The 2021 Wine Business Institute Research Summit will bring together experts from wine and beverage companies, research organizations, academic institutions, and other key industry players for a three-day summit in Napa Valley. Research topics will include:

It’s not very often that a group of people will gather for a day in hopes of learning about wine, but the 2021 Wine Business Institute Research Summit is exactly that. In May of 2021, the WBI will host a full day event in San Francisco on the first Friday of the month to discuss the latest research and trends from around the world. This event will be held in conjunction with the WBI’s three-day wine market, which will be held in the same city the following three days. The 2021 Wine Business Institute Research Summit will be held in conjunction with the Wine Institute’s annual Wine Market, which will be held in San Francisco on the first Friday of May. The 2021 WBI Research Summit will focus on the latest business, research


Leadership through Innovation, 21. July

21. June – Rohnert Park, CA – As the wine industry recovers from disruption, the Wine Business Institute’s Research Summit 2021 will focus on leadership through innovation to examine how the industry has innovated and is innovating. This popular annual meeting for wine industry executives and professionals will take place on Wednesday, 21. 20 July 2021, from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information about the WBI 2021 Research Summit and to register, click here.

This year’s panel and topics focus on the current issues and opportunities facing the wine industry today and in the future, says Dr. Jean-Francois Coghe, dean of the Wine Business Institute and the School of Business and Economics at Southeastern University.

Stephen Runneclave, Global Industry Strategist at Rabobank, will kick off the summit with a presentation entitled What’s Working in Wine Innovation? Richard Campbell, professor and sports marketing expert at Sonoma State, will deliver the closing lecture, Sports and Wine: Fanaticism and opportunities for cooperation.

Fourteen other speakers will give presentations and lead discussions on eight other topics, including using business model innovation for strategic advantage; diversity, equality and inclusion in the wine sector; digital marketing KPIs for 2021 and beyond; courage in wine and innovation to thrive; what the wine sector can learn from cannabis; the convergence of online commerce and communications; recovery from public shock: Leadership for wine industry transformation; and integration of sustainability into wine industry strategy and policy:

The following individuals will be speaking:

  • Geralyn Brostrom, associate professor of wine economics at Sonoma State University.
  • Sergio Canavati, Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship at Sonoma State University.
  • Jean-Francois Coghe, professor of organizational behavior and dean of the School of Business and Economics at Sonoma State University
    Juliana Colangelo, vice president of the West Coast and associate partner of Colangelo & Partners
  • Matt Coyne, Wine MBA ’21 and doctoral student in hospitality management at the UMass Isenberg School of Management.
  • Hannah DeYoung-Link, digital product specialist for e-commerce at Crimson Wine Group, Wine MBA ’21.
  • Isaiah Fitzgerald-Palacio, Senior Accountant, Allen Wine Group
  • Dr. Anisia Fritz, owner of Linmar Manor.
  • Marta Huega, winemaker and head of sustainable development at Alliance Wine in Spain.
  • Dante Love, digital marketing manager at Jackson Family Wines.
  • Matthew McDermade, 21-year-old winemaker, cellar master and tasting room manager at Meeker Winery.
  • Marilyn Nagel, Founder and CEO, Ready-Aim-Aspire
  • Dr. Sandra Newton, professor of wine management and economics at Sonoma State University.
  • Adel Santana, assistant professor of management and sustainability at Sonoma State University.

This year’s theme, leadership through innovation, is particularly important to us as we celebrate the Wine Business Institute’s anniversary and 25 years of collaboration and prosperity as a community, said Ray Johnson, executive director of the Wine Business Institute. We look forward to learning from and engaging with wine industry leaders on how to continue to adapt, invent and seize new opportunities.

Presentations will be in the form of a TED talk, followed by a 30-minute question and answer session with the summit speakers.

The Wine Business Institute Research Summit is an annual gathering of academics, researchers, and wine industry professionals who all have strong ties to the Sonoma State Wine Business Institute, either as full-time faculty, wine industry educators, alumni, current students, board members (and colleagues in their organizations), or as sponsors of the WBI Summit. The Research Summit 2021 is again supported by our partner Rabo AgriFinance.

About the Wine Business Institute

The year 2021 marks the 25th anniversary of the Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State University. We celebrate the Institute’s heritage as a pioneer in wine education and research and its 25-year association with the wine community to develop the sector. Visit to find out how you can celebrate with us.

The Wine Business Institute is an intellectual and industrial hub for faculty, students, and business. Founded in 1996 as a partnership between the wine industry and Sonoma State University’s School of Business and Economics, WBI conducts cutting-edge research that informs industry best practices and curricula. WBI offers online and classroom courses on winemaking and industry certifications. For more information about our degree and certificate programs or our research in the wine industry, please contact us at [email protected] or visit

About RaboAgrifinance

As a leading provider of financial services to agricultural producers and agribusinesses in the US, Rabo AgriFinance creates value by leveraging its industry expertise, providing customer-focused solutions and building long-term relationships. Rabo AgriFinance offers an extensive service portfolio that provides producers with the products they need to prepare for and benefit from market opportunities. This comprehensive range of services includes loans, insurance, input financing and effective risk management products. Rabo AgriFinance is a subsidiary of Rabobank, the largest bank for the agricultural sector and one of the largest and strongest banks in the world. Rabobank offers equal opportunities.


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