Wine Industry Community Engagement Projects
One of the best ways for students to learn is to participate in a real-life business project. With this in mind, some of the wine business classes are able to incorporate this type of activity as a means of "action learning" and "community engagement." In some cases wine businesses approach professors with a project idea, and in other cases, professors contact wineries to see if they can work in partnership. If the project appears to be a match with class learning objectives, then it can become a win-win for both wine business students and local wine businesses.
Following are examples of recent projects from the university's wine business classes:
Brand Refresh Project for Parducci Winery
In the Spring of 2011, the 46 students in Bus 305W, Introduction to Wine Business Strategy, worked with Parducci Winery on a brand refresh project. This included a field trip to the winery to meet with CEO, Paul Dolan and Director of Marketing, Kelly Lentz. Working in teams, the students created a brand refresh strategy which included a new brand proposition, label, tasting room/wine tourism suggestions, ecommerce strategy, retailing recommendations, and an online wine commercial. The winning team received a prize of $100 each.
Kokomo Winery Wine Blend Project for New SSU Alumni Wine
In the Fall of 2010 and Spring of 2011, two different wine business classes at SSU worked with Kokomo Winery to create a new brand of wine. The project included doing research and writing a business plan for the new venture, as well as obtaining the necessary permits.
Sonoma State Cellars
Beginning in the summer of 2010, over a dozen wine business students 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. Sonoma State Cellars made it's first debut this summer 2012.
e-Winery Solutions Winery Website Challenge
In the Spring of 2009, the students in Wine Ecommerce worked on a class project that involved evaluating over 100 different winery websites to determine which was most successful in terms of attracting consumers and achieving wine sales. This included an analysis of design, ecommerce, and social media. The winning winery website was Moshin Vineyards.
Landmark Winery Class Project on Millennial Wine Tourism
In the Fall of 2008, the students in SSU's Wine Marketing class embarked on a project presented by Landmark Winery. The purpose was to identify new events and other wine tourism solutions to attract Millennials to the winery. Students visited the winery as part of a field trip and then worked in teams to develop a recommendation. The winning team members were awarded with a one-year wine club membership