U.S. Army Veteran Earns Industry Accolade with Rally Point Wines, Credits Entrepreneurship Certificate Program

"For Love of Wine and Love of Humanity" is Latest Mission for Winemaker and Veterans Advocate Tim Burgess
February 15, 2016
Tim Burgess tasting wine

Tim Burgess testing wine.

Rohnert Park, California - The Wine Business Institute (WBI) at Sonoma State University (SSU) today recognized Rally Point Wines founder Tim Burgess, an alumnus of the WBI Certificate in Wine Business Entrepreneurship, for earning important industry awards recently for his Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Viognier, including three Gold Medals at the 2016 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, and two Gold Medals at the 2015 North Coast Wine Challenge. Rally Point Wines was established in 2015 by Mr. Burgess and his wife, Kate, also a U.S. Army Veteran. Together, they represent over 18 years of combined active-duty military service, and donate a portion of revenues from their wine business to numerous veteran organizations, including Sonoma County Vet Connect, Blue Star Families, The Fisher House Foundation, Gary Sinise Foundation, and the Society of American Military Engineers. 
"Rally Point Wines started with a yearning to do more, to give more. The name comes from the military and means 'meeting place.' We see our company and products as a meeting place for the love of wine and the love of humanity," Tim Burgess, founder of Rally Point Wines and WBI alumnus said. "Thanks in large part to the preparation and support of the Entrepreneurship certificate program, I was given the tools to align my business plan with my mission and vision, and grow a network of wine industry professionals, many of whom remain close friends and business associates. The instructor's passion and desire for our success was the push I needed to launch my own wine brand. It wouldn't have happened without this program.
The WBI Certificate in Wine Business Entrepreneurship is designed to provide small wine business owners and those seeking to start a wine business, the time and guided focus to develop a successful business plan. Participants are exposed to the regulatory climate for making and selling wine, financial frameworks to develop a vineyard and winery, how to create a virtual brand, and different models for wine business profitability. 
Instructor Anisya Fritz, Ph.D., is proprietor at Lynmar Estate and CEO of LynnCo Supply Chain Solutions. She is also co-founder of the Fritz Institute, a non-profit focused on improving disaster relief, and a published author on competitive strategy, international entrepreneurship, and humanitarian relief in Harvard Business Review, Strategic Management Journal, and the Journal of International Business Studies.    
"The complexity of wine business goes far beyond making wine and selling grapes. The process from growing or purchasing to production to sales can be overwhelming to even the most courageous entrepreneurs and family owners. Our expert instructor, Dr. Anisya Fritz, has designed a program that helps make the journey into wine enjoyable, productive, and ultimately successful. Tim Burgess and Rally Point Wines is a shining example," Ray Johnson, Director of the Wine Business Institute said.
The WBI Certificate in Wine Business Entrepreneurship is an eight-week lecture and workshop course on Thursdays from 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. between March 3 and April 29. Cost of the professional certificate program is $960 for those who register before February 18, 2016. 
WBI is an education and research institute of the School of Business and Economics (SBE). WBI seminars and certificate programs are administered in partnership between SBE and the School of Extended and International Education. For more information or to register for the Certificate in Wine Business Entrepreneurship, or other wine business seminars, please visit www.sonoma.edu/sbe/winebiz, contact (707) 664-3235, or email winebiz@sonoma.edu.