The Business of Wine

University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business

University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business


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Who should attend

The course is targeted at professionals working across the wine value chain. You will benefit from this course if you are:

  • A sommelier
  • A hospitality professional
  • A wine maker
  • A viticulturist
  • A wine marketer
  • An entrepreneur
  • A distributor
  • A garagiste
  • Looking to build a career in the wine industry

About the course

The UCT GSB Business of Wine course is the only one of its kind in South Africa to focus on the business aspects of the wine industry. This ten-day course, aimed at professionals across the industry, gives delegates crucial market insight, business acumen and the leadership skills needed to make themselves and their organisations more competitive.

A specialised approach

The wine industry is complex and multidisciplinary – and it demands a specialised approach. This short course is tailored to the needs of the industry. Delegates will learn from some of the most respected wine business practitioners in South Africa. The interactive, practice-driven, case-study approach is easy to engage with and delivers valuable insights along with practical skills ranging from business plan formulation to strategic marketing.

What will I Gain from this Course?

Delegates will be awarded a Certificate of Completion from the University of Cape Town on successful completion of the Programme, and will gain:

  • Advanced business know-how and practical skills ranging from business planning to strategic marketing and sales
  • Critical insight into the macro and micro economic environment that affects wine businesses in South Africa
  • An understanding of the history of the South African wine industry and the strategic challenges facing the industry going forward
  • Insight into the dynamic regulatory environment and challenges that affect wine businesses in South Africa
  • An understanding of how to approach value creation and complex management decisions in wine production
  • An ability to identify and analyse wines with differing origin, variety, age and style
  • An ability to formulate an effective business plan for a wine business
  • An opportunity to network with like-minded professionals and leading personalities in the South African wine industry
  • An opportunity to be part of building a transformed South African wine industry

What is the Structure and Workload of the Course?

This is an academically rigorous course, and students will be required to complete various assessments, which include the following:

  • Course work quizzes
  • Group presentations and assignments
  • Formulation of a compelling wine business plan
  • Analysis of case studies
  • Sensory analysis of wine test

Students will also be required to commit to extended hours whilst on campus, with lectures taking place from 8am to 5pm, and group work from 5pm to 9pm, and sometimes later.


Introduction to wine business management studies in South Africa

These sessions will introduce delegates to the critical thinking, problem solving, and creative skills needed by contemporary wine business practitioners. It begins with introducing the study of wine business management and the concept of the wine value chain. Delegates will become familiar with core concepts and themes in the field of wine business management. Sessions on key management decisions in wine making and viticulture focus on how to approach value creation in wine production through the lens of differing approaches and models. For example, between biodynamic and conventional producers.

Presentations Skills

A professional communications expert will coach delegates on principles and good practices involved in delivering engaging and impactful presentations.

Teaching case study analysis

Teaching cases are effective teaching tools that used real life scenarios to teach business principles. As a way of developing critical thinking and problem-solving skills, these sessions and activities will focus on developing effective case study analysis skills.

Business plan/ business model formulation

Delegates will learn to how to formulate a medium-term business plan using relevant business model innovation techniques.

GSB Tasting Academy

A rigorous, tutored, intermediate-level wine judging programme run under the auspices of the prestigious Judging Academy. Delegates will be taught how to identify and, critically and forensically, analyse wines with differing origin, variety, age and style through a highly effective blind tasting methodology.

Addressing strategic challenges in the SA wine Industry

This session concentrates on the historic, social and economic development of the South African wine industry and provides key insights into its current industry structure and dynamics. They give critical insight interventions into addressing wicked problems facing South African wine businesses, which are embedded in an emerging market context. These sessions will give delegates insight into the macro and micro economic environment that affects wine businesses in South Africa

Business innovation and holistic leadership

These foundational sessions focus on different types of business innovation lenses ranging from strategic, operational, managerial and product innovation models. will be unpacked. Furthermore, various holistic leadership concepts, such as values-based leadership will unpacked throughout the course.

Regulatory and international trade challenges in wine business management

These practitioner-driven sessions will give delegates insight into the dynamic regulatory environment and challenges that affect wine businesses in South Africa. It will deal with critical aspects such as: international trade agreements; market access issues; export regulations and exchange rate concerns; certification, standardisation and licensing conventions; aspects of intellectual property related to wine products; and logistics and distribution concerns affecting wine businesses.

Strategic management and blue ocean strategy

Delegates will learn how to approach developing and implementing innovative strategic plans and sustainable business models in wine businesses through practical working sessions and case study analysis.

Experiential programme

These sessions will take place in the field. Delegates will interact with practitioners in the business environment to connect concepts introduced in the course and contemporary practices.

Key financial management decisions in wine businesses

An intensive programme which develops an adaptable understanding of key financial management principles and financing models necessary to create value for stakeholders in wine business.

Strategic wine marketing: traditional and emerging markets.

Delegates will learn how to adaptably apply various strategic wine marketing principles and practices to their own organisations in both traditional and emerging wine markets. Delegates will be taught the basics of wine brand strategy both from a tactical and strategic perspective as well as incremental and revolutionary perspective. Delegates will be guided on practical wine business communication techniques and principles focusing on developing and leveraging e-marketing, social media, traditional media and public relations resources.

Wine tourism studies

Wine tourism may be seen as a form of consumer behaviour, opportunity to create regional competitive advantage through collaboration and a channel to drive product sales and build brands.


Michael Fridjhon

Michael Fridjhon is South Africa’s most widely consulted liquor industry authority, an international wine judge and one of South Africa’s leading wine writers. He is Visiting Professor at the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business, and teaches in the wine business programme jointly h...

Jonathan Steyn

Strategic marketing, business collective strategy and collaboration, innovation, wine business management & wine business education, international trade, management and organisational studies, hospitality leadership, wine tourism, business model formulation, consumer behaviour & brand str...

David Prilaid

With twenty years experience teaching business innovation and entrepreneurship, Priilaid is regarded as one of South Africa's experts in consumer behaviour. As a teacher and researcher, he brings specific skills to the overlapping disciplines of wine management, consumer behaviour, entrepreneursh...

Chris Du Toit

Graduate of the GSB's Wine Business Management programme and CEO of Graham Beck Enterprises.

Videos and materials

The Business of Wine at University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business

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Coursalytics is an independent platform to find, compare, and book executive courses. Coursalytics is not endorsed by, sponsored by, or otherwise affiliated with any business school or university.

Full disclaimer.

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