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Sonoma State's Liz Thach Recognized for MW by State Senate

August 29, 2011 1:36 PM

August 25, 2011

Sonoma State's Liz Thach Recognized for MW by State Senate

State Senator Noreen Evans will recognize the great accomplishment of Dr. Elizabeth Thach becoming a Masters of Wine. Thach, of Sonoma State's Wine Business Institute, became the first female on the West Coast to achieve the distinction of Master of Wine this May.  Fewer than 300 individuals have earned the right to use the initials MW after their name and Thach is one of only seven women in the United States to achieve this honor. 

As chair of the Senate Wine Committee and whose district is the North Coast wine country, Senator Evans will present Dr. Thach with a legislative resolution.  "Liz has worked tirelessly for this honor, traveling extensively to visit the world's wine regions, researching and publishing on the latest developments in the industry, as well as studying for the rigorous exams, extending her expertise to the highest level," noted Ray Johnson, director of the Wine Business Institute.  Senator Mark Leno, and Assemblymen Michael Allen, Wesley Chesbro, and Jared Huffman are also on the resolution.

The resolution will be presented at a fund-raiser for Sonoma State's Wine Business Institute, hosted by Lagunitas Brewing Company, on Tuesday August 30 at 5:30 p.m.  The evening is also a birthday celebration for Sonoma State's School of Business and Economics, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.  "The accomplishments of our faculty like Dr. Thach and the Wine Business Institute are just two reasons for us to be proud," said Dean William Silver.  The School is expecting over 200 alumni and friends to turn out to show their support. 

While teaching graduate and undergraduate wine business students, Dr. Thach MW and Korbel Professor for Wine Business is also completing a new book on the ten top vineyards of Napa and Sonoma, planning to work the upcoming crush at a winery in California's North Coast, publishing her Master of Wine dissertation in a refereed journal, further developing her research stream on the wine preferences of Millennials and segmentation strategies, producing an annual report of the research work of the Wine Business Institute focusing on its practical applications, and continuing her work on various boards and not-for-profits in the wine industry.

Professor Thach MW will be formally inducted to the membership of the Institute of Masters of Wine at its annual awards ceremony and reception at Vintners' Hall in London on November 9 of this year.

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For more information from Sonoma State University, contact:
Annemarie Brown, 707-664-2221,

For more information from Masters of Wine, contact:
Nathaniel Anderson, +44 (0)207 383 9130, 


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 professional development courses for the industry, including an online certification program to be launched in spring 2011. The Wine Business Institute is located within the University's School of Business and Economics, a fully accredited AACSB institution. More information is available at

The Institute of Masters of Wine

Master of Wine is internationally recognized as the foremost title in the world of wine. The qualification, established in 1953, is today held by professionals across the international wine community who have demonstrated both theoretical knowledge and practical ability in the art, science and business of wine and who are committed to professional excellence.

A Master of Wine is someone who has demonstrated, by way of rigorous examination, a thorough knowledge of all aspects of wine and an ability to communicate that knowledge clearly. They actively encourage others in the pursuit of knowledge as well as seeking to bring wine communities together. The Institute's vision is one of knowledge and integrity. Through its members - the international community of 290 Masters of Wine - and its activities, it promotes excellence, interaction and learning, across all sectors of the global wine community.

In keeping with its original aims, the Institute promotes a cross-disciplinary approach to understanding wine at the highest level. It also organizes and contributes to wine trade events around the world. Annual visits are made to wine producing regions whilst the Institute's annual tasting and master class program provides an independent and authoritative perspective on wine. Every four years, its international symposium brings together leading figures from the wine community to address topical issues in an independent forum. For more information on the Institute see its website.

Contact SBE
Contact SSU
Sonoma State University School of Business and Economics. Reach.
1801 East Cotati Avenue, Rohnert Park, CA, 94928 • 707-664-2377 8811