Sonoma Wine Executive MBA / Global Wine Executive MBA


Advance your executive career in the global wine industry.

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In 2012, the Wine Business Institute in the School of Business and Economics (SBE) at Sonoma State University in collaboration with the wine industry launched the United States’ first Executive MBA focused on the business of wine. The Sonoma Wine Executive MBA program is offered in two formats: low-residency and campus-based.

  • Sonoma Wine Executive MBA: The 17-month campus-based program offers an experience unmatched by any other institution of higher learning. Students have prime access to a world-class wine business education located at the intersection of Napa, Sonoma, and San Francisco. Courses are held in the Wine Spectator Learning Center, an innovative learning space gilded with advanced technology and flexible learning classrooms.
  • Global Wine Executive MBA: The low-residency format comprises four “leadership intensives” in California, Australia, and France, and three-month segments of online case and project-based learning and faculty mentoring. Students have the rare opportunity to study with our distinguished wine business faculty from across the U.S. and the world.

*Our pursuit of academic excellence continues as we adjust to the evolving situation due to COVID-19. Program schedule, activities, locations and delivery modes are subject to change. We are using on-line learning and virtual engagement where it is not possible to meet in person for the Residential Leadership Intensives. We are also adapting the extracurricular activities to ensure we are training students to adapt to future business environments and develop new abilities to innovate and lead in an ever-changing world.

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Sonoma Wine Executive MBA

Global Wine Executive MBA
(Low Residency)

17 months 17 months
Friday/Saturday every other weekend Varies
Sailing Leadership Training Sailing Leadership Training
14-day International Business Consulting Trip 14-day International Business Consulting Trip
--- Four 10-day "Leadership Intensives" in California, France, and Australia.
Access to a deep network of alumni and wine industry connections. Access to a deep network of alumni and wine industry connections.
Launches every March/April. Launches every Fall Semester. 


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Leadership & Experiential Learning

There are three experiential learning modules included in this program.
  1. The first begins with a two-day intensive where students eMBArk on their journey of leadership development. The leadership track includes an additional off-site intensive where students further develop their capacity to work in teams.
  2. The Innovation, Design and Technology Leadership course offers a 4-day immersive workshop where students learn the art of design and innovation.
  3. The third experiential learning module is a ten-day international study tour where students are introduced to new cultures, visit international business facilities, and meet with senior management and industry specialists to discuss relevant topics.

Sonoma/Global Wine Executive MBA at a glance. Launches every March/April.



Program Learning Objectives


  • Plan and execute business decisions and strategies
  • Develop leadership skills in self and others
  • Understand ethical issues and problems from a leader’s perspective
  • Manage in an ever-changing global environment