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This eight lesson self-study course is a project-based program designed to provide a systematic approach to learning about the business(es) of making and selling wine. There is not a time limit for any section or part of the course and it can be completed in a week for highly motivated students working several hours a day, or over a period of weeks or even months by anyone wishing to do the work over a longer time period.
The class synchronously surveys the key drivers and the necessary decisions from the vineyard, wine production, production/winery model options, then considerations of sales channels, distribution and getting a product into the wine market. This lesson format is designed for providing a deeper understanding of the entire supply chain and value chain from the grapes to the glass. The subjects of marketing, distributing and selling expands to include both a primary brand as well as a range of products, including options for export and negociant brands.
How the course works:
OPTIONAL: Directions and resources for an optional wine blending exercise, complete with instructions on how to use the Blending Cost of Goods Calculator workbook (separate from the general Cost of Goods Calculator) for a bulk/blended wine project (versus traditional processing of grapes), is included in the program.
Each lesson makes use of our proprietary WineBizSim financial calculators to provide a realistic perspective of the costs associated with vineyard operations, cost of grapes, production, packaging, distribution, sales, marketing and running a tasting room or retail operation. These workbooks are very detailed and can be used an educational tool, to run actual financials, or for forecasting purposes. As you are going through the coursework keep in mind that most wine education focuses on the ‘aesthetics’ of certain decisions and this course focuses on the supply chain (order in which things occur in the growing, making and selling of wine) and the value chain (what decisions are made that create a sense of worth to the product through the supply chain).
When you encounter certain practices, treatments or any element that you do not understand take time to research and learn more by conducting a simple internet search on the topic. You may be amazed how effective this is for concurrently increasing your overall knowledge of the source of wine qualities, and wine terminology.
NOTE: There is no course text per se. Reading assignments will be a combination of published papers, and news/hot topic articles that pertain to each lesson segment. Additionally you will be asked to view additional videos and conduct simple activities that can be accomplished when shopping at stores (grocery stores, wine stores), winery visits (when/if possible) and dining in restaurants. These activities have you look at wine product selections, pricing and details you would not normally consider asking yourself, “how did this get here, what is the market for this wine, and how much did it cost to produce it?” Also strive to discuss the wine business, not your usual wine aesthetic discussions, with anyone and everyone you run into! There is not a time limit for any section or part of the course and it can be completed in a week for highly motivated students working several hours a day, or over a period of weeks or even months by anyone wishing to do the work over a longer time period.
Through a combination of video lectures, project-based learning, selected reading and optional activities, students will be able to:
Financial and quality decisions
Options for Routes to Market
Supply and Value Chain
Market trends and data
Course introduction, critical thinking and overview of the wine business.Introduction Video: Welcome, course overview and wine production models