Intercollegiate Wine Business Invitational

Past Participants  


Welcome to the 2024 Intercollegiate Wine Business Invitational, brought to you by Tim Hanni, MW and Wine Business Education. This is the sixth year of the competition, which takes place online, and pits teams of wine and hospitality students from around the world against each other to compete for the title!



1. Register Your Team (as whole class or groups of 5-6 students)

2. Assign Roles (CEO, Winemaker, Marketing, Sales, etc)

3. Build Your Virtual Wine Business (We provide instructions, guidance, business plan template, gov't rules and financial workbooks)

4. Submit Project by Deadline (Business Plan and Labels)

5. Wait to Hear if you WON!


COMING SOON - Registration OPEN!

TBD - Pre Launch - Links, instructions, timeline, grading criteria and expectations available on IWBI website. Complete Registrations, finalize teams, ideas, biz plan template and rules. Each school to determine specific launch day according to their course schedule.

TBD - IWBI Launch - User and Admin access to WBE Financial Workbooks

TBD  - LAST CALL! - Team Registrations Deadline

TBD - Final project submissions -  Business Plan and Labels submitted

TBD  - Announcement of awards and return of project scores for grading to faculty (project grades can be provided earlier if needed to accommodate school course schedules).






Business Plan including Cost of Goods Financials – Mission, vision and goals of the winery, outline sales and marketing strategies and conduct a competitive analysis for their wine. (view template). Teams will also use our proprietary calculators to work up cost of goods, wine FOB selling price, plus distribution and pricing financials for selling wine in retail, online and restaurants.

Wine Label – Both front and back labels including the wine and winery name, verbiage, label graphics,and legal information.


1. The program works with a variety of class types.

2. Direct collaboration with Tim Hanni, MW for support and communication of program. For students, and faculty.

3. Faculty roles are simple - introduce program and monitor ongoing progress.

4. Advisor determines if (entire) class vs. (individual) team participation. 

5. All resources and tutorials for teams provided by us.




The elements of the competition are set up in a way that each participant on a team, regardless of their general wine knowledge, can focus their attention on various elements of product ideation, brand development production costs, packaging development and decisions, and supply chain costs and considerations in a fun business while also learning to work together as a team to create the business plan, financials and final packaging of their team project for evaluation by the judging committees. Individuals are encouraged to further explore and research any processes, wine vernacular, or procedures from beginning to end of the wine supply and value chains, from the areas of viticulture, grapes, wine production, aging and cellaring, packaging, marketing, distribution and sales. The team can then discuss and employ critical thinking to determine if this might be a process suitable for their project in achieving their financial goals and product quality.

Past "Grand Prize" Winners

2023 - Hong Kong Poly Technical Univ "Domaine du Mouton Bleu
2022 - Washington State "5 Pillars Syrah"
2021 - César Ritz College - Château La Fayette Winery

2020 - Linfield College "Pandemonio" Cellars

2019 - Washington State "Gladiolous"

2018 - Linfield College "Alianza" Winery






5,000 - 50,000 cases / wine of their choice. The origin can be any state or region giving the opportunity for schools in different states to create a product demonstrating their pride in local wines. The wine sales and distribution are up to the team, with considerations for logistics, costs, taxes, distributor markups necessary to achieve the target price point.


- Industry experts will judge both the Business Plan and Label components of the competition.

- Evaluation with constructive comments and scoring based on 100 points will be returned for review and grading by faculty

- Awards will be given for top 3 best scoring projects.


Understanding the wine supply chain and learning what the financial effects of key decisions at any point along the supply chain has on cost of goods, pricing and marketing a wine. The additional benefit is learning more about, and gaining a greater appreciation for, wine language, viticulture, winemaking and more detailed aspects of what truly goes into the production of a bottle of wine.






Wine Business Education (WBE) Financial Workbooks

The key financial component of the competition is our online suite of WBE financial calculators (aka Workbooks). A separate account will be set up for each team and the faculty advisors will be set up as account administrators. They will receive login credentials, instructions and support to create their project financials to develop the finished cost of goods for their wine and a pricing calculator. The system we will set up will allow them to create, save, recall and edit their projects. Summary of financial projections will be inserted in each team's business plan.

Resources for Team Research

Grape Crush Report for researching grape prices (COG calculator), pricing data, and supply/demand trends (Business Plan)

Alcohol and Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau (TTB) for label requirements and details, market data, etc.

- Video tutorials

- Weekly webinar Q&A (Hanni to conduct, recorded for viewing later by all teams)

Wine & Vines market data and general information

- Teams will conduct independent research for their projects.




Winning teams in the will receive engraved barrelhead trophies generously provided by Nadalié Cooperage USA

For more information, contact: Tim Hanni MW,  707-337-0327,  tim@timhanni.com