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Wine Entrepreneurship Program Seeking Wine Business Leaders and Aspiring Owners

by Press Release
January 18, 2019

Rohnert Park, CA – The Wine Business Institute (WBI) in the School of Business and Economics (SBE) at Sonoma State University (SSU) announced it is accepting applications for its popular Certificate in Wine Entrepreneurship. The strategy-focused certificate program is available only on a biennial basis, and is designed to provide wine business principals and aspiring owners the time and guided focus to create a business plan that ensures success. The eight-week program is led by Dr. Anisya Fritz, owner of Lynmar Estate Winery. The Certificate in Wine Entrepreneurship is open to the public and is scheduled to run February 21, 2019 through April 11, 2019. Early bird pricing of $1,100 is available through February 7, 2019. More on the program:

“With hundreds of wineries coming to market every year, 500 in 2018 alone, each vying for a place at consumers’ dinner tables, a thorough understanding of this changing landscape and business know-how is paramount,” Ray Johnson, executive director of the Wine Business Institute in the School of Business and Economics at Sonoma State University said. “While passion for the industry remains an essential component for wine entrepreneurs, those achieving success are leveraging comprehensive study and practice of proven business management strategies to make their visions a reality.”

Financial frameworks, regulations, profitability models, and branding are among the various tools and frameworks participants learn and apply while in the Wine Entrepreneurship program, with focused mentorship from Dr. Anisya Fritz. Students have the opportunity to connect with industry leaders and veterans who share their experiences and lessons learned.

“I was given the tools to align my business plan with my mission and vision, and grow a network of wine industry professionals. The instructor’s passion and desire for our success was the push I needed to launch my own wine label. It wouldn’t have happened without this program,” Tim Burgess ’14/’16, Certificate in Wine Entrepreneurship/Sonoma Executive MBA in Wine Business, and owner at Rally Point Wines.

“I cannot say enough how beneficial the Wine Business Institute’s Wine Entrepreneurship program has been for my small, family winery. Over several weeks I dove into my family’s business, guided by Dr. Fritz, a wine industry expert and inspiring instructor. I emerged confidently with a plan of action for the next 5 years,” Elise Nerlove ’17, Certificate in Wine Entrepreneurship, and co-owner of Elkhorn Peak Cellars said.

Dr. Anisya Thomas Fritz is owner of Lynmar Estate Winery, a family-owned producer of ultra-premium Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, where she serves as the Director of Marketing and Consumer Sales. She is also co-founder of the Fritz Institute, a not-for-profit organization that works on improving the system of humanitarian aid and disaster relief around the world, and CEO of LynnCo Supply Chain Solutions. Dr. Fritz has published articles on competitive strategy, international entrepreneurship, and humanitarian relief in the Harvard Business Review, Strategic Management Journal, and the Journal of International Business Studies.

For more information about the Certificate in Wine Entrepreneurship and our other certificate and degree programs, please visit or call (707) 664-3235. The Wine Business Institute is an education and research institute of the School of Business and Economics (SBE) at Sonoma State University (SSU). SSU is the first institution of higher learning in the U.S. to offer professional certificates and degrees specializing in the business of wine. The SBE is the first school of business in the world to offer an executive-level wine business degree.

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