A business focused degree program in Wine Marketing has been developed in response to the rapid growth of the wine sector locally, nationally, and internationally. New York State is now the third-largest wine producing state in the U.S., with more than 250 wineries statewide. The industry employs 18,000 workers and annually generates $3.4 billion for the state economy.
Highlights of the program include:
- Hands-on experience through the College's Farm to Bistro concept. Wine Marketing students will get real-world experience pairing wines with meals at Coltivare, the College's downtown Ithaca restaurant and culinary center – supplied with fresh produce from the College's organic farm.
- An introductory level study of the major wine regions of the world and wines produced in each region, including the local Finger Lakes. This will include tasting, production, and sales strategies.
- International business aspects of the wine industry will also be discussed, including communication and customer service; marketing, merchandising, sales and pricing; techniques of the wine industry; laws governing the movement of wines at all levels from producer to consumer; handling, storing, and serving wine and beverage; and pairing wine and other beverages with food.
“Coltivare is where higher education, hospitality, and community converge to provide an enriching environment for learning, sharing, dining and celebrating. It is a wonderful resource that adds significant value to an already highly-enriched city.”
– Laura Winter Falk, Wine Marketing Instructor
Students will gain on-the-job experience through a required internship to be completed during the summer between the first and the second year of the program. The internship experience requires students to work 150 hours during a 10-15 week period and utilize our distance learning format to communicate, answer weekly journal questions, and participate in discussion with the internship instructor.
Careers on Career Coach
The wine marketing program prepares graduates for careers in wine marketing, sales and promotion, tasting room management, wholesale, retail, e-commerce distribution, public relations, event management, and other hospitality positions. Graduates find meaningful employment as cellar hands, tour guides, marketing coordinators, salespeople, and administrative assistants all of which are needed for this rapidly expanding industry.
Professor, Hotel and Restaurant Management
Sue Stafford brings 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry to her position in the classroom as chair of the Hotel and Restaurant Management, Culinary Arts, and Wine Marketing Degree Programs. She was also instrumental in the development of the farm to bistro concept, which features an organic farm on campus that provides fresh produce to the College's downtown Ithaca restaurant and culinary center, Coltivare.
Assistant Professor, Culinary Arts
Chef Amanda Bisson joined TC3 in 2017 as an educator in both culinary arts and sustainable farming. With over 10 years’ experience in both industries, she offers a wealth of knowledge to students in the Farm to Bistro learning community. Chef Bisson strongly believes in partnerships between chefs and farmers and their capacity to impact community food systems. “Culinary Arts is not just a career; it is a language, a science, an art, and comes with social responsibility to our community” she says.
Although this curriculum is not primarily designed for transfer, some students may wish to explore immediate or future transfer opportunities to baccalaureate degree programs offered by institutions such as Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Niagara University, and University of California, Davis.
Grad of Note - Sarah Hansen
Why did you choose to attend Tompkins Cortland?
I come from a writing/editing background and have a BA and an MFA in writing. After I moved to the Ithaca, my interest in wine transformed into a passion. I was already beginning to think I needed a career change, so when I saw that TC3 offers a Wine Marketing degree, I jumped for it!
Who at TC3 had the greatest positive impact on your experience?
My advisor and instructor, Sue Stafford, and my wines instructor, Laura Winter Falk. And a shout out to Gary Ford, who teaches Accounting, which I discovered I love.
What were your extracurricular involvements at and how did they contribute to your college experience/future aspirations?
As an adult student, I needed to work. Extracurriculars were off the table. But studying for my courses alone has been valuable.
What are your next steps after graduation (employment, transfer, etc.), and how did the College prepare you for that?
I was accepted to work at Bet the Farm Winery in February. I've already started!