni's techniques for creating easy to use wine lists, including the invention of the Progressive Wine List format, and retail wine programs are combined with tried and tested culinary philosophies on "balancing" food and wine flavors, and are employed by thousands of restaurants and hotel outlets around the world. "Tim brings incredible expertise in the industry and in teaching that will really make this a powerful experience for participants," said Ray Johnson, director of the Wine Business Institute.

The follow-on Intermediate level will be offered in spring, building on the basis of knowledge gained in the Foundation course work. The Advanced level will feature elective courses, offered in the summer of 2012, in Production and Quality in the Wine Supply Chain, Strategic Wine Marketing and Global Wine E-commerce.  For those seeking admission to Sonoma State University's accredited MBA in Wine Business, completing the Advanced Level of the Wine Business Management Certificate (including passing the exams) waives the wine experience admission requirement. This will enable professionals in other fields to access to the Wine MBA program more readily. Two years of professional work experience in any industry is also required along with meeting the other basic admission criterion.

To learn more about the program, submit an application, or keep abreast of future online programs from the Wine Business Institute, visit Sonoma State online<http://www.sonoma.edu/sbe/wine-business-institute/professional-development/> (http://www.sonoma.edu/sbe/wine-business-institute/professional-development/).

* * * * * * * * * *

For more information, contact: Shalyn Eyer, 707-664-2260, winebiz@sonoma.edu<mailto:winebiz@sonoma.edu>

About Sonoma State University's Wine Business Institute:

Sonoma State University's Wine Business Institute is located in the heart of California wine country and was created through a public-private partnership between the university and the wine industry. Founded in 1995, it is the first program in the United States to offer undergraduate and graduate degrees focused exclusively on the business aspects of the wine industry. In addition to its academic programs, the Wine Business Institute offers an array of professional development courses for the industry. Its faculty members are published experts, active researchers, and requested presenters on pressing industry topics. The Wine Business Institute operates within Sonoma State's School of Business and Economics, a fully accredited AACSB institution.


Tasting Room Management at Sonoma State's Wine Business Institute
03 October, 2011

Sonoma State University's Wine Business Institute has announced the fall series of classes available in the Tasting Room Management Certificate Program.

"The classes offer practical guidance from industry professionals and cover a gamut of topics related to the customer's tasting room experience," noted Ray Johnson, Director of the Wine Business Institute.

Candidates for the Tasting Room Management Certificate are required to complete three core courses and five electives.  The program can be completed in one semester or at the participant's own pace.

The three topics covered by the core curriculum are Building a Profitable Wine Club Current and Upcoming Winery Compliance Issues (both on October 21), and Introduction to Tasting Room Management (October 28.  Electives reach beyond the tasting room to include successful selling to the trade and practical vineyard management from a business perspective.

 The following classes are offered during the fall of this year:

*       Building a Profitable Wine Club: October 21; 8am - Noon

*       Current & Upcoming Winery Compliance Issues: October 21; 1 - 5pm

*       Intro to Tasting Room Management: October 28; 8:30am - 12:30pm

*       Selling Wine to Restaurants & Retailers: November 4; 8am - Noon

*       Easy Ways to Successful Direct Marketing: November 4; 1 - 5pm

*       The Experts' Secrets to Selling Wine Grapes: November 18; 8am - Noon

*       Wine Marketing Basics-What Every Winery Should Know: November 18; 1 - 5pm

*       Practical Vineyard Management: December 2; 8am - Noon

*       Practical Strategies to Increase Wine Ecommerce Sales: December 2; 1 - 5pm

*       ReVision Your Customer Experience Management Program: December 9; 8am - Noon

*       Social Media and Wine Marketing: December 9; 1 - 5pm

These professional development courses are open to the public and may be taken individually.  There are no prerequisites and industry experience is not required.  The fee for each class is $150 and all are offered on the Sonoma State University campus.

For more information about this program, visit the Wine Business Institute online at Short Courses and Online Programs<http://www.sonoma.edu/sbe/wine-business-institute/professional-development/> (http://www.sonoma.edu/sbe/wine-business-institute/professional-development/) or contact Marcia Harrigan at 664-3011 to enroll now.

 


Coming Soon! The Wine Business Management Certificate!
01 September, 2011

The Wine Business Institute is pleased to announce the latest addition to its wine education programs - the Wine Business Management Certificate Series, an online program with a global perspective. Available beginning November 2011.

Advance your wine business knowledge. Advance your career.

In an ever-changing market, having an advanced understanding of the business of wine is essential. Inspired by the Sonoma State University Wine Business MBA, the Wine Business Management Certificate allows participants to strengthen their knowledge of wine business fundamentals, marketing and finance in an online format accessible in every corner of the world.

Created by professionals for professionals.

The academically developed levels, taught by wine business experts, were carefully crafted for business professionals seeking advanced knowledge of wine business operations.  Whether you're a current wine industry professional, a business professional wanting to enter the wine industry or a winemaker or viticulturist, the Wine Business Management Certificate is right for you.

Topics that matter. 

The Wine Business Management Certificate Series is made up of three levels: Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced. Each level builds upon the next and is designed to challenge participants while creating a superior understanding of wine business operations. Areas of focus include:

  • Wine commerce and trade
  • Wine marketing and sales
  • E-commerce 
  • Business issues associated with viticulture and winemaking
  • Traditional business functions of strategy in building a wine business
  • Finance, accounting and management applied to the wine industry
  • Regulatory issues concerning wine
  • Optional certification exam will be available to take at the successful completion of the advanced level.

One year of the two-year industry experience requirement will be waived for those seeking admission to Sonoma State University's accredited MBA in Wine Business with the completion of the Advanced Level and passing of the exam. Basic admission requirements apply. 

Be the first to know.

Email us at winebiz@sonoma.edu to be added to our mailing list and be amongst the first to receive information about fall registration. Class sizes are limited.


SSU's School of Business and Economics Celebrates 25th "Birthday" at Lagunitas
23 June, 2011

Rohnert Park, CA, June 22, 2011 - Over 150 alumni, faculty, staff, and community members attended as Sonoma State's School of Business and Economics kicked off a year of birthday celebrations and 25 years of graduating business and economics students last night. Legendary brewing company Lagunitas and local grocer Oliver's Market generously sponsored the event.

 Lagunitas is donating all proceeds from the event to support Sonoma State's Wine Business Institute. "When we visited the wine business classes and learned about the great student projects going on, we knew this was something we had to support. After all, it takes a lot of beer to make good wine, or in this case - to market and manage it!" said Ron Lindenbusch of Lagunitas. A second celebration fundraiser is scheduled for late August.

 Ray Johnson, director of Sonoma State's Wine Business Institute, also announced the winners of four wine business scholarships at the event. The students were selected for the tremendous effort they have already put into their wine business studies and the ambitious goals they have for their futures, which include growing a new wine brand and becoming the general manager of a small winery.

 Wine MBA candidates Shaun Richardson and Jacob Avery already have considerable experience working in the industry. They were both awarded the Donn P. Reisen Scholarship that was created to honor Reisen's passion for Zinfandel and his commitment to education. Their knowledge and skills in the industry show that both share the same desire for wine as Reisen. Richardson has held a variety of different positions in the industry, ranging from dealing with customers in retail to winemaking and management. Avery will graduate from the Wine MBA program in the fall and is working to launch his own wine label, Wautasha Wines, an organic wine that donates a dollar from every bottle sold to an environmental charity.

 Rachel Kau-Taylor, recipient of the Susan Cagann Scholarship, just finished her first semester at Sonoma State and plans to use her love for wine to become a wine buyer for a large chain.  The Women for WineSense Scholarship was awarded to Taylor Cramer, who is pursuing a degree in wine business to gain more knowledge of the industry so that she can eventually take over her family's winery.

 "This is a fitting celebration to recognize students and appreciate what the School has accomplished in our first 25 years. With impressive alumni at work in all levels of the industry and really promising students venturing out, we're excited about what we can achieve in our next 25 years," stated Johnson. More information on the student scholarships can be found at www.sonoma.edu/sbe<http://www.sonoma.edu/sbe>.

###

 For more information, please contact: Annemarie Brown, 707-664-2221, annemarie.brown@sonoma.edu<mailto:annemarie.brown@sonoma.edu>

 High quality images of all scholarship recipients and other event photos can be downloaded here<http://www.sonoma.edu/sbe/2011/06/ssus-school-of-business-and-economics-celebrates-25th-birthday-at-lagunitas.html>!



Wine Business Institute Seminars

These seminars are open to the public and may be taken individually or together to earn a certificate.  The Wine Business Institute offers two industry driven certificate program options, Wine Industry Finance and Accounting and Direct to Consumer.  To earn the certificate students must complete the required core seminars plus the required number of electives, for a total of eight seminars.

For a full list of our Summer 2017 seminars: Wine Business Institute Seminars

Direct to Consumer Certificate

The Direct to Consumer Certificate helps prepare you for more responsibility by taking seminars in direct shipping, staffing, marketing, wine club management, data base management, sales, budgeting, and customer relationship management.

The Direct to Consumer Certificate requires the completion of (8) half day seminars, which can be completed this semester or at your own pace. The fee is $180 per seminar. For more information about this certificate click here.

Wine Industry Finance and Accounting Certificate

This program gives an overview of the financial and accounting concepts that will enable you to make better business decisions and advance your career. Taught by wine industry professionals in the finance and accounting fields, each seminar is tailored to provide the individual with core concepts that are  presented with wine industry examples, giving you the knowledge to immediately apply those principles to your business or organization. Little or no previous experience in finance and accounting is required, but is also for those that have experience as a refresher or to gain wine industry specific applications.

The Wine Industry Finance and Accounting Certificate requires the completion of (8) half day seminars, which can be completed this semester or at your own pace. The fee is $180 per seminar. For more information about this certificate click here.

Online Wine Business Management Certificate

In an ever-changing market, having an advanced understanding of the business of wine is essential. Inspired by the Sonoma State University Wine Business MBA, the Wine Business Management Certificate allows participants to strengthen their knowledge of wine business fundamentals, marketing and finance in an online format accessible in every corner of the world. For more information about this certificate click here.

Wine Entrepreneurship

Wine Entrepreneurship takes a systematic look at the different components of a successful wine brand and assists you in creating a strategy for sustainable profitability and cash flow. You hear from industry leaders and veterans who describe their experiences and lessons learned. Access more information about the wine entrepreneurship certificate here.

 

For further information please visit our website or contact Erin Ringstad at ringstad@sonoma.edu

 

The Career Center within the School of Business and Economics at Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park CA, serves all 1600 business and economics undergraduate and graduate students, preparing them for the competitive job market.  Students focus on one of the following areas of study:  Economics, Marketing, Finance, Accounting, Management, or Wine Business.  The academic component is supplemented by extra-curricular programs offered by the Career Center that include the Internship Program, Mentor Program, Alumni Speaker Series, career counseling, and job search workshops.

Students seek internships that allow them to apply their academic study to the real world, clocking ten to fifteen hours per week of the fifteen-week semester in paid or unpaid positions.  The Mentor Program offers a smaller time commitment as students explore careers and industries with a mentor from the business community for a total of ten hours during the semester.

Wine Business students are required to complete an internship in the wine industry, and many students in other business concentrations also seek wine industry positions.  Please contact Career Center Director Sarah Dove for more information on how you can partner with the business and economics students to add value to your organization!

EMPLOYERS

Send your internship position descriptions in electronic format to me by the end of January 2010 for exposure to the largest candidate pool.  For information on the process, please access our Internship Program website at http://www.sonoma.edu/sbe/internships. Contact me if you have any questions.

The SBE Career Center will post your internships on the Internship Program website, circulate them directly to qualified students via email, advertise them on SBE bulletin boards, and notify faculty of positions within their discipline. 

By the way, a Jobs Listing page on our website is a high visibility place to post your PT and FT positions.  Undergraduates, MBA students, and alumni all access this resource. You may send these opportunities to me for posting.

We look forward to maintaining our relationships with a large number of employers and making fresh contacts with new organizations as we find meaningful opportunities for students and fill your talent needs.

Vineyard Taxation

BUS 834W (Elective) 0.4 CEUs

DESCRIPTION

This seminar will cover tax accounting for vineyards, from the development phase through production. We will cover many of the special farming provisions, tax elections and vineyard depreciation methods.

INSTRUCTOR: Toni Moheng, Tom Benton, Tony Schapero all from BPM CPA

DATE: June 19th  (1 in-person meeting) 

DAY/TIME: Monday, 8:30 am-12:30 pm

LOCATION:Salazar 2021

Early Registration Discount--save $30! If you register two weeks before the course date, the fee for this course will only be 150. See Registration for details.  

 

Hands on Intro to eCommerce

BUS 814W (Core) 0.4 CEUs

 DESCRIPTION

Interested in taking your Direct to Consumer function to a higher level by tapping into the growing wine eCommerce channel? If so, this engaging hands-on seminar is perfect for you and other employees involved in online SDTC tasks. We will cover: Email marketing, understanding how to get more exposure for your winery website through advanced SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing), how to test and optimize the design of your website to increase the user experience and eCommerce sales, Google Analytics intro & user training, and social media that actually boosts your website traffic.

INSTRUCTOR: Pamela Snyder

DATE:June 20 (1 in-person meeting)

DAY/TIME: Tuesday, 1:30 pm-5:30 pm  

LOCATION:Salazar 2013

Early Registration Discount--save $30! If you register two weeks before the course date, the fee for this course will only be 150. See Registration for details.  

 

Calculating the True Cost of Your Wine

BUS 821W (FA Core) 0.4 CEUs

 DESCRIPTION

The reason most small businesses, especially wineries, fail is because they do not know their true Cost of Goods. This class is a must for winery owners and their accounting staff and will demystify the most complex aspect of winery accounting. Knowing the COGs will enable the management team to build a sustainable and profitable business. After attending this class you will be able to calculate the true costs of both bulk wine and bottled wine. Just as important, you will be able to forecast the actual cost of a finished bottle of wine, even when the release date is years away. With that knowledge you can build a pricing structure and marketing program that will ensure profit at the end of the day. We will show you how to setup your chart of accounts so that you identify the administrative costs and the winemaking and production costs. We will detail what information you need from your winemaker. Then we will show how to merge the financial information with the cellar information on a spreadsheet to run the calculation. In essence you will learn about Capitalized Costs, Overhead Cost Allocation, Cost Pools and Standard Costing, but we will do it using plain, unintimidating language to demonstrate how to calculate both the bulk wine cost and the final bottling cost.

 INSTRUCTOR: Jeanette Tan

DATE: June 22 (1 in-person meeting)

DAY/TIME: Thursday, 1:30 pm-5:30 pm

LOCATION:Salazar 2021

Early Registration Discount--save $30! If you register two weeks before the course date, the fee for this course will only be 150. See Registration for details.             

 

Winery Taxation

BUS 827W 0.4 CEUs

 DESCRIPTION

Accounting for wine inventory can be challenging especially when the production period may take two years or more. This seminar will cover various tax strategies for inventory costing, selection of accounting methods, depreciation and other unique taxation rules and planning opportunities available to winery owners and management teams.

INSTRUCTOR: Moss Adams Team

DATE: June 20 (1 in-person meeting)

DAY/TIME:Tuesday, 8:30 am-12:30 pm

LOCATION:Salazar 2013

Early Registration Discount--save $30! If you register two weeks before the course date, the fee for this course will only be 150. See Registration for details.             

 

Financial Accounting for the Wine Industry

BUS 820W (Core) 0.4 CEUs

 DESCRIPTION

Explore the challenges and recent updates in winery accounting and finance issues. This seminar covers industry specific accounting and reporting for winery profit and loss statements and balance sheets, including tasting room accounting, sales discounts and promotions, winery assets and depreciation, winery intangibles, cost segregation, and inventory costing.

 INSTRUCTOR:Corinne Meddaugh

DATE:June 19 (1 in-person meeting)

DAY/TIME: Monday, 1:30 pm-5:30 pm

LOCATION: Salazar 2013

 Early Registration Discount--save $30! If you register two weeks before the course date, the fee for this course will only be 150. See Registration for details.             

 

Wine Trends

BUS 809W (elective) 0.4 CEUs

 DESCRIPTION

How the Wine Business is Changing: How Everything from New Technology to Good Old-Fashioned Cannabis Affects How Wine is Sold Today.

 INSTRUCTOR: Liza Zimmerman

DATE: June 19(1 meeting)

DAY/TIME:Monday, 1:30 pm-5:30 pm

LOCATION: Salazar 2021

Early Registration Discount--save $30! If you register two weeks before the course date, the fee for this course will only be 150. See Registration for details.             

 

 

Selling Through the Tasting Room

BUS 811W (Core) 0.4 CEUs

 DESCRIPTION

If it’s not all about the wine, what is it all about? The simple and yet much overlooked answer is: it’s all about your visitors. Start visitors on the first step of an amazing and emotional journey that takes them from first time buyers to loyal and long-term customers. Elizabeth Slater delves into the psychological aspects of creating ambassadors for your winery. Develop your abilities to make the sale through a singular process.

  • Learning to engage and disengage
  • Are we selling at the right time?
  • How what you say encourages a buying response
  • What have you done for your visitors today?

 All these sales techniques and more will be thoroughly explored during this session. Learn the sales process and enjoy selling!

 INSTRUCTOR:Elizabeth Slater 

DATE: June 22 (1 in-person meeting)

DAY/TIME:Thursday, 1:30 pm-5:30 pm

LOCATION: Salazar 2013

Early Registration Discount--save $30! If you register two weeks before the course date, the fee for this course will only be 150. See Registration for details.             

 

Budgets, Forecasting & Best Practices in the Wine Industry

BUS 823W (Core) 0.4 CEUs

 DESCRIPTION

An effective budget serves as a road map for your company’s future growth. This seminar will focus on best practices and building budgets and forecasts for wine industry businesses. Touching on cost of goods sold, capital expenditures, cash flow forecasting, and making good assumptions, you’ll see immediate and direct benefits from these practical, hands-on budget principles and strategies.

 INSTRUCTOR:TBD

DATE: June 21 (1 in-person meeting)

DAY/TIME: Wednesday, 1:30 pm-5:30 pm

LOCATION: Salazar 2021

Early Registration Discount--save $30! If you register two weeks before the course date, the fee for this course will only be 150. See Registration for details.             

 

Direct to Consumer Marketing

BUS 810W (Core) 0.4 CEUs

 DESCRIPTION

Direct sales to consumers are among the most profitable sales that a small winery can create. To be successful requires a strong direct marketing plan, encompassing many opportunities with consumers. Beyond the obvious sales made in the tasting room, there are sales driven by newsletters, wine club activity, the winery's website, events and other less common direct marketing strategies. This seminar will focus on these channels while reflecting your brand image and story and how they are perceived by current and potential customers.

 INSTRUCTOR:Ron Scharman, MBA

DATE: June 19 (1 meeting)

DAY/TIME: MOnday, 8:30 am-12:30 pm

LOCATION: Salazar 2021

Early Registration Discount--save $30! If you register two weeks before the course date, the fee for this course will only be 150. See Registration for details.             

 

Managerial Accounting for the Wine Industry

BUS 822W (Core) 0.4 CEUs

 DESCRIPTION

Examine best practices in winery business management reporting, including key performance indicators as sales, net sales, bill backs, discounts and promotions, depletions, cost of goods sold, tasting room metrics, and other winery expenses. Comparisons to financial ratios and benchmarking are explored for internal management reporting. Enrollment is limited, so please register early.

 INSTRUCTOR:Corinne Meddaugh, MBA, CPA, CHE

DATE: June 20 (1 in-person meeting)

DAY/TIME: Tuesday, 1:30 pm-5:30 pm

LOCATION: Salazar 2021

Early Registration Discount--save $30! If you register two weeks before the course date, the fee for this course will only be 150. See Registration for details.             

 

 

How to Build a Profitable Wine Club

BUS 812W (Core) 0.4 CEUs

 DESCRIPTION

Over the last few years, wine clubs have emerged as an effective tool to connect with consumers and a strong profit center for many wineries. With the proliferation of wine clubs and a soft economy, it is becoming harder to attract and retain members.

  • How to Build a Profitable Wine Club delves into the strategies and tactics of connecting members and potential members with wine clubs—from promoting and selling wine club memberships through the web, e-newsletters, and the tasting room, to value adds that connect and retain members. Session to include:•Positioning the wine club in the minds of consumers
  • Value-adds--what wine club customers really want
  • Sales strategies to bring in new members
  • Differentiation—making a wine club stand out
 INSTRUCTOR:Elizabeth Slater 

DATE:June 20 (1 in-person meeting)

DAY/TIME: Tuesday, 8:30 am-12:30 pm 

LOCATION: Salazar 2021

Early Registration Discount--save $30! If you register two weeks before the course date, the fee for this course will only be 150. See Registration for details.    

        

Using Quickbooks in the Wine Industry

BUS 824W 0.4 CEUs

 DESCRIPTION

The cover of the box says you will be up and running in no time. And yes, many people simply print checks then hand the file off to the CPA at tax time. The smart business owner, however, should learn how to use the many powerful tools in QuickBooks® to help manage the day-to-day decisions of running the business. And in the complex world of wineries where you won’t see a profit from this year's harvest for another two years or more, it is essential to monitor the business to ensure it is on track. We will explain some special accounts needed for wineries and give you a chart of accounts you can implement the next day. We will also demonstrate the most common processes built into QuickBooks® that will save you time plus other tasks such as setting up budgets, running reports (including the most critical ones), using the credit card feature, and more. QuickBooks® has a wonderful feature that dumps reports into Excel, so we will also show you some Excel tips. For those wineries with tasting rooms, we will show how to manually integrate your point of sale information with QuickBooks®. And finally, we will discuss the best practices to deter fraud and embezzlement. You will leave with checklists, templates, and diagrams of procedures to start unleashing the full power of QuickBooks®.

 INSTRUCTOR: Jeanette Tan

DATE: June 22 (1 in-person meeting)

DAY/TIME: Thursday, 8:30 am-12:30 pm

LOCATION: Salazar 2021

Early Registration Discount--save $30! If you register two weeks before the course date, the fee for this course will only be 150. See Registration for details.             

 

Innovative Wine Marketing and Brand Momentum

BUS 854W (Elective) 0.4 CEUs

 DESCRIPTION

What makes one brand more successful and dynamic than another? Why does a consumer reach for a specific bottle of wine on an overcrowded shelf? The look, the feel, the appeal--what is the secret of creating clear, concise, and authentic branding to achieve consumer loyalty? Increased worldwide competition offers consumers more choices than ever before. Learn how to differentiate your brand and build momentum. As business expands and changes, learn effective ways to introduce new practices, launch new products, and explore new markets. The wine industry is coming of age with increased awareness of responsible farming practices, good neighbor policies, and sustainable communities. In this four hour class, we will discuss how to: shape a strategic plan and corresponding company goals; create a unique and consistent image; package the story; and ultimately launch the brand with a vibrant blend of traditional and social media communication.

 INSTRUCTOR: Marie Gewirtz

DATE: June 22 (1 in-person meeting)

DAY/TIME: Thursday, 8:30 am-12:30 pm

LOCATION: Salazar 2013

Early Registration Discount--save $30! If you register two weeks before the course date, the fee for this course will only be 150. See Registration for details.

            

How to Create and Execute Successful Winery Events

BUS 813W (Core) 0.4 CEUs

 DESCRIPTION

  • How can you create unforgettable events that are successful at satisfying your guests as well as your CFO? When it comes to planning successful events, there are two parties to please--your guests and your winery. From creating events that align with your winery brand to marketing the events to the right audience, this course will guide you through the ins and outs to create and execute successful events for your winery. Attendees will learn how to:•Develop successful events for your winery brand
  • Segment and market your winery events based on the right audience
  • Establish the right goals based on your event type
  • Increase sales and wine club sign ups at your events

INSTRUCTOR:Pilar Mustafa

DATE: June 21 (1 in-person meeting)

DAY/TIME:  Wednesday, 8:30 am - 12:30 pm

LOCATION: Salazar 2013

Early Registration Discount--save $30! If you register two weeks before the course date, the fee for this course will only be 150. See Registration for details.             

 

Leveraging Metrics in the Wine Trade

BUS 808W ective) 0.4 CEUs

DESCRIPTION

This seminar explores best practices for how and when to collect, analyze and use metric information for sales, marketing, club retention, business development, forecasting and more.  

INSTRUCTOR: Steve Cuellar

DATE: June 21 (1 in-person meeting) 

DAY/TIME: WEdnesday, 1:30-5:30pm

LOCATION:Salazar 2013

Early Registration Discount--save $30! If you register two weeks before the course date, the fee for this course will only be 150. See Registration for details.  

 

Current and Upcoming Winery Compliance Issues

BUS 836W (Elective) 0.4 CEUs

DESCRIPTION

This course provides an overview of current and upcoming winery compliance issues at the operation, production, labeling, and distribution levels. Topics include: recent regulatory issues with air and water quality; food safety considerations (e.g., Bioterrorism Act, product contamination issues); a primer on direct shipment requirements; a review of federal labeling topics; winery-wholesaler relations and monopoly protection laws; trade practice issues; Proposition 65 warning requirements; and recent legislative changes that affect winery license privileges.

INSTRUCTOR: Wendell Lee

DATE: June 21 (1 in-person meeting) 

DAY/TIME: Wednesday, 8:30am - 12:30pm

LOCATION:Salazar 2021

Early Registration Discount--save $30! If you register two weeks before the course date, the fee for this course will only be 150. See Registration for details.