Wine Business Tour: Italian Style

MBA in un'avventura vino (MBA on a Wine Adventure)

wine_business_tour_class_mt_lr.jpgA group of lucky Wine MBA candidates and Wine Business/Marketing students set off on an unforgettable adventure, Sonoma State University's Wine Business Tour. The ten day trip, which lasted from January 2 through January 12, was part of SSU's Tuscany Wine Tour Class. The trip was planned in early spring of last year by Liz Thach, a management and wine business professor, and Janeen Olsen, a marketing professor. Thach and Olsen were able to create this experience for their students through EF College Study Tours, a company that creates a global education for the every-day college student.

These students received a hands on experience in the four major wine regions in Tuscany, including Chianti, Montalcino, Vino de Nobile Montepulciano, and Bolgheri.

The participants on the tour were not merely on vacation. No, they weren't off that easy.  This tour was part of a class for which they received credit. Prior to embarking on this adventure, they were required to read an overview of Tuscany and Florence, Tuscan grapes and the wine regions they visited. The requirements varied depending on if a participant was an Undergraduate student or an MBA student; however, all were assigned to complete one task, which was recording their experiences in blog form.

"The first full day with the entire group in Italy was characterized by aggressive walking and excessive dining," Palmer Emmitt, a Wine Business MBA student, wrote in his blog as he described their delicious lunch at a restaurant called Zaza, and later, "to burn the enormous amount of calories we consumed at lunch," a hike up the 461 steps to the top of the Duomo.  Emmitt was also the winner of the student wine tasting competition at La Soiree in San Francisco hosted by the French American Chamber of Commerce. He documented his experiences about his trip from a Houston airport bistro all the way to the Tuscan wineries. 

Emmitt described in detail the different wineries and wines that he had experienced since setting foot on Italian soil.  He not only stated his favorite wine of the day but also explained why he liked it and included a description on how it was made. Through these detailed blog posts, anyone can follow the great experiences that these students received.

All of these requirements didn't seem to be a problem for a group so enthralled by wine.  Despite all of the reading, research papers and blogging, the professors assigned one more task that the students were anxious to complete, "Relax in Florence or take the train to Venice, Pisa, Verona or Lucca."

Not many students can say that they traveled over six thousand miles for a field trip.  However, the Sonoma State students were fortunate enough to engage in the Italian culture and further their knowledge in the classroom as well as their future endeavors.

Learn more about the Undergraduate and Graduate programs offered at Sonoma State University.

Want to see more of the trip? See more photos and information here.

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