The WBI Story

wine rows

Over the past century, California and its signature wine regions have earned a global reputation for diversity, quality and market impact. Ninety percent of all US wine is produced here, and with over 4,000 wineries, the State of California is the fourth largest wine producer in the world. California wines are America's standard of excellence. Beginning with the "Judgment of Paris" in 1976, they have consistently ranked among the world's most honored wines.

Today, California is also recognized as a leader in education for viticulture and winemaking. Current and future professionals worldwide now study here, and pursue first-hand experience in wineries around the State. The wide range of issues encountered, and the spirit of continuing innovation, have made it an ideal learning environment.

As the industry continues to grow and transform, California is also emerging as the global leader in research and education about the business of wine. With 21st century demand and production poised for continued growth, the need for its expertise has never been greater: to foster success and competitive advantage for California wine; to share the invaluable lessons learned here; and to further California's position among the world's wine leaders.

In 1996, wine industry leaders approached the University seeking a new curriculum based on the business of wine. Their focus on hiring people skilled in viticulture and enology prevented them from keeping pace with a changing industry and the demands of wine commerce. Today, professionals from California and around the world choose WBI as the global leader in wine business education and research, to experience first-hand the expertise and wealth of connections among students, alumni, and industry leaders.

Sonoma State is the first in the United States to offer an undergraduate degree (since 1998), an MBA (since 2008), and most recently an Executive MBA (since 2012) focused on the business of wine. Today, our full slate of degree and certificate programs serve the wine industry and those aspiring to be a part of it.

Our alumni and board of directors are industry leaders. Our faculty are globally respected.

Our location - at the intersection of Napa and Sonoma wine country and the San Francisco Bay Area - is second to none.

For further information, please contact us at (707) 664-3347 or