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Sonoma State Wine Business Classes Go Online

October 12, 2011 12:24 PM

October 12, 2011

Sonoma State Wine Business Classes Go Online

Rohnert Park, CA:  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.


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For more information, contact:
Shalyn Eyer, 707-664-2260,


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.

Contact SBE
Contact SSU
Sonoma State University School of Business and Economics. Reach.
1801 East Cotati Avenue, Rohnert Park, CA, 94928 • 707-664-2377 10052