Information for Authors

The Wine Business Journal (WBJ) is the premiere publication from the Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State University. It is the leading journal in enhancing, furthering, and promoting global wine business research and pedagogy.

No author fees are charged for this journal, nor is advertising accepted; the Sonoma State University Wine Business Institute underwrites all associated costs.

The WBJ publishes full-length research papers, literature reviews, research notes, teaching cases, industry notes, and technical briefs. This is an open access journal, which means that all content is freely available without charge to the user or his/her institution. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles in this journal without asking prior permission from the publisher or the author [authors retain the copyrights to their articles]. All our research is published on a rolling basis, meaning that it is available online as soon as it is accepted by our editorial review board.

Benefit to Authors

Publishing research in the WBJ provides authors with:

  • 24-Day Average Review Cycle
  • 121-Day Average Acceptance Cycle
  • Professional Development Credit
  • Copyright Retention
  • Double-Blind Peer Review
  • Accelerated Publishing (rolling basis)
  • Opportunity to publish in a journal that is indexed in:
    • Cabell’s Journal Directory
    • Directory of Open Access Journals

Why Publish Open Access

Global Visibility: Open Access articles are published online, without a subscription fee or paywall, making them freely available to everyone and anyone around the world. Increased
Impact: Many studies reveal that Open Access publications receive more citations than subscription publications. Today’s research begins online, where Open Access publishing is easily found.
Free: Open Access literature eliminates all price barriers.

Manuscript Submission Guidelines

Please upload a single Word file containing the manuscript with all author and institution names removed. This long document will be sent to reviewers. The objective of the double-blind review process is to provide developmental feedback to authors. We aim for a 30-45 day turnaround time for reviews.

Manuscript Checklist

Spell Check

  • Run a final spell check with proofing language set to English (US) before submitting!

Omit Author Information

  • Delete author identification from the “Properties” of the WORD file. (Click File, Properties, Summary, and then delete any identifying information.)

Upload Document File

  • Single WORD file containing the manuscript with all author and institutions names removed
  • Include abstract (500 words or less)
  • Include several keywords for search purposes.

The Wine Business Journal (WBJ) welcomes original research manuscript submissions including empirical research articles, literature reviews, conceptual papers, and industry and regional case studies. 

Formatting Guidelines

All manuscripts should have 1-inch margins on all page sides and all text should double-spaced. Text size should be 12-points and the text font-type should be Times New Roman. Manuscript length should not exceed 40 pages including the references, tables, and figures. Tables and figures should be placed at the end of the manuscript and their desired location in the manuscript should be indicated in a sentence within the manuscript. Citations and references should follow APA guidelines.


Tables should be numbered. The table number should be followed by the title of the table. The number and title of the table should be above each table. If the table is adapted from another source, the source should be indicated at the bottom of the table. 


Figures should also be numbered. The figure number should be followed by the title of the table. The number and title should be placed under each figure. If the figure is adapted from another source, the source should be indicated at the bottom of the figure. 


References should be included at the end of the manuscript body, after the conclusion and before the tables and figures. The reference style should follow the APA guidelines. 

Suggested Outline

Original empirical research studies should include the following sections: Introduction, Theory and Hypotheses, Methods, Results, Discussion, and Conclussion. Authors should use the following formatting rules for headers:

Level 1 Header

All caps, centered, bold.



Level 2 Header

Capitalize the first letter of each word, flush-left, bold. 


Conceptual Framework

Level 3 Header

Capitalize only the first letter of the sentence, flush-left, bold. 


The relationship between customer loyalty and purchase intentions 




  • Once an organization is identified, it may then be abbreviated throughout the text, e.g. Jackson Family Wines (JFW).
  • Abbreviate country names such as the United States as U.S. and the United Kingdom as U.K.


  • Avoid the grocer’s apostrophe (strawberry’s $2 / lb. vs strawberries $2 / lb.).
  • Decades do not require an apostrophe: 1990s, not 1990’s.
  • Check whether you mean to write its or it’s.
  • Avoid contractions (didn’t, hadn’t, etc.) except when they occur in quotations.

Bullet Points

Introduce the list with a semi-colon:

  • use standard MS Word list levels when required;
    • first item in sub-list;
    • second item in sub-list;
  • try to avoid going beyond two list levels;
  • items in the list should begin with a lower case letter and end with a semi colon;
  • except for the last item which ends with a period.


  • Use capital letters sparingly, except for the main title and for proper nouns and acronyms.


  • In text, use currency codes: USD, EUR, GBP. For example: sales in 2011-12 were USD 247,000.

  • In tables of financial data, symbols can be used but note that $ can be ambiguous; is it Australian, Canadian, or U.S. dollars?


  • Use “ . ” (not “ , ”) to indicate decimals.


  • Spell out “%” as “percent.”


  • “Use double quotes and single quotes for ‘quotes within quotes’ as required.”
  • Place the final quote mark outside the punctuation ending the quote (usually a period).
  • Indent longer quotes (>40 words) by five spaces (0.5 in, 1.27 cm) from the left margin.
  • Do not put quotes in italics.
  • Be sure to attribute all quotes.

Units of Volume, Area, etc.

  • Use SI units where possible (with equivalent US units if considered absolutely necessary):

“By 2012, the vineyard had expanded to 120 ha (296 acres); volumes increased to 12,500 hl (330,000 US gallons); the winery is located 550 km (340 miles) from the nearest port.”

  • Note that the US gallon is not the same as the UK gallon!

Research notes follow the same guidelines as original research manuscripts but are limited to a length of 20 pages including the references, tables, and figures.


Use Primary Data

  • The use of direct quotes (in quotation marks) is often very effective to add “life” to the case and portray characters who may or may not have different views on the situation and its resolution.
  • Secondary data such as journalistic accounts may supplement primary data.

Avoid Poetic License

  • Do not speculate or fictionalize; it is illegal to attribute statements, actions, or feelings, etc. to actual persons.


  • The case must be written in past tense. Authors should imagine the case being read one or two years in the future, after the events have already transpired.
  • The instructor’s manual may be written in present tense.

Business English

  • Use clear and concise syntax.
  • Use active voice where possible.

American Spelling

  • Non-English words should be italicized and either defined in the narrative (or in a Glossary at the end of the case but before the exhibits or other appendices).



  • Times New Roman size 12 font for text
  • Size 10 font for long quotations and footnotes


  • 1 inch (2.54 cm) on each side


  • Single OR double spaced, left justified, right margin ragged

Case Title

  • Centered, bolded, and fully capitalized in one or two lines. Do not underline.


  • Capitalize and center major headings in bold-faced type; minor headings should be flush left, bold-faced, with the first letter of the word or phrase capitalized.

Citation Style

  • Source material should be referenced in endnotes in APA format. For more information on APA formatting, Purdue’s [Online Writing Lab (OWL) is an excellent resource].

Figures and Charts

  • Inclusion of photographs, diagrams, charts, graphs, and financial statements is appropriate and should be referred to and numbered consecutively (i.e., Exhibit 1, Exhibit 2…etc.) in the body of the case and attached to the end of the case in the same order as Exhibits.
  • Cite sources of information or data presented in each exhibit.


  • Any length, inclusive of the one-to-two page “case vignette” to the longer 20–30 page “strategy.”
  • Short sections with headers in bold are preferred.


  • If you must use them, place footnotes as consecutively numbered endnotes following the case text but before exhibits and appendices. Students do not generally read endnotes, so avoid placing important information in those notes.


  • CASE TITLE : Centered, bolded, and fully capitalized in one or two lines. Do not underline.
  • Subtitles : Capitalize and center major headings in bold -faced type; minor headings should be flush left, bold -faced, with the first letter of the word or phase capitalized.
  • Short sections with headers in bold are preferred over long sections.
  • Inclusion of photographs, diagrams, charts, graphs, and financial statements is appropriate and should be referred to and numbered consecutively (i.e., Exhibit 1, Exhibit 2…etc.) in the body of the case and attached to the end of the case in the same order as Exhibits. Cite sources of information or data presented in each exhibit.


An instructors manual is not required for in-depth case studies focused on specific regions or industries, but it should be included for teaching cases. If you have questions about whether your manuscript should include an instructor’s manual or not, please email Should your manuscript include an instructor’s manual, please review the suggestions for Instructor’s Manuals (IM) which can be found on the NACRA website, see An instructor’s manual should contain the following information:

The first two sections are vital for positioning and “marketing” your case.

1. Case Synopsis

Provide a synopsis of ≤ 250 words highlighting the case situation.

2. Case Audiences & Levels & Learning Objectives

Provide detail regarding which courses / levels / parts of a course where your case might fit. Is the case suitable for undergraduates/ Master’s/ Executive audiences? List up to 3–5 learning objectives or outcomes that students will master via reading, analysis, and discussion of your case.

3. Research Method for Gathering Case Information

Indicate the methods used in researching the case, and in particular if primary or secondary data were used. Also indicate if any of the researchers has a relationship with the organization (such as a paid consultant, employee, part-owner, etc.). Indicate the extent of disguise, or instead indicate that no data have been disguised.

4. Case Contribution

What gap in the literature, theory, or existing body of cases does your case intend to fill? What makes it stand out from other cases on the topic? Here is a good place to cite prior cases in the area and how your case breaks new ground.

5. Basic Pedagogy and Classroom Flow

Indicate if the case has been class tested, and (if appropriate) if the case could be taught with certain exercises, videos, or activities (e.g. whole class discussion, role-plays, student presentations, or writing assignments). Show the probable flow of the class.

6. Discussion Questions

List questions (perhaps 3 to 7) that could guide the discussion of the case, or could be assigned to students for written work prior to an in-class case discussion. Note approximate times for each question in order to help guide other instructors in conducting a class discussion.

7. Answers to Discussion Questions / Conceptual Analysis

Provide answers to the discussion questions listed in number 5, above. Indicate how those answers are linked to theories, conceptual models, or laws as well as how those answers are supportive of the learning objectives of the case and how they apply to the case. Distinguish between superior, average, and mediocre student responses. Supply your own analysis. NOTE: Be careful NOT to supply new information in answers that students would not have access to from reading the case. That’s a gotcha!

8. Instructors’ Manual Exhibits, Appendices, or Handouts (such as a “B” case”)

Provide any exhibits or visual aids with summation of analyses or board plan here. Any of these documents should be ready for reproduction or for use as visual aids.

9. References

Provide a bibliographical list of references or suggested readings to accompany the case, including textbook chapters, using the APA format for citations.


Wine Business Journal

1. Case Title


2. Date of submission

June 1, 2015

3. Author(s), Affiliation(s), and email(s)

Parker Robert, City University

Sarah Sipper, Western College

4. Contact Person

Parker Robert City University 1 University Boulevard, CU 100 City, State, Zip Code





[case + video]

There’s an old saying in the wine industry that goes, “In order to make a small fortune you need to start out with a large one.” Unfortunately, I’d never heard of that “rule” before I started out. I came here to the Napa Valley 27 years ago with $40 in my pocket, sold my motorcycle for $5,000 to start a winery, and now I owe $22 million to the bank. And I still haven’t been able to buy back my motorcycle, because the current loan covenants with the bank do not permit me to ride, so I’m not sure that I am a success story, really. – John Williams, founder & CEO, Frog’s Leap Winery.

From the autumn of 1999 to late spring 2011, most Napa Valley premium wineries were embracing modernity — launching websites, using viral marketing, developing wine clubs, and shifting distribution channels from on-premises accounts to direct sales. John Williams, the co-founder, owner, and CEO/winemaker of Frog’s Leap Winery in Rutherford, California, had followed suit by making modest investments in these marketing programs. Williams nevertheless remained skeptical that these changes would dictate his winery’s future. In May 2011, Williams reflected upon his heritage as the son of upstate New York dairy farmers and his 35 years’ working in the wine industry, since graduation from Cornell University. Williams not only displayed his normally irreverent humor, but also acknowledged that he had quietly developed the industry’s most sophisticated environmental management system. Environmental management systems (EMS) had risen in importance for wine businesses, as they confronted survival threats from the natural world, such as rising energy prices, water scarcity, mounting concerns about chemical exposure, and climate change. Yet Williams wondered aloud: “How could Frog’s Leap, which has grabbed the ‘low-hanging fruit’ of environmental management, become even more sustainable?” See Exhibit 1 for a timeline of events in Frog’s Leap’s evolution.

Napa Valley and The Premium Wine Industry

Napa Valley was a prominent American Viticultural Area (AVA) in California’s North Coast wine-producing region, which encompassed Lake, Napa, Mendocino, and Sonoma counties. [See “Glossary of Common Wine Industry Terminology” at the end of this case.] Since 1999, the number of premium wineries in the North Coast had grown from 329 to 1,250. Of that number, nearly 92 percent could be classified as small or boutique’ wineries, that is, those producing fewer than 50,000 cases per year. The number of boutique wineries increased dramatically during the twelve-year period, from 249 to 1,133. By contrast, midsized wineries (those producing between 50,000–499,999 cases per year) and large wineries (those producing more than 499,999 cases per year) grew more modestly in number during the same period,


The author developed this case and video for class discussion rather than to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of the situation. The case, instructor’s manual, and synopsis are submitted for review for the Wine Business Journal. Draft dated XX/XX/XXXX. Contact person: Name, address, phone, e-mail.



[Case + video]


Over his 35 years in the wine industry, John Williams, the co-founder, owner, and CEO/winemaker of Frog’s Leap Winery in Rutherford (Napa), California, had developed a sophisticated environmental management system (EMS). EMS enabled wineries to manage survival threats from the natural world. Numerous other California premium wineries had more or less followed suit, so sustainability had by 2011 become a_de facto_ standard. From 2000–2010, Frog’s Leap had purchased new vineyard acreage and made investments in productive capacity, although its cased wine production had remained essentially unchanged. Consequently, Frog’s Leap’s cased goods inventory and debt load increased considerably. To generate incremental cash flows, Frog’s Leap augmented its sales via conventional distribution channels by an innovative “wine-by-the glass” program using kegs (instead of bottles) of wine, and by initiating direct-to-consumer programs, including a tasting room, and “Fellowship of the Frog” wine club. In May 2011, Williams considered his options to grow his business while remaining small, to become an even more sustainable winery, and to assure that the winery would be preserved for the next generation of owners.


The written case and video case were developed for use in tandem. A DVD is available from the case author on request, or adopters may copy and paste the video links in this document into their web browsers. The written case and video are suitable for undergraduate or advanced (MBA and EMBA) students to introduce a module on sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR) in a Strategic Management or Small Business/Entrepreneurship course, or as a lead-off case for a Social Entrepreneurship course. The case provokes student debate over how success should be defined and measured, i.e. if profitable growth or market share are the only measures of success.


  • Broaden students’ understanding of success to include the concept of sustainability. [See Discussion Question 1]
  • Prompt students to develop and defend metrics for benchmarking business sustainability. [See Discussion Question 2]
  • Challenge students to analyze and compare this business to other businesses using sustainability benchmarks. [See Discussion Question 3]
  • Give students practice in using financial ratio and VRIO analyses to evaluate a ‘sustainable’ strategy in the wine industry. [See Discussion Question 4]
  • Induce students to develop and defend recommendations to justify new investments supporting sustainability. [See Discussion Question 5]


Include Ethical Statements
  • Author Statement in the footer of the first page of your case with standard wording and contact information:

The authors developed the case for class discussion rather than to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of the situation. The case, instructor’s manual, and synopsis are submitted for review for the WINE BUSINESS JOURNAL. Draft dated XX/XX/XXXX. Contact person: Name, address, phone, e-mail.

  • Author Certification at the end of your case, as follows: Submission Certificate:

In submitting this case to the WINE BUSINESS JOURNAL, we certify that it is original work, based on real events in a real organization. It has not been published and is not under review elsewhere. Copyright holders have given written permission for the use of any material not permitted by the “Fair Use Doctrine.” The host organization has signed a release authorizing the publication of all information gathered.