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School of Business and Economics at Sonoma State University

Introduction to Wine Business

Jan 16—Feb 13, 2020
USD 795
Apr 15—May 14, 2020
USD 795

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This four-week course provides an overview of wine business. Students will develop an appreciation of the realities of the wine business as a business and come to understand the steps required for getting from the vineyard and into the glass of the consumer.

  • LO1: Understand the components of a wine business and the viewpoints of the various stakeholders in the following areas:
    • Grape growing, including costs, values, quality considerations, supply and demand, risks and opportunities
    • Production, winemaking, maturation and packaging
    • Marketing
    • Distribution, a complex and highly regulated process
    • Domestic sales, selling wine in retail stores (off-premise), restaurants and bars (on premise), online and direct to consumer (through tasting rooms, events and wine clubs)
  • LO2: Understand how going to market with wine compares and contrasts with other consumer packaged goods.
  • LO3: Understand the key decision points, interrelatedness and costs that go into growing, producing, marketing, distributing and selling a wine product.
  • LO4: Outline how quality and value is determined at each step in the process of grape growing, production, marketing, distribution, domestic and export sales and final point of sale.
  • LO5: Understand the financial resources and time periods necessary to establish a wine product.

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School of Business and Economics at Sonoma State University

Strategic Wine Marketing

Next dates

Aug 6—Oct 1, 2020
USD 1100


This level provides an introduction to wine marketing terminology and concepts, including the steps in brand creation, packaging decisions, integrated communication strategy, navigating the three tier distribution channels, and direct to consumer sales. Topics of tasting room management, wine tourism, importing, and exporting wine are also presented. The culminating project is the creation of a marketing and sales plan for the launch of a new wine business.

  • LO1: Describe important wine consumer segments .
  • LO2: Create a wine brand to appeal to a chosen target market.
  • LO3: Understand the marketing implications of package design.
  • LO4: Coordinate promotional elements of advertising, public relations, and special events.
  • LO5: Understand the complexities of wine distribution at the distributor and retail levels.
  • LO6: Create a distribution and sales strategy utilizing distributors and/or direct to consumer methods.
  • LO7: Describe key aspects of tasting room management.
  • LO8: Integrate wine marketing into a broader wine tourism context.
  • LO9: Describe the steps to importing and exporting wine.
  • LO10: Create a draft marketing and sales plan.