Blog Feature

Wine Executive Program 2014:
From Grape, to Table, to Classroom

What does the winery of the future look like? How do you market and brand your wine to differentiate it from the thousands of other competitors on the market? What cutting edge industry research is available to help you guide your wine business decisions? These are just a few of the questions discussed by participants of the 14th Annual UC Davis Wine Executive Program.

Over the course of the four-day program, we covered a lot of ground.

Combining Business Theory with Hands-On Expertise

Participants were presented with a well-balanced mix of business theory and research combined with a true “feet on the street” perspective of industry leaders who have lived it.

  • UC Davis research included topics on processing, bottling, wine storage, and closures from Andy Walker, Anita Oberholster and Dave Block
  • A hands-on session where participants collaboratively built their own marketing plans led by marketing expert Jeremy Benson
  • Learning to tap into the power of networks to become more innovative  as presented by UC Davis professor Andrew Hargadon
  • Understanding the fundamentals of how to make your wine brand stand out with Amy Hoopes from Wente Vineyards
  • Leadership traits and tactics necessary to grow a thriving wine business discussed by professor Kim Elsbach

“The UC Davis Wine Executive program was a great experience on several levels. It served as a great introduction to the wine industry as a whole. The materials were well presented and encompassing of where the wine industry is today and where it will be in the future”
Neal Fasula
Owner, Gerrity’s Supermarkets

Gaining “In the Field” Knowledge with Facilities Tours

Participants were thrilled with the opportunity to visit and be exposed to the most cutting-edge wine production technology in the world during a tour of the first winery with a LEED Platinum certification.  Additionally, participants experienced:

  • An in-depth tour of the UC Davis research vineyard, providing lessons on everything from planting to grape arboring to pest mitigation
  • A look at some of the new winery facilities currently under construction on the UC Davis campus, which will bring research teams even further along the path of creating the winery of the future

Connections That Last with Attendees who Count

Along with academic learning came numerous opportunities for networking during the many social activities included in the program.

  • An informal wine tasting event, allowing participants the opportunity to share wine from their own wineries and collections
  • Connecting on social media before and after the event through an exclusive Wine Executive Program LinkedIn Group
  • Numerous evening and dinner events, giving individuals time to enjoy each other’s company, and experience the variety and excellence of each other’s wine

Even more important than the networking events were the participants themselves, representing an incredible cross section of wine industry professionals.

  • Over 65 participants from California, New York, Washington D.C., Pennsylvania, Oregon, North Carolina, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina, Virginia, and Illinois, as well as international participants from Argentina, Japan, Canada and the Philippines.
  • An eclectic mix of attendees, including individuals from large and boutique wineries alike, established and start-up international wineries, and all positions from winemaker to sales.


“The attendees’ roles and personalities added greatly to the experience. All types of Wine industry players where present: Bankers, Sales, Marketing, Vineyard Managers, Winery Owners, etc. The networking opportunity created was the icing on the cake; a truly enjoyable 4 days.”
Dave Magnasco
Sr. Director, Grower Relations, Constellation Brands

Thanks to everyone in the vibrant group who participated this year! We look forward to staying connected with all our new friends. Click here to stay in touch with future events associated with UC Davis Wine Executives or to be added to our mailing list.