BSFS 380: The Business of Wine: Italy and Beyond

Instructor: Dario Parenti - Laurea
Credits: 3
Course/Lab Fee: 75€ for field trip (course reader fee announced by the Print Shop)
Prerequisite: None
Cross-Listing: Business and Marketing, Courses with Service Learning Components, Food Studies


Course Description

This course explores the business and marketing of wine, with specific focus on U.S. markets. Topics include not only the business of production, distribution and sale of wine, but also wine-related industries in the areas of marketing, journalism, and entertainment, and how these businesses have expanded continually in recent years. This course includes business simulations, where students will produce a start-up or marketing project. Over the course of the semester, students will work closely with a local vineyard, assisting them in creating a marketing plan for an existing wine into U.S. markets.


Course Objectives

  • Understand the trading dynamics of Italian wines towards U.S. markets;
  • Increased awareness of Italian wine regionalities and their ideal trading channels;
  • Develop an ability to distinguish which wines could be successful in various markets, by understanding market trends and consumer needs;
  • Understand the structure and activities of the many professional positions in the U.S. wine business;
  • Improve debating skills and understand possible effects of making strategic decisions.

Note: This course may be taken individually. Student do not have to be enrolled in the Food Studies Program to take this course.


Fall 2014 Business of Wine students touring Roccafiore Winery.

Service Learning Project Description

Students apply classroom knowledge of Italian and American wine industries to a service learning project with Roccafiore Winery, an eco-friendly Umbrian wine producer with international exportation. After a company visit, students work on specific projects designed around the needs and goals of the winery, informed by market analysis, research on exportation and competitors, and potential for company expansion. The final course project is to prepare a product proposal for Roccafiore with assistance from the professor, an enologist and wine marketer.


Course Materials

Mandatory course reader and business case studies


Field Trip

Students will take a day trip to the Roccafiore Winery where they will tour the facilities, have a wine tasting with traditional, homemade Umbrian appetizers, and discuss the marketing project with the winery team.