University of California, Davis

UC Davis Wine Executive Program: From Grape to Table

Available dates

Mar 22—26, 2020
5 days
Davis, California, United States
USD 5250
USD 1050 per day


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About the course

In its 18th year, the UC Davis Wine Executive Program is uniquely designed to teach the fundamentals of winemaking and management skills necessary to be profitable in today’s challenging and dynamic wine industry.

Sessions are tailored to help industry leaders grow their businesses by expanding on such topics as building one’s financial acumen and expanding a company’s current marketing and branding strategies. In addition, participants will be exposed to the latest state-of-the-art technologies and processes for making and selling wine as demonstrated in the world’s first LEED platinum winery at the UC Davis Department of Viticulture and Enology.

Participants will develop relationships with other key wine industry leaders that will continue long after the program ends. Nearly 1,000 wine industry executives have attended this unique and informative program over the past seventeen years.


Boot Camp Sessions

  • Financial Statements & Analysis – presented by Professor Michelle Yetman Introduction to accounting fundamentals and terminology, including balance sheets, income statements, cash flow statements and accrual accounting vs. cash flow.

  • Grape Growing & Winemaking 101 – presented by Professor Andrew Waterhouse Learn the fundamentals of growing grapes and making wine. The topics that will be covered are types of grapes for wine, how to grow wine grapes, wine microorganisms and fermentation processes, and how to make table wine.

Business, Economics & the Law

  • Innovation – presented by Professor Andrew Hargadon In this session, you’ll have the opportunity to think about the process of innovation, discussed in the form of a historic case study. Learn what makes some successful while others fail and about the risks associated with innovation.

  • Legal Aspects of the Wine Industry – presented by Richard Mendelson, Law Offices of Dickenson, Peatman & Fogarty Participants gain a deeper understanding of legal issues facing the domestic wine and vineyard industries today. A historical and philosophical context will be presented regarding US regulations on wine and spirits, and how the 21st Amendment and the US Supreme Court’s recent decision in Granholm v. Heald impacted that regulatory environment.

  • Financial Management of Wineries & Vineyards and Strategic Cost Management – presented by Professor Robert Yetman In these two sessions, you will learn about the financial principles involved in evaluating future investment projects. Concepts covered will include: risk and return relationships, cost of capital (hurdle rates and internal rates of return), net present value, the costs and benefits of debt financing, and acquisitions.

Leadership, Marketing & Distribution

  • Understanding Leadership in Context – presented by Professor Kimberly Elsbach This workshop introduces participants to two important facets of leading well: (1) adapting leadership approaches to the situation, and (2) avoiding common pitfalls of strong leadership. Participants will learn to identify five primary leadership approaches and how to determine which approach fits best with their leadership context. We then examine four traits we expect of “strong” leaders and will learn when these traits are important for leaders and why pursuing them at all costs may actually result in poor leadership.

  • What’s Your Story? Creating a Wine Brand That Stands Out – presented by Amy Hoopes, CEO, Wente Family Estates This segment will help participants understand how to develop a powerful brand story and how to communicate it consistently at all touch points with choice customers.

  • Primer on Strategic Management: Elements of your Marketing Plan – presented by Professor Ashwin Aravindakshan In this session, you will learn specific strategies related to marketing that you can implement to be successful in your business. We will also review macro trends in marketing and their implications for you and your business. We will cover the key pillars of success in this challenging market, including direct to consumer sales and digital media.

  • Navigating the Consolidating Distribution Landscape – presented by Jon Moramarco, Managing Partner Gomberg & Fredrikson This session introduces thinking on what it will take for wineries to be successful in the ever changing, and ever more severely regulated environment that we are competing in today.

Viticulture & Enology

  • Wine Growing from the Ground Up – presented by Professor Andrew Walker This session provides an analysis of vineyard site evaluation and selection, including considerations such as soil, climate, water availability, slope and aspect. Emphasis will be on how these factors influence cost and other viticultural decisions.

Viticulture & Enology

  • Wine Growing from the Ground Up – presented by Professor Andrew Walker This session provides an analysis of vineyard site evaluation and selection, including considerations such as soil, climate, water availability, slope and aspect. Emphasis will be on how these factors influence cost and other viticultural decisions.

  • Making the Best Quality Wines Possible in a Challenging Economy – presented by Professor Anita Oberholster From harvest to cellaring and bottling, there are things a Winemaker can do to help keep the bottom line darker than a Petite Sirah. Anita will share some practical solutions for managing quality and costs.

  • Vineyard of the Future – presented by Matthew Fidelibus A modern vineyard operation requires several critical components to be successful: an accurate assessment of risk(s); knowledge and control of costs; frequent and frank communication with wine grape buyers; and an astute understanding of its place in the market.

  • Winery of the Future – presented by Professor David Block In the cellar, availability and cost of resources such as water and labor, worker safety, environmental regulation, and minimization and recycling of wastes are just a few of the issues with which the wine grape industry must contend. In addition, automation and data management are tools that have the potential to revolutionize and improve wine processing at all scales, but successful implementation is not necessarily straightforward. This seminar focuses on strategic approaches to these concerns and problems.

Who should attend

By attracting such a broad mix of national and international participants, the program offers stimulating discussions about wine industry best practices and valuable networking experiences that endure long after the program.

Specifically designed to teach the fundamentals of winemaking and management skills necessary to be profitable in the challenging wine trade, the innovative program is tailored for middle and senior managers from wineries and vineyards of all sizes, industry suppliers, distributors, financial institutions, service providers and affiliated businesses.

Investors, developers, entrepreneurs and those looking to enter the wine business also benefit greatly from the program.

Trust the experts

Ashwin Aravindakshan

Research Expertise: Advertising allocation models, direct to consumer marketing, dynamics of customer behavior and loyalty, time series analysis in marketing, dynamic advertising models, and spatiotemporal models Associate Professor Ashwin Aravindakshan’s research interests center on learning how...


Kimberly Elsbach

Research Expertise: Leadership in organizations, perception and management of individual and organizational images, identities and reputations, especially images of legitimacy, trustworthiness and creativity Courses Taught : The Individual & Group Dynamics, Negotiation in Organizations, Busin...


Andrew Hargadon

Research Expertise: The effective management of innovation and entrepreneurship, particularly in the development and commercialization of sustainable technologies Professor Andrew B. Hargadon has written extensively on innovation and entrepreneurship, particularly the commercialization science an...


Robert Smiley

Research Expertise: Economics, strategy, public policy, competitive strategy, energy economics, public policy analysis, anti-trust policy, regulation Consulting: Public utilities, telecommunications, wine industry, energy, strategy Professor Emeritus Robert Smiley is an authority on competitive s...


Michelle Yetman

Research Expertise: Accounting, financial reporting and valuation Professor Michelle Yetman’s research interests are in financial reporting quality, governance and taxation. She expands beyond the boundaries of the commonly investigated U.S. for-profit corporation by investigating international a...


Robert Yetman

Research Expertise: Accounting, response of nonprofit organizations to economic incentives Professor Robert Yetman is an expert on corporate tax, financial accounting, income tax, U.S. and international financial accounting, and nonprofit accounting and tax issues. His research concentrates on th...


Douglas Adams

Professor Adams is currently the chair of the department’s Scholarship Committee and serves on the Teaching Committee. Dr. Adams’ research program focuses on grape berry ripening. He has concentrated his efforts in two principle areas: the biochemical changes that occur during ripening, and the ...


David Block

Since joining the Chemical Engineering faculty in 1996, Professor Block’s research has been focused on technology for wine fermentations and biopharmaceutical fermentation optimization based on historical process data and artificial intelligence. More recently, his work has included applications ...


Matthew Fidelibus

Matthew Fidelibus is an Extension Specialist in the Department of Viticulture & Enology at UC Davis. An internationally recognized viticulturist, his research program seeks to improve the yield and quality of raisin, table, and wine grapes through rootstock and scion selection, mineral nutrit...


Amy Hoopes

Amy Hoopes is the President of Wente Family Estates. She was promoted to this position from the position of Executive Vice-President and Chief Marketing Officer, where she oversaw all global marketing and sales operations for the family-owned wine portfolio including Wente Vineyards, Entwine, Mur...


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UC Davis Wine Executive Program: From Grape to Table

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