Sonoma State University’s Online Wine Business Management Certificate launches its second round of foundation classes next week. Monday, Feb. 6, is the last day to apply. This new certificate program kicked off in the fall and concluded with great feedback on the four-week foundation level course taught by Tim Hanni.

“Like any business there is a foundation of knowledge needed in the wine business that is particular to this industry. This course set the relevant expectations and provided a good foundation of understanding the complexities and financial resources needed to participate,” said Rickey Trombetta of Trombetta Family Wines.

The foundation course that runs from Feb. 13 to March 9 is presented via online video lectures, course conference calls, and a unique WineBizSim business planning project that allows students to build a financial model for a wine business. Specific topics cover production, marketing and sales fundamentals, wine styles of the world, distribution, and global wine markets.

“The wine business is an ever-changing market and people need access to solid business principles and strategies to be successful,” noted instructor Tim Hanni MW, who teaches both the Foundation and Intermediate Levels in the Certificate Program. “The online format makes it accessible to everyone.” Last fall, 79 students from across the US and the world participated in the inaugural round. Apply for the Feb. 13 foundation level course now. 

The Wine Business Management Certificate offered exclusively online was created for professionals already in the industry who want to advance their knowledge of wine business operations, winemakers or viticulturists wanting to expand their understanding of business strategies and principles, and professionals in other industries seeking to enter the wine industry. While the perceived glamour of the business draws many to the industry, it is business acumen that is vital to its long-term success and to the success of its owners and employees. The series consists of a Foundation level, along with Intermediate and Advanced levels, with optional certification at the completion of the Advanced level. The Intermediate class begins in March.

“As someone looking to make a career change and enter the wine industry I was looking for a reputable and flexible way to gain some necessary education. Tim Hanni is a fantastic instructor and offers in-depth industry knowledge that has fueled my interest in the industry even more and I look forward to the next level,” said career changer Jeff Zielinski.

Learn about the certificate and other professional development offerings at Sonoma State’s Wine Business Institute Professional Programs.