Liz Thach, MW, Ph.D.

Distinguished Professor of Wine | Professor, Management

Professor Liz Thach, MW
Liz Thach, MW, Ph.D.


(707) 664-4212


Wine Spectator Learning Center, Suite 1013
  • Institute of Masters of Wine (London, England) - Master of Wine
  • Texas A&M University - Ph.D. in Human Resource Development.
  • Texas Tech University - MA. in Organizational Communication and Management
  • College of Notre Dame (Belmont, CA) - B.A. in English, Summa Cum Laude, Valedictorian
  • Semester abroad at Warnborough College in Oxford, England
Academic Interests
  • Wine Business
    • Wine Strategy & Management
    • Consumer Behavior in the Wine Industry
    • Direct to Consumer
    • Customer Service in Tasting Rooms/Wine Clubs
    • Wine Tourism
    • Wine eCommerce and Social Media
    • Wine Marketing
    • Marketing to the Millennial Generation
    • Wine Exporting & Distribution
  • Leadership & Management Development
    • Leadership Development & Competencies
    • Executive Coaching & 360 Feedback
    • Change & Crisis Management
    • Social Responsibility
    • Sustainability
  • Human Resource Management
    • Motivating Employees and Performance Management
    • Training & Development Issues
    • Instructional Design
    • HR Metrics
    • HR in Small Businesses
    • HR in the Wine Industry



Dr. Liz Thach, MW (pronounced “tosh”) is the Distinguished Professor of Wine and a Professor of Management at Sonoma State University where she teaches in both the undergraduate and Wine MBA programs. Liz’s passion is wine, and she has visited most of the major wine regions of the world and more than 37 countries. In addition, she is an award-winning author who has published over 130 articles and 8 wine books, including Call of the Vine, Best Practices in Global Wine Tourism and Wine Marketing & Sales. A fifth-generation Californian, Liz finished her Ph.D. at Texas A&M and now lives on Sonoma Mountain where she tends a small hobby vineyard and makes pinot noir wine. She also works as a wine judge in various competitions, and has served on many non-profit wine boards. Liz obtained the distinction of Master of Wine (MW) in May of 2011.

Selected Publications & Presentations

Journal Articles:

  • Thach, L. & Cogan, L. (2018, In Press). “Wine Tourism in Burgundy, France: An Analysis of Marketing Practices.” Tourism Review International.
  • Thach, L., Charters, S. & Cogan, L. (2018, In Press). "Core Tensions in Luxury Wine Marketing: The Case of Burgundian Wineries." International Journal of Wine Business Research.
  • Atkin, T., Wilson, D., Thach, L. & Olsen, J. (2017). Analyzing the impact of conjunctive labeling as part of a regional wine branding strategy. Wine Economics and Policy Journal, Volume 6, Issue 2, December 2017, Pages 155-164.
  • Thach, L. (2017). Wineries Reassure Customers During Time of Crisis., Oct. 13, 2017.
  • Thach, L. (2017). Mexican-Americans Move from Vineyard to Boardroom. Sept. 6, 2017.
  • Thach, L. Olsen, J. Cogan-Marie, L & Charters, S. (2017). What Price is Luxury Wine? Research Studies Unclear. February 21, 2017.
  • Chang, K.J., Thach, L., & Olsen, J. (2016). “Wine and health perceptions: Exploring the impact of gender, age and ethnicity on consumer perceptions of wine and health.” Wine Economics and Policy, 5(2): 105–113
  • Thach, L. & Charters, S. ed (2016). Best Practices in Global Wine Tourism. NY: Miranda Press. ( BOOK)

Selected Awards:

  • 2016 Award of Excellence – Winner for Outstanding Paper in the 2016 Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence.  Variety seeking by wine consumers in the southern states of the US (Volume 27 number 4, 2015) by Janeen E. Olsen, Tom Atkin, Liz Thach,&  Steve S. Cuellar.
  • 2015 Excellence in Education Award – Exemplary Educator Recipient 4 Year College Level. Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce. August 17, 2015.
  • 2011 Resolution No. 422 from the California State Legislature for being the first woman in California to become a Master of Wine.
  • 2009 Best New Wine Book for Professionals for How to Launch Your Wine Career.  Awarded by Gourmand World Cookbooks Award.  Authors:  Liz Thach and Brian D’Emilio.
  • Fulbright Specialist Award – Awarded Fulbright scholarship to teach wine business in Mendoza, Argentina for 2 weeks in March of 2014.