The Seychelles Tourism Academy has embarked on its first ever post-graduate sommelier and oenology advanced certificate. The eighteen months training program, which starts on April 16, 2012, grouping the first batch of fifteen professionals from the Le Meridien Barbarons and Fishermen’s Cove Hotels, Constance Lemuria Resort, Hilton Seychelles – Northolme Resort & Spa, and Beachcomber Sainte Anne Resort, will provide a broader spectrum of the arts and science of wine to the post-graduate students.
Launching the course at the Seychelles Tourism Academy, the French Ambassador to the Seychelles, Phillipe DelaCroix, who has spearheaded the course by facilitating the recruitment of a course lecturer from La Reunion through a voluntary solidarity French program, which sends its nationals in foreign countries, has urged the post-graduate students to make good use of these courses.
“France is not solely the largest wine producer in the world, but one of the most prestigious. Over the years, the fuller-bodied wines have evolved as an instrument of social relations. Although France is ranked as one of the leading wine producers in the European community, the market share has been concurred by countries like Spain and Germany. I believe that a country like the Seychelles, with a high flow of tourism arrivals, and which imports a large variety of wine appellation from either South Africa or France, should have a professional pool of qualified sommelier and oenologists in the tourism industry,” the French Ambassador said.
The Seychelles Tourism and Hospitality Association Representative, Phillipe Guitton, said: “It is inevitable that the Seychellois professionals are trained in the arts and science of wine to fill the vacuum of a lack of sommelier and oenology professionals in the tourism industry.”
“Seychelles has long depended on a foreign workforce to fill the post of sommelier and oenologist in the tourism establishments, ” said Phillipe Guitton, adding that with the introduction of this course, the Seychelles is seeing its first batch of motivated students who will become future sommeliers and oenologists.
“Sommelier and oenology courses pave the way for future career development. The students will graduate in their respective domain with an advanced certificate and can pursue their career in more senior positions. We hope to have professional sommelier and oenologists who are passionate in their field of work and that the hotel establishments remain committed in their endeavors to send these professionals in countries like South Africa to gain more experience,” said Phillipe Guitton.
The flexibility of the course allows the fifteen professionals to study the course modules on a part- time basis at the Seychelles Academy campus, two times a week on Mondays and Tuesdays. They will learn to develop their research skills through the preparation of a research dissertation in specialized areas of the arts and science of wine.
The course facilitator, an oenologist from La Reunion, Virginie Lepinay, explains that “although Seychelles does not have a wine culture, its clients are demanding, and it needs the appropriate professionals to meet the demands of these clients.”
The Principal of the Seychelles Tourism Academy, Mr. Flavien Joubert, thanked all the sponsors who have contributed towards the success of this course and said that over the years, the Seychelles Tourism Academy will offer a diploma certificate in sommelier and oenology.