Global wine masters program offered in fall

The only institute in the country offering a Wine Master of Business Administration degree just stepped up its program. Sonoma State University’s Wine Business Institute is now accepting applicants for its new Global Wine Master of Business Administration fall 2015. 

The program is a full-time, one-year accelerated Master of Business Administration focused on drawing in global wine business professionals, winery owners and those who are internationally-minded with the hope of becoming part of the wine industry by implementing wine business tactics in the global market.

“This is a globally distinctive program and should attract students nationally and internationally,” said John Stayton, executive director of graduate and executive programs. “These graduate wine business programs are part of Sonoma State University’s Wine Business Institute, which has deep ties to the California and global wine industries, and offers the most comprehensive wine business educational offerings in the world.”

To strengthen the global scope of this program and the Wine Business Institute, the administration has included some of the world’s top wine scholars and teachers, many of whom come from the Burgundy School of Business in France. The new Master of Business Administration includes the same curriculum as the Wine Master of Business Administration that started in 2008, while incorporating global elements to the course such as the Country Intensive Wine Business Analysis, which includes an international learning trip.

Situated at the crossroads of Sonoma and Napa, Sonoma State offers the ideal setting for students to learn about the wine industry. Students will learn from leading experts in the field and globally respected faculty, while having the chance to take advantage of the hands-on learning opportunities at the world-class wineries in Sonoma’s backyard.

In contrast to the two-year Wine Master of Business Administration, the Global Wine Master of Business Administration is a one-year accelerated program geared to enable a student graduation rate of one calendar year. Additionally, the weeknight class schedule allows participants to work or hold internships throughout the program.

“I think the new Global Wine Business MBA is a great way for people to refresh their skills, adapt to changing ideals within the industry and network with other professionals all while being flexible with schedules,” said business administration with wine business strategies senior Erica Schreckenghaust. “It’ll be a great addition to the current wine program.”

The opening of the new program is aptly timed with the development of the Wine Spectator Learning Center. The project received donations from the likes of philanthropists Tatiana and Gerret Copeland, owners of Bouchaine Vineyards in Napa Valley, and Marvin R. Shanken, editor and publisher of Wine Spectator magazine, based in New York - only enforcing legitimacy of Sonoma State University’s Wine Business Institute. 

Upon completion, the 15,000-square foot building will be organized around three focal areas: an education core with three classrooms; a student commons with areas for collaboration and student-run businesses; and an industry center with space for professional and academic faculty and program leadership. Located in the building previously known as The Commons, the new center aims to be a place for hands-on teaching and learning of the business of wine and hospitality.

“We are training the next generation of wine leaders,” said Stayton. “We have been doing this for California since 2008. We are now positioning ourselves to train the next generation of wine leaders globally. We want our graduates to have the analytical ability to make great business decisions, and the leadership ability to be able to ethically guide wine companies toward sustainable success.”

Due to the international nature of the program, all international students seeking help in learning English are encouraged to make use of the Sonoma State American Language Institute, located in International Hall.