Gonzaga University Wine Institute Announces the Launch of Wine Certificate Program


September 15, 2020
Gonzaga Law School

SPOKANE, Wash.  — Gonzaga University, via its School of Law, working in partnership with its School of Business Administration and School of Leadership Studies, is pleased to launch a one-of-a-kind certificate program focused on the business, management, and legal aspects of the wine industry.


“Gonzaga is the first university in the country to develop such a unique curriculum in partnership with private wineries,” Jacob H. Rooksby, Dean of the School of Law, said. “We are excited to offer this lifelong-learning and professional development opportunity to people around the country.”


The Gonzaga University Wine Institute administers a Certificate in the Legal and Business Aspects of Wine, offers continuing education courses related to the wine industry, and organizes educational immersion events in the United States and abroad.


The certificate program consists of 16 online courses taught by both Gonzaga University faculty and experts in the wine and hospitality industries. Topics include the history and classification of wine, drafting and negotiation of wine industry contracts and agreements, and wine distribution best practices.


Institute Director, Jessica Kiser, understands how daunting it can be to learn about the complexities of the wine industry. However, she notes that the program’s aim is to break down those barriers.


“The wine industry has an incredible, romantic allure to business owners, lawyers, and consumers, and yet it is also one of the most complex and heavily regulated industries worldwide,” Kiser said. “Our certificate helps professionals support their passion with the expertise to navigate this system - for their own business or to market those skills to others.”


In addition to coursework, students will participate in a full-day immersion event hosted at a different regional or international location. “Our first immersion event will be held in Woodinville, WA at the Institute sponsor Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery,” Kiser said. She notes that the property is one of the top tourist attractions in Washington. “This immersion will be a wonderful celebration of Ste Michelle Wine Estates’ contributions to our Wine Institute,” she said.


To qualify for the program, students should have completed an undergraduate degree in any field or certify that they have at least five years of experience working in the wine industry or a wine-related business. Admission is on a rolling basis, and students can join the program to pursue their certificate at any time.


“Here at Gonzaga, we encourage students to ‘go forth’ and dream big,” notes Kiser. “Who hasn't dreamed of running away to start a winery or of working in the industry? This program provides a strong foundation from which those dreams can grow.”


For more information or to enroll in the program, visit gonzaga.edu/wineinstitute