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Wine Spectator Learning Center Gains More Support

Submitted By: Valery Vue, September 15, 2016
Construction Underway for the $9.15 Million Innovative Learning Hub at Sonoma State University

Rohnert Park, California - The Wine Business Institute (WBI) at Sonoma State University (SSU) today announced a gift from Napa Valley’s Duckhorn Wine Company in support of the Wine Spectator Learning Center, an international education facility and future home of the Wine Business Institute at SSU. The gift will be used to equip the new building with advanced education tools to connect wine business scholars and professionals around the world, including state-of-the-art technology classrooms and multimedia venues for production and broadcast of public seminars and events.

"It’s important for the industry to give back to academia to educate the next generation of wine business professionals and elevate the wine industry in a competitive global market. The Wine Business Institute has a unique position in that it is the only institution of higher learning in the world with a focus on the business of wine,” Alex Ryan, Chief Executive Officer of Duckhorn Wine Company and Wine Business Institute Board Member said.

"For the past decade, Alex Ryan and Duckhorn Wine Company have supported our vision to be the global leader in wine business research and education. We’re honored to have their partnership as we move through this next stage of growth for the benefit of our students, faculty, and wine industry stakeholders everywhere,” Ray Johnson, Executive Director of the Wine Business Institute said.

Construction of the 15,000-square-foot project began on June 1, 2016 with an official groundbreaking ceremony attended by over 300 people, including California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, U.S. Congressman Mike Thompson, Wine Spectator editor and publisher, Marvin Shanken, and other luminaries in government, education, and industry. The facility is expected to open in 2017 and will be available to all students and departments.

The WBI is an education and research institute of the School of Business and Economics. SSU is the first institution of higher learning in the U.S. to offer professional certificates and degrees specializing in the business of wine, and the first school of business in the world to offer an executive-level wine business degree. For more information about the Wine Spectator Learning Center project, please visit www.sonoma.edu/winebiz, call 707-664-3235, or email winebiz@sonoma.edu.