Six Les Roches students recently achieved the sommelier certification through the Association Suisse des Sommeliers Professionnels. It was hard work, but it paid off. This is their story.
What does a professional sommelier do?
A sommelier has a lot of responsibilities. They create wine lists for restaurants, maintain and order the wine, train other employees and have an encyclopedic knowledge on what wine should be paired with what food.
The sommelier training consists of three modules – viticulture and vinification, world of wine, and food and wine pairing. The ASSP is part of the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale, an organisation founded in 1969 to help develop and promote the sommelier profession. “The course offers great knowledge,” confirms Leopold Zadra, one of the newly certified sommeliers. “I would definitely recommend the sommelier course to other students, especially if they want to learn more about wine and have professional knowledge of it.”
[quote]I’ve been close to wine for as long as I can remember…My father is the proud owner of a grand old wine cellar.[/quote]
Wine means a considerable amount to Leopold. “When the word ‘wine’ comes to my mind, I instantly think about enjoyment and culture,” he says. “Wine combines decades of knowledge and learning with the skills of passionate winegrowers to produce a product that gives a lot of pleasure and satisfaction.”
Leopold says the decision to take the certification was a natural one. “I’ve been close to wine for as long as I can remember,” he says. “My father is the proud owner of a grand old wine cellar. Studying at Les Roches has enabled me to turn this passion into a full-time hobby.”
The sommelier courses took place at our Switzerland campus every Sunday. Though it meant an additional day of studying, Leopold feels it is more than worth it. “For me, that offer of additional education was a good chance to be one step ahead of others that have similar future plans,” he says. “The course was quite demanding as it meant spending half the day in class, but we were given plenty of support and I can now use this certificate to my advantage when I’m searching for internships and jobs.”
[quote]It was a challenging certification made possible with the help of our teachers… who worked really hard to give us the knowledge we need to enter this fantastic world.[/quote]
From culture to qualifications
Raimondo Lanzieri, , also received his sommelier certification. “I grew up in a country where wine represents an important part of the culture. Also, my family has great knowledge of wines and spirits”, he said of his motivation behind taking the extra studies. “I was a wine club member during my first semester in school and I really enjoyed the atmosphere.”
“It was a challenging certification made possible with the help of our teachers, Mr. Aiosi and Mr. Catechis, who worked really hard to give us the knowledge we need to enter this fantastic world. I will always be thankful for their commitment and enthusiasm”, Raimondo says.
The Les Roches difference
For Leopold, the location of Les Roches makes it stand out. “A village in the Swiss mountains may not be the place people first think of when they think of a hospitality school, but it’s the location that gives Les Roches a unique atmosphere and experience.”
“Les Roches offers amazing opportunities. Every semester there are several relevant extracurricular activities”, Raimondo says. “It is a unique school, immersed in Swiss nature, with teachers coming from the best hotels in the world and always ready to help you. I am enjoying every day there and I would recommend this school to anyone who is passionate about hospitality.”
Interested in becoming a professional sommelier too? Next course starts the 7th of October, 2018 and is open to all Les Roches students. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.