Home Wine Business Editorial Sonoma State Fortifies Its Leadership Role in Wine Business Education

Sonoma State Fortifies Its Leadership Role in Wine Business Education


SSU winebiz WINnovation 920x360

Last year Sonoma State’s Wine Business Institute was awarded a WINnovation Award at the North Bay Business Journal’s annual Wine Industry Awards, for its leadership in wine education and partnership with the industry to foster success. The Wine Industry Advisor checked in with Ray Johnson, Director of the Wine Business Institute to follow up on the institute’s progress and plans.

What has been going on at the Wine Business Institute in 2015?

“We have increase in enrollment to wine business seminar and certificate programs by 26% and enrollment to the online Certificate in Wine Business Management, foundation-level course by 13%.

“The institute has also established the Hamel Family Faculty Chair in Wine Business, responsible for launching new programs, establishing global partnerships, leading research, and engaging industry leaders.

“Dr. Damien Wilson was appointed to the inaugural term of the new position. He is the former Director of Wine Business programs at Burgundy School of Business in Dijon, France, and widely known for expertise in wine production, distribution, sales, and service sectors.”

What are the big projects on the horizon?

“The Wine Spectator Learning Center remains a focus with over 75% of funds for the $9.1 million project committed to date. And the Executive Wine MBA in Napa continues to build awareness as the Napa counterpart to the Sonoma-based program.  

“The faculty research also continues to earn accolades at the state and national level, including the forthcoming economic impact study of the wine industry, which is a companion study for baseline data uncovered by recent research on public perception of CA wine regions among residents.”

At the North Coast Wine Industry Expo in Santa Rosa December 3rd, Dr. Wilson will be moderating the “State of the North Coast Wine Industry” conference session presented by SSU Wine Business Institute.

Where’s your 2014 WINnovation Award?

“Displayed proudly in the Dean’s Conference Room in Stevenson Hall, Sonoma State University campus.”

Nominations for the 2015 WINnovation Awards is open through October 16th.

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