Is a wine tasting class the same as a wine education course? At SDSU, our wine classes combine wine tasting and wine education. The wine certification program is a combination of lecture, reading, and tasting – a holistic approach to wine. If you're considering taking sommelier classes, our Professional Certificate in the Business of Wine program prepares you for the Sommelier certification exam and helps you train for success in wine-related occupations. Learn about the wine business in a series of informative and engaging wine education classes.

After two remarkable decades, we're concluding the Business of Wine program after summer 2024. The program's impact on the industry and our global student community fills us with pride. We extend heartfelt thanks to our community for their invaluable contributions.

Looking ahead, we encourage existing students to reach out and plan their path to completing the program and earning their certificates. Although new students won't be able to finish the program, they can still enjoy classes and explore the world of wine with our instructors over the next few months. We will continue to offer courses through the summer 2024 term.

Our gratitude to everyone who played a role in making this program a success. Join us in savoring the final courses and toasting to the rich legacy of our shared vinous journey.

Summer Courses Now Available

Register Today

SDSU Global Campus is committed to keeping our community safe. Click here to view the latest COVID-19 guidelines.

Increase your business skills and wine literacy in one of California’s most popular industries with a wine education course from SDSU Global Campus.


About the Program

Celebrating 20 years of wine education in 2024, SDSU has offered professional-level wine education taught by wine professionals. Instructors guide every learner from beginner to advanced levels on wine varietals, regions, business courses, pairing lessons, and viticulture.

Designed with the help of career wine professionals from all over California, SDSU’s Business of Wine courses can help you prepare for a career in many different areas of the wine industry. We offer a mix of in-person, online, and off-site courses that cover foundational level wine knowledge, specific wine regions, winemaking, hospitality, marketing, and business acumen, adapting to the evolving industry landscape.

Meet Your Instructors

Click to view Instructors

Luke Bramon
Luke Bramon
Marketing Wine, Vineyard Management
Founder of his own international brand, Luke's Leap Wines

Molly Brooks
Molly Brooks
Business Opportunities in the Wine Industry
Advanced Sommelier, Certified Cicerone BarWeThereYet Beverage Consulting

Stefano Butto
Stefano Butto
Intensive: Italian Wines
Certified Italian Wine Specialist / Owner at Sipiens Wine Brokerage, Founder of B.T.W. (Blind Taste Wine)

Maurice David DiMarino
Maurice David DiMarino
Sensory Evaluation, Intensive: California Wines
Cohn Restaurant Group Beverage Director


Ben Probe
Ben Probe
Beer and Wine: Service and Selling
Certified Sommelier, Cicerone, and Specialist of Spirits

Pamela Schwartz
Pam Schwartz
Dynamic Wine and Food Pairing
General Manager, Ranch 45

Jesse Rodriguez
Jesse Rodriguez
Intensive: Pacific Northwest Wines
Partner of Kaizen Wine Group, Advanced Sommelier

Gus Vizgirda
Gus Vizgirda
The Character of Wine, Wine Flaws and Faults
Winemaker, Wilson Creek Winery


Theresa Carlson
Theresa Carlson
Sip & Savor: Decoding the Flavorful Science Behind Beer and Wine

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Whether you’re an aspiring wine business owner, Sommelier, or hospitality professional, earning your wine certificate from SDSU Global Campus can build your network, teach you essential business skills, and move forward without putting your career on hold.

Meet Our Alumni

Melani Harding photo and storyWhile stationed in Oceanside, I began searching online for wine courses near me. The program at SDSU appealed to me because of the topics and scheduling. It was ideal for working people like me, so I could attend when it was convenient for me. Plus, I could take the classes that were most applicable to me, which helped build my business plan once I started down that path."

— Melani Harding, Owner, Bon Niche Cellars

Is This Program Right for Me?

Program Alumni Discount

If you’ve already completed your Certificate in the Business of Wine, you’re eligible to enroll in additional courses at a 10% discount. Please email registration at or call to apply a program alumni discount for 10% off the registration fee.

SDSU Alumni Lifetime Member Discount

If you're an SDSU Alumni lifetime member, you're eligible for a 20% discount on registration for courses in this program. Click here to learn more.

Discounts are not retroactive and cannot be combined. Only one discount can be applied.

These comprehensive wine education classes are geared for professionals and entrepreneurs in the wine, food, and hospitality fields who want to quickly expand their knowledge of wine topics. Our current and past students include:

  • Restaurant owners and staff
  • Winery employees
  • Event planners
  • Distribution and retail sales employees
  • Wine bar owners and staff
  • Anyone interested in a career in wine or hospitality
  • Wine enthusiasts who want to learn in an academic setting

Graduates of the program include owners of local wine bars and bottle shops, wine import/export business owners, buyers for upscale grocery stores, and vintners at local wine vineyards. Our wine classes can also prepare you for the Introductory Sommelier Certificate Exam from the Court of Master Sommeliers.

What Can I Learn?

Whether you’re interested in launching your career in the wine or hospitality industry, you want to educate yourself about regions you are passionate about, or discover new wine regions, our Business of Wine Program will help you:

  • Learn skills necessary to enter the ever-changing wine industry
  • Experience interactive, hands-on learning with tastings and more
  • Engage with top leaders and industry experts in the classroom
  • Uncover an overall appreciation of wine outside of fermentation
  • Explore wine’s past and present while looking toward the future
  • Boost your wine literacy and become an ambassador for wine
  • Build industry connections and network within San Diego’s growing wine community

Meet Our Alumni

Al Fischer photo and storyThe subject matter was intriguing and interesting and with the electives, you got to pick which regions of the world were most important to learn. The hardest part was choosing the ones you wanted to take, because for me, they all seemed like something I wanted to learn about.”

— Al Fischer

You must be at least 21 years of age to register for courses in the wine certificate program.

Career Outcomes

Labor Analysis
Wine Industry — Nationwide


10-Year outlook total current jobs


Projected job growth over 10 years


Average salary

Why Should You Choose Us?


Home to dozens of wineries and within a few hours' drive of many of the best vineyards in the world, San Diego and the surrounding region is a historic and rapidly-growing wine hotspot. SDSU Global Campus is well-positioned to tap into the booming local wine industry and provide access to leaders in the business of wine.


Your teachers are a real who’s who of the wine industry and provide real-world examples and tips on how to succeed in the wine industry. They include Advanced Sommeliers, winemakers, and more wine industry experts. You’ll also have the opportunity to network with and learn alongside local wine professionals.

Diverse Curriculum

Choose from more than a dozen unique elective and intensive courses that cover a wide range of wine industry topics, from vineyard management and marketing wine to varietals and wine list creation.


In order to earn your Professional Certificate in the Business of Wine, you’ll need to complete the following courses:

  • Core Courses - 4
  • Elective Courses - 2
  • Intensive Courses - 3

Click the course names below to read the course description, view course dates, and register for available courses.

Course List

Core Courses Schedule (complete all 4)

Core Courses List Cost Spring 24' Summer 24' Fall 24'
WI 0001 Exploring Wine
(recommended as first course in series)
WI 0007 Wine Making Behind the Scenes $299 2/17-2/24    
WI 0019 Business Opportunities in the Wine Industry $369 2/27-3/26    
WI 0023 Dynamic Wine and Food Pairing $359 1/17-2/7    

Elective Courses Schedule (complete 2)

Elective Courses List Cost Spring 24' Summer 24' Fall 24'
WI 0021 Wine List Creation $279      
WI 0022 The Character of Wine $279      
WI 0030 Wine Flaws and Faults $309      
WI 0032 Sensory Evaluation $429 4/11-5/16    
WI 0040 Vineyard Management $339      
WI 0041 Marketing Wine $339      
CB 0012 Beer and Wine: Service and Selling $349      
CB 0022 Sip & Savor: Decoding the Flavorful Science Behind Beer and Wine $449 2/20-4/16    

Intensive Courses Schedule (complete 3)

*Dates and prices subject to change.

Finished all the required courses?
Click the button below to receive your certificate.

Request Your Certificate


Registration Instructions

To register for courses, please complete the following steps:

  1. Choose your courses in the "Courses" tab
  2. Click on the red course links to register
  3. Check the dates and times to ensure that you can attend all sessions of the course
  4. Click “Add to Cart”
  5. Add more courses to your cart or click “Checkout”
  6. Log into your SDSU Global Campus Account, if you haven’t already done so
  7. Pay for your course(s)

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I check my progress in the program?

Students in the program can check their progress by logging into their SDSU Global Campus student account. If you need assistance with your account, contact our Registration staff at 619-594-5152 or

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Do I receive a letter grade after each course?

Students who complete courses in our professional certificate programs (other than those that are graded as Pass/No Pass) will receive a final letter score that mimics the grading rubric SDSU uses for credit-bearing courses. Students will also receive a Letter of Completion from our registration team for each course they complete, which will include their final score.

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How is the program structured?

We offer a blend of wine sensory and business classes which you can take and customize with electives and intensive courses based on your interests.

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What is the format of the classes?

Courses in our business of wine program are offered in a partial in-person instruction format with plans for faculty supervision, approved lab space, social distancing, and meeting COVID-19 safety requirements. Select courses are held online on Zoom, at local wineries, vineyards, and restaurants, and on campus at SDSU.

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Is there financial support available for this program?

As a student in our wine program, you have options when it comes to paying for your courses. This program is eligible for the following discounts and support programs:

  • SDSU Alumni Lifetime Membership Discount
  • Program Alumni Discount on all subsequent wine courses.
  • Early Registration Discount: $20 less than the full tuition price for early registration. Click on the course title for more information.

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How do I receive my Professional Certificate once I’ve finished the program?

Once you’ve completed all the program requirements, fill out a certificate request form. SDSU Global Campus will verify that you’ve completed all the required courses and assignments. Once you’ve been verified, you’ll receive a digital copy of your certificate.

Please note that new students who have not taken courses before the spring 2024 term will not be able to complete the program and earn a certificate.

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I’m interested. How do I get started?

Ready to take the next step? Click on the Courses tab to browse our courses and register. If you have any questions about the program, our Welcome Center can help! Fill out the form at the bottom of this page to get in touch.

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The Business of Wine Program Sponsor:

Quigley Logo

The Business of Wine program is a proud member of:

Women's Wine Alliance Logo     San Diego County Vintners Association Logo     San Diego Tourism Authority

Follow the Business of Wine on Facebook & Instagram

Facebook Link        Instagram Icon

Keeping Our Community Safe

Please ensure that you’re in compliance with all current COVID-19 guidelines when you take courses with SDSU Global Campus.

Parking Guidelines

Beginning in fall 2021, SDSU Global Campus students will need to purchase parking in order to park on campus.

Parking Rates for SDSU Global Campus Students
Weekly: $12
Monthly: $30

Please visit our parking instructions webpage to learn how to purchase your permit.


Request Your Certificate
Certificate Programs
Alumni Lifetime Member Discount 
SDSU Global Campus Wine Blog
San Diego County Vintners Association
San Diego Tourism Authority

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Core Courses

2023 Fall2024 Winter2024 Spring2024 Summer2024 Fall
2024 Spring
WI 0001 Exploring Wine

This course takes students on a journey around the world of wine. Topics covered include: history, grape varietals, viticulture, language and labeling, tastings; as well as an introduction to food and wine pairing, wine service and temperatures, and the wine-making process. This is an overview of the role and influence of wine in history and today's culture, a foundation for further wine education.

Course Date(s)
January 22 - March 11
Lisa Redwine
2024 Spring
WI 0007 Wine Making Behind the Scenes
This course will give true insight into the way wine is made by visiting a local winery. Learn the "from grape to table" philosophy as well as manufacturing, and operations of the wine business. Basic knowledge of state regulations will be examined as well as discussion focusing on how climate, soil, and perception relate to profit.
Course Date(s)
February 17 - February 24
2024 Spring
WI 0019 Business Opportunities in the Wine Industry
The wine industry has many exciting possibilities for success. How will you find your opportunity? In this course, you’ll explore current wine market trends through the lens of the three-tier system in the United States. We’ll examine wine production, importing, distribution, and retail segments through specific case studies and interviews with members of the industry. You’ll also learn how the wine industry has changed and adapted to different challenges over the past year. At the end of the course, you’ll create your own proposal for participation in the business of wine.
Course Date(s)
February 27 - March 26
Molly Brooks
2024 Spring
WI 0023 Dynamic Wine and Food Pairing
In this four-day course, you will wine and dine your way through classic wine pairings. We will start with debunking wine pairing myths, then dive into the structure of wine and foods and how to pair the two. You will taste and describe the wines separate from the food. Then the fun begins, adding samples of various foods and re-tasting the wines! Our goal is to teach students how to identify what works, what doesn't, and why. With the knowledge of wine and food pairing, you will be able to elevate your guests' experience. This knowledge translates into higher sales and revenue, opens doors for career growth in all segments of the industry, and gives you the personal confidence to recommend pairings with ease.
Course Date(s)
January 17 - February 7

Elective Courses

2023 Fall2024 Winter2024 Spring2024 Summer2024 Fall
WI 0021 Wine List Creation
Learn how to create an elegant, diverse, and cost effective wine list. Topics include: how to determine and achieve a profitable wine cost percentage; the language of buying wine; how allocated wine can help and hinder your program; proper wine markups; inventory controls; how to converse with wine vendors, importers and suppliers; and writing a list that is appealing to the guest and fulfills the needs of the beverage manager.
Course Date(s)

Pamela Schwartz
2023 Fall
WI 0022 The Character of Wine
Character can be defined as a wine with top-notch distinguishing qualities. Learn what is involved in creating the character of red, white, or blush wines. In this class, you will learn the basic mechanics of wine making, concerns winemakers face, and decisions they make during the process. This course will review in detail the differences involved in making quality wine varietals.
Course Date(s)
November 4 - November 11
2023 Fall
WI 0030 Wine Flaws and Faults
This course will provide you with the insight needed to identify, and accurately describe various wine flaws and faults. You will learn the basic mechanics of wine making and the results of wine making when carelessness and elements beyond the control of the winemaker produces an "off character" in wine, such as volatile acidity, TCA, and Brettanomyces. This course is ideal for restaurant managers, wait staff, winery employees, bartenders, and anyone interested in wine careers.
Course Date(s)
October 21 - October 21
2024 Spring
WI 0032 Sensory Evaluation
Are you looking to add the skill of Sensory Evaluation to your wine knowledge? Blind tasting involves evaluating a wine without prior knowledge of its identity, such as the grape variety, region, or producer. Students in this class will develop their sensory perception and enhance their ability to identify and analyze different characteristics of wine. Students will concentrate on the building blocks of sight, aroma, and taste while understanding how the outside world affects their sensory perception. Students will review wines from different regions and grape varieties while analyzing the sensory stimuli of their core compounds. After this course, students will have increased their knowledge of wine through group learning and using a systematic method to understand the core components of wine.
Course Date(s)
April 11 - May 16
WI 0034 Importing and Distribution
Importing and distributing wine isn’t all traveling and tasting. To become a successful wine importer/distributor, you need a comprehensive understanding of warehousing, budgeting, time management, marketing, branding, packaging, pricing, licensing, regulations, shipping, and working with wholesalers and retailers.

In this class, you’ll learn how to create a strong business model and start building a portfolio to match. You’ll also learn about different resources that wine industry professionals have used to build their businesses. Through real-world advice, guided wine tastings, and a close examination of different brands, styles, and packaging, you’ll learn what it takes to stand out in a crowded field and find success in importing and distribution.
Course Date(s)

WI 0040 Vineyard Management
This course for the wine enthusiast covers the basics of viticulture and its importance to quality winemaking. Topics include viticulture history (global and local); vineyard considerations and management; exploration of wine grape varieties and clones; considerations of soils, climate, terroir and sunlight; and the final processing of the grapes as they become wine. The course concludes with a hands-on visit to a working vineyard/winery in Temecula, which includes a tasting, showcasing wine grapes at their finest.

“Wine is sunlight, held together by water.”
~ Galileo
Course Date(s)

Luke Bramon
2023 Fall
WI 0041 Marketing Wine
In the fast-paced world of media and marketing, wineries must be current on the latest trends and adept at time-tested strategies for success. Following an overview of the intrinsic elements of marketing -- research, targeting, positioning, and branding -- we'll explore the major tenets of wine marketing including locating and working with distributors, portfolio placement, promotions/incentives, and pricing structures. We'll also look at how to build your customer base on-premise, off-premise, and direct-to-consumer using traditional -- public relations, websites, blogs, and emails -- as well as unique forms of marketing.
Course Date(s)
October 18 - November 15
Luke Bramon
2023 Spring
CB 0012 Beer and Wine: Service and Selling
Students will learn all aspects of selling both beer and wine in a restaurant. They will learn how to promote each to not only increase beverage sales but give the customer a greater experience which will lead to more positive reviews, and greater revenue for the restaurant as a whole. Students will learn how to cross-sell as well as upsell while enhancing the customer experience. They will also be provided with tools to learn beyond the course and further their knowledge for personal and/or professional gain in the craft beer and wine industries, while networking with like-minded individuals.
Course Date(s)
April 5 - May 13


2023 Fall2024 Winter2024 Spring2024 Summer2024 Fall
2024 Summer
WI 0017 Intensive: California Wines
California holds a prominent place on the international wine stage and has many interpretations of classic varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, and a California original, Zinfandel. Through tasting California-produced wines and class discussions, you will:
  • Dive into the history and traditions of California wines to gain a solid understanding of the evolution of California wines. This is an imperative knowledge base for anyone seeking employment in the wine industry as they begin to sell, produce, or market wine in California.
  • Gain knowledge of California grapes
  • Develop an understanding of viti/viniculture practices, including the science, study, and production of grapes, as well as wine styles.
  • Get a glimpse into the future of California wines.
Course Date(s)
June 8 - June 29


Student Testimonials

Sonia HyncikThe program is fun, the instructors are passionate … and it’s wonderful to see new courses being added as the program continues to grow and evolve. I also believe the program is a great networking vehicle for wine enthusiasts and industry professionals.

Sonia Hyncik



Brittany BartonThe program far exceeded my expectations. It would have been impossible to get these results out of a book on my own. I wouldn’t have known where to start. Each class takes you beyond the surface and really helps develop an understanding of cultures, geography, and history of the region of study. The instructors bring so much passion and personal experience into their teachings that I walk out of class feeling like I was just in France.

– Brittany Barton, Entrepreneur


Erin WoodardThe program is great for building a foundation of knowledge if you’re looking for a career change. Or if you’re looking at this more as a hobby, it’s educational and fun!

– Erin Woodard, Fine Wine Specialist, Henry Wine Group




Jeffrey MaltzmanMy company specializes in wine education programs on cruise ships, and SDSU’s program has given me an outstanding background of knowledge about the wine industry, wine making, and wine regions of the world. The courses are educational, entertaining and interactive; and the professors are, without exception, top leaders in the Southern California wine industry.

– Jeffrey Maltzman, Founder, Blend Craft Wines’ Winery at Sea Program


Grant TondroThe biggest strength of the Business of Wine certificate program was the breadth of the courses. If someone like me who’s already an industry professional has gaps to fill, there’s a course for them. The program is absolutely worth it and you can get out of it as much as you put into it.

– Grant Tondro, Co–Owner, The Barrel Room, Urge GastroPub, and Brothers Provisions



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Want to Learn More?

Submit this web form and we’ll be in touch to answer all your questions and explain the next steps in the process. Or, you can reach a program recruiter by emailing or by calling (619) 594-7700.