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Education,Marketing,Viticulture,Wine,Wine Business

Fast Forward Your Wine Knowledge ~ Take Some Courses at UCD and Beyond

Fast forwarding your wine knowledge is always so rewarding. When I landed in wine country, I realized that I knew practically nothing about wine, and yet I wanted into this business. I quickly realized that Santa Rosa Junior College is one of the finest junior colleges in our nation, and I could greatly enhance my career by doing the work, one course at a time as enrichment, while I worked my day job at Belvedere Winery.

From the American Association of Community Colleges:

Located approximately one hour north of San Francisco in Northern California’s beautiful wine country, SRJC is regarded as one of the nation’s premier two-year colleges, offering university level courses.

This is bolstered by the fact that many of the professors have day jobs in their own industries. The college is sitting in the heart of Sonoma County’s wine country, which means that a course in viticulture is taught by someone who works in the vineyards daily, and teaches about it one day (or night) a week. The same holds true for enology, wine components, PR, marketing, wine sales… the list goes ever on. Getting a degree in any chosen profession at the JC is pretty easy, if you do the hard work on a weekly basis, while holding down a day job.

Another wonderful opportunity exists, at the University of California at Davis. Located in the heart of Northern California’s wine country, UCD is also very enriching with a four-day immersion course.

The Eleventh Annual UC Davis Wine Education Program is being offered from March 21-24, 2011. It’s presented by the Graduate School of Management and Department of Viticulture & Enology. Held in the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Service building in Gallagher Hall, you’ll receive unparalleled knowledge from their internationally renowned faculty. You’ll be learning the management skills that are so critical to success in the wine industry, if you’re ready to fast forward your wine career.

Here’s what is being offered this year:

  • The Wine Industry: A global perspective
  • Stay Out of the Red: Financial management of wineries and vineyards
  • Vineyard Challenges: Wine growing from the ground up
  • Winery Challenges: Maximizing quality in today’s economic environment
  • Crushing the Competition: Marketing for the wine industry
  • Tapping the Network of Innovation
  • How to Sell an Innovative Idea
  • What’s Your Story? Creating a wine brand that stands out
  • Strategic Cost Management in the Wine Industry
  • From Wineries to Our Homes: Evolutions in wine distribution in the U.S.
  • “Case” Studies: Legal issues in the wine industry
  • Vineyard Operations of the Future
  • Winery of the Future

There are two programs available:

  1. Boot Camp and Program
  2. Program Without Boot Camp

You are also responsible for your own travel and hotel arrangements.

If you have any questions, or to register by phone, call (530) 754-6450, or Email info@wineexecutiveprogram.com

Anyone serious about the wine business, this course is serious business; and the best crash course out there from the best of the best.

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4 Responses to “Fast Forward Your Wine Knowledge ~ Take Some Courses at UCD and Beyond”

  1. Roger says:

    Great great article Jo,

    True, if you have the desire you can achieve your goal. While working full time I attend night school on Mondays, Tuesdays & Wednesdays, and during the day on Saturdays. I chip away at Viticulture, Enology, and winery business courses two classes at a time. I’m on my third semester at Mt. San Jacinto down here in SoCal. They are continuously adding to their viticulture and winery curriculum, which are taught by professionals in the business.

  2. Jo Diaz says:

    Roger, This tells me you’re on the same track I was on in the 1990s. There’s something very satisfying about gathering all this knowledge, and I know – first-hand – that it will propel you forward much faster than all the experience in the world. The combination of experience + classes is very powerful for a fast forward (it eclipse only the passion).

  3. anonymous says:

    You make a good point and I totally agree. However, you only have the option to do as you suggest if you are lucky enough to live near an establishment that offers courses related to wine & oenology. I really want to work in the wine biz in some capacity but there are very few options for such study near where I live (my son is in high school right now, so relocating is really not an option at this time); I’ve taken the few classes that I can, and now I’m pretty much stuck….

  4. Jo Diaz says:

    Dear Anonymous,

    You’re right… I’m sitting right in the middle of it all, so I didn’t think to write about what’s available outside of this tight ring I live in. There are possibly wine groups that meet wherever you are now, and wherever you’ll be moving next.

    We have a group of people called the Wine Century Club, and we teach each other a lot, by hanging out tasting wine. That will fast forward your palate, I know this to be true just from our local meetings. Google search your town to see what’s available.

    Also, a tremendous resource is going to be one of your local wine shops. These folks have focused tastings… And – the easiest suggestion… When it’s time for your next bottle of wine, take the extra 15 minutes that you might find in your life, go to your local wine shop, and ask the manager/owner (whoever is higher up in the food chain has an invested interest to take the extra 15 minutes with you) to sell that bottle of wine. In that process, you’re going to have your own private tutor, who honestly will give you so much to think about in the 15 minutes that it will be equivalent to an hour of class shared with a group.

    Where there’s a will, there’s always a way.

    Good question and it makes for another great wine blog story. Thank you!

    Another option is part time work in a wine shop. That will escalate you as fast as any crash course.

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