Wine Business Institute

Reaching to be the global leader in wine business education

Located in the heart of California wine country and created through a partnership between the university and the wine industry, this is the first and only program in the United States to focus exclusively on the business aspects of the wine industry.

The Wine Business Institute operates within the University's School of Business & Economics; a fully accredited AACSB institution. Sonoma State's program offers a specialized curriculum targeted at the business challengers of the wine industry. Courses are offered in Wine Marketing, Wine Finance and Accounting, Human Resource Management, Wine Business Strategies and Wine Production, Operations & Distribution.

We invite you to explore our programs, meet our community, view our faculty research, and - of course - to join us in our work.

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 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 students wishing to complete both certificates, two electives can be transferred for credit to the second earned certificate.
Each certificate can be completed in one semester or at your own pace.

Wine Business Fall 2014 Seminars

Direct to Consumer Certificate

This new certificate enables you to take your direct to consumer (DTC) sales to the next level. Taught by wine industry professionals in the various DTC fields, each seminar is designed to provide the individual with core concepts and proven tactics to increase DTC sales in multiple retail channels. Created in response to industry demand for a more tailored and encompassing program, this certificate will expand on topics such as direct to consumer marketing, wine clubs, events, social media, mobile commerce and tasting room sales.

Wine Industry Finance & 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.

Tasting Room Management Certificate

If you were in the process of completing your Tasting Room Management Certificate you have two options: (1) you can continue to complete the required core and elective seminars as we will still be offering the necessary required seminars or (2) you can transfer the seminars you have already taken to the DTC certificate and move towards completing that certificate instead. If you have questions please contact Wine Business Institute at 707-664-3347 or

Wine Business Management Certificate (online)

The Wine Business Management Certificate is made up of three levels: Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced. Each level builds upon the previous and is designed to challenge participants while creating a superior understanding of wine business operations. Whether you are a current wine industry professional, a business professional wanting to enter the wine industry or a winemaker or viticulturist, or simply interested in learning about the business of wine, the Wine Business Management Certificate is right for you.

Wine Entrepreneurship

This course will take a systematic look at the different components of a successful wine brand and assist students in creating a plan for a profitable business in this new environment.

Please contact us with your ideas and questions:

Erin Ringstad - Asst. Program Coordinator, 707-664-3235

Jessica Heing - Program Coordinator, 707-664-3347
Ray Johnson - Program Director, 707-664-3071
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