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Emily Zegar

Country: United States of America
Course: Master of Wine Business
Faculty: Professions


At the end of January 2015 I moved to Adelaide, South Australia to commence my postgraduate studies in my Master in Business Wine at The University of Adelaide. During my first year living in Adelaide, I served in the Cellar Doors at Penfolds Magill Estate, Australia’s iconic wine producer, and Scott and La Prova Wines, a small boutique producer in the Adelaide Hills. In addition to my Masters coursework, I earned my WSET Level II Award in Wine and Spirits. I transitioned roles in September 2015 to work for Atlas Wine Group, an Australian wine importer and exporter and domestic distribution company, as their Marketing Communications Assistant. I also worked at East End Cellars, a popular wine bar and speciality bottle shop in Adelaide’s CBD.

Now, I am finishing my Masters in Business Wine coursework externally while living in Hong Kong and working in the Asian wine industry. I am currently interning with The Flying Winemaker, an innovative PR and marketing focused wine business, as their Marketing and Operations intern. During my time in Hong Kong I am studying to earn my WSET Level III Award in Wine and Spirits. I anticipate on completing my Masters coursework by the end of this September, and following earning my Masters in Business Wine I will begin working for Pernod Ricard as a Brand Account Specialist for Wines and Champagne. The role begins with six months of intensive training travelling to Pernod Ricard’s international headquarters in Spain, the U.S., Australia and New Zealand. The role will take me back to the U.S. to represent Pernod Ricard’s wines and champagnes in the Dallas, Texas market.
Through my life and professional career, I intend to continue my knowledge and studies in wine, travel to explore new wine regions and develop my professional expertise in the wine industry.

The University of Adelaide offered a Masters degree heavily integrated with the Business school but with its entire focus on the wine industry. I couldn’t think of a better pairing to pursue.

Why did you choose your degree?
Born and raised in the Willamette Valley, Oregon, you could say that Pinot Noir runs in my blood. As a working professional in the Oregon wine industry, I was enthralled with everything wine represented. From the viticulture elements, winemaking techniques, tasting experiences and convivial moments shared over a bottle of wine. I always knew I wanted to pursue my Masters degree, but in what? This was a question I wanted to have answered prior to investing another four years and a large sum of money into my future. However, this answer came easy after planting my roots in the Oregon wine industry. I chose to earn my Masters in Business Wine to enhance my knowledge in wine, outlook on the global wine industry and cultivate connections for my future career in the wine industry.

Why did you choose to study at the University of Adelaide?
Coming from a small wine industry in Oregon, I wanted to experience a different outlook on the world of wine. The United States has the benefit, and comfort, of remaining insular in their approach to the production and sale of wine. I wanted to expand my understanding of what it meant to be a player in the international world of wine. Australia was enticing not only because I had never travelled to the Southern Hemisphere, but because they do not have enough consumers to consume all the wine they produce – they have to be savvy in the international wine market. I wanted to gain experience from wine industry figures who had a different outlook and approach to the sale, marketing, branding and distribution of wine globally. The University of Adelaide offered a Masters degree heavily integrated with the Business school but with its entire focus on the wine industry. I couldn’t think of a better pairing to pursue.

What do you enjoy about your degree/time at uni?
I truly enjoyed living in Adelaide – it offered enough of a city feel and opportunities without feeling too overwhelming or hard to maneuverer. I was able to connect with so many friendly, passionate and genuine individuals from the South Australian wine industry. Its proximity to Australia’s most well-known wine growing regions was a plus, too. I was also able to gain a variety of work experience within the South Australian wine industry. Australia was an amazing country to explore, and I wish I had had the chance to experience its remarkable landscapes. I would love to live in Australia again so that I have the opportunity to flourish in its wine industry and travel to its many natural wonders.

What do you hope to do in the future once you are qualified?
Prior to commencing my Masters in Business Wine, I was qualified in direct to consumer wine sales. My experience working in the Oregon wine industry revolved around the sales, marketing and hospitality of all things that effected consumers directly from the winery and tasting room. From online sales to phone sales to hosting wine dinners. My Masters in Business Wine studies provided a framework to better structure my understanding of the intricacies of the international wine industry – from production logistics to distribution to global marketing and branding reach. I now have a framework to assess the attractiveness of new markets for wine businesses, along with consumer characteristics that are desirable when expanding into new wine markets. I have gained an understanding of how different wine producing countries are perceived, and how these greatly affect consumers’ purchasing decisions.

In the future, I hope to continue to develop my personal knowledge in wine, along with my palate for tasting wines of the world. I aspire to work in the international branding and marketing of wine brands in a role that allows me to interact face-to-face with consumers and represent a brand, or multiple brands, in a variety of markets around the world.

 

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