Two Women, Two Experiences in the Wine Industry

Sandy Hanshaw and Traci Smith

Sandy Hanshaw (L) and Traci Smith (R)

Sandy Hanshaw
Owner of The Wine Pub

Traci Smith
Owner of Splash Wine Bar

What inspired you to enter the program?

Traci: I found that SDSU offered a program that suited working adults at an affordable price. Also, the classes that were offered were perfect for the knowledge that I was looking to gain.

Sandy: I’ve taken quite a few educational courses in wine but was looking for something with a little more variety. And also something that wasn’t a fluffy wine class, but had credibility to it. I was looking for exactly what SDSU had to offer, a certificate program in the Business of Wine.

Tell me about your experience in wine study?

Traci: I liked the actual wine tasting and teaching of the aromas and flavors of the wines. The best experience for me was being able to discover, first-hand, that not all red wine does pair well with chocolate. Whether or not it paired well, a class that serves wine and chocolate is a great class in my eyes!

Sandy: I think I was surprised by how much I learned. Since I had taken courses before, I thought I knew a fair amount, but the courses really opened my eyes up to a lot of things I didn’t know much about.

What advice would you give new students?

Traci: Always make the most of the time you are being educated. Anytime someone is sharing an experience or knowledge is a gift that should be embraced. I try to absorb what I can and encourage others to do the same because you never know when you might recall that information and use it to your benefit.

Sandy: Approach classes with an open mind. You’re able to gain a lot of knowledge in wine without being in an intimidating environment. In the tasting parts of the class, don’t be scared to share what you feel you taste and smell, it is the best way to learn and really there are no wrong answers. Everyone’s senses pick up different things in wine and that’s what makes it fun.

Wine BarWine is one of California’s signature industries. Let’s take a look at wine’s influence and impact on California.

  • 90% percent of the wine made in the U.S. is produced in California
  • $18.5 billion is the retail value of California wine sales
  • 3 of every 5 bottles of wine sold in the U.S. is a California wine
  • $61.5 billion state economic impact
  • 330,000 wine-related jobs in California
  • 20.7 million tourists visit California wine regions per year

Figures from www.wineinstitute.org