Prestigious International Awards Distinguish Wine Business Institute Research and Publications

December 3, 2020
Rohnert Park, CA – Sonoma State University recently received prestigious awards from international authorities on wine and viticulture research. Dr. Armand Gilinsky, Korbel Professor of Wine Business, was presented with the Best Case Bronze Award at the October 2020 virtual conference of the North American Case Research Association, the leading governing body for case research internationally, for his case study Throwback Brewery: Performance Appraisal Decisions to Ring in the New Year. Dr. Gilinsky also received the Prix De L’OIV 2020 OIV Award for his book Social Sustainability in the Global Wine Industry. The OIV Award is a distinction granted each year by the Organisation Internationale de la Vigne et du Vin, whose membership is composed of eminent personalities in vitiviniculture. And, Dr. Liz Thach, Distinguished Professor of Wine, received the top Hall of Fame book award from the Gourmand World Book Awards for Luxury Wine Marketing: The Art and Science of Luxury Wine Branding. 
The topics of Luxury Marketing, Social Sustainability, and Creating a high value brand through high performance practices, are all incredibly important to practitioners’ success in today’s environment,” said Dr. Jean-Francois Coget, dean of the School of Business and Economics at SSU. "I am pleased to see how much impact our faculty are having through their scholarship. They are helping us fulfill our mission to be of service to industry."
The Throwback Brewery case study analyzes owners Nicole Carrier and Annette Lee’s challenge in leveraging their employees to achieve their goal of positioning the brewery as a “must stop” destination. The study examines the viability and effectiveness of a new performance management system in optimizing operational efficiency by providing clarity around roles and responsibilities, minimizing pay disparity, and creating a process for employee advancement. An abstract of the Throwback Brewery case study can be obtained by contacting Dr. Armand Gilinsky.
We were delighted to hear that the case study on Throwback Brewery won the Best Case Bronze Award at the 2020 North American Case Research Association (NACRA) conference,” said Nicole Carrier, co-owner of Throwback Brewery. “We feel pretty strongly that the concepts covered in this case study, including talent management, core values, culture, and performance management, deserve a lot more focus and air time in the classroom. Hopefully this case will help to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs to focus as much, if not more, time on their people than their profit. With the right people in place, focused on a core mission and goals, the profit will come!
Social Sustainability in the Global Wine Industry examines the social dimension - people and communities - of sustainability in the wine industry. It explores topics such as philanthropy, poverty, natural disasters, communication, and wine tourism from a global perspective using research and case studies in developed and developing countries. This book provides researchers, academics, practitioners, and students with varied perspectives of social sustainability in the global wine industry. It is available for purchase through Palgrave MacMillan
Luxury Wine Marketing: The Art and Science of Luxury Wine Branding offers “an insightful look into marketing wine that goes beyond Marketing 101. Liz and [co-author] Peter have brought their unique perspective and knowledge to share with others in the wine business. For marketers and executives this is an indispensable reference,” said Heidi Barrett, winemaker at La Sirena located in Napa Valley, California. The book details how to craft, implement, and maintain a luxury wine brand. It includes original research conducted by the authors on the scale of the luxury wine market and analysis of its regional segmentation, allowing for new and unique insight into the world’s top wine regions. Luxury Wine Marketing: The Art and Science of Luxury Wine Branding is available for purchase through Amazon.
Professor Armand Gilinsky has authored over 50 published business case studies and articles covering wine business strategy, entrepreneurial strategy, and socially responsible entrepreneurship. He published Crafting Sustainable Wine Businesses: Concepts and Cases in 2015.
Professor Liz Thach, MW, is an award-winning author who has published over 130 articles and eight wine books, including Luxury Wine Marketing, Call of the Vine, Best Practices in Global Wine Tourism, and Wine Marketing & Sales. She also works as a wine judge in various competitions. Professor Thach obtained the distinction of Master of Wine in May of 2011.
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About the Wine Business Institute
The Wine Business Institute serves as an intellectual and industry hub for faculty, students, and the business community. Founded in 1996 as a partnership between the wine industry and the School of Business and Economics at Sonoma State University, the WBI provides cutting-edge research that informs industry best practices and program curriculum. The WBI offers online and in-person wine-focused degrees and industry certifications. For more information about our wine business research, or degree and certificate programs, please contact us at, or visit