our team


Byron P. Catéchis Director & Dean

Byron teaches in: French, German, English and Italian languages

WSET® Educator for the following Wine and Spirit Education Trust qualifications:

  • Level 1 Award in Wine
  • Level 2 Award in Wine
  • Level 3 Award in Wines
  • Level 1 Award in Spirits
  • Level 2 Award in Spirits
Internal Assessor for the following Wine and Spirit Education Trust levels:


  • Level 1 Award in Wine
  • Level 1 Award in Spirits
  • Level 3 Award in Wines

Member of the following judging panels:

  • Concours suisse des produits du terroir
  • Forum Romand des eaux-de-vie, Switzerland (spirits)
  • International Wine and Spirit Competition, UK (wine & spirits)
  • Sélection des vins de Neuchâtel, (wine)
  • Schweizer Schnapsforum, Switzerland (spirits)
  • Distisuisse 2017, Switzerland
  • International Wine Challenge 2016

Professional Experience:

Over 20 years of experience in the 4 to 5 Star Deluxe hotel and Michelin Star segment. To date involved in 5 hotel and 1 restaurant openings which included the Dorchester in London, The Louis C. Jacob in Hamburg, a Hotel in East Africa (part of an international hotel chain) among others. 

Our wine specialists Wine Knowledge courses – our lecturers


Johanna Dayer

Johanna teaches in the French and English languages

Johanna has been interested in wine since passing her Swiss Matura diploma and continued in this path on her way to gaining her Bachelor degree with the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne. She has completed the various levels of the Wine and Spirit Education Trust qualifications, including the WSET® Level 4 Diploma.

Now having completed her exams on the Masters of Wine programme, she now has to complete her thesis. Johanna has managed to keep herself busy by also studying for a Masters in Digital Marketing and Communication in Geneva. Johanna is currently also involved in the production and marketing of Clos Tsampehro in Valais. Johanna  also consults for a wine producer in Provence, France.

Johanna teaches on the Level 2 – WSET® Award in Wines & the Level 3 – WSET® Award in Wines for both the English and French language courses as well as runs our courses in Lausanne and Valais.

Alann Gauci


Alann teaches in the French and English languages

Alann is currently the Sales Manager at Maison Mathieu Vins, where he began eight years ago after spending fifteen years working in luxury hotels as Wine Director or Director of Food and Beverage. From New York to Geneva, by way of Antigua in the Caribbean, his passion for wine led him receive the Wine Spectator Grand Award in 2002 at the St. Regis Hotel in New York. In 2006, the same magazine gave the Award of Excellence for his work on the wine list of the fine dining restaurant at the President Wilson Hotel in Geneva.A certified Sommelier by the Sommelier Society of America (est. 1954) and recipient of the WSET® Level 4 Diploma in Wine & Spirits, Alann enjoys wines from across the world which are faithful to their terroir- from Burgundy, to Piedmont, South Africa or California.

Alann teaches on the Level 2 – WSET® Award in Wines and also the Level 3 – WSET® Award in Wines courses for us.

Katharina Jans

Katharina teaches in the German language

Katharina originally completed her apprenticeship as a restaurant professional. Since her studies as a food technologist, she has gained practical experience in wineries in Neuchâtel, Italy and New Zealand. She is currently working on various research projects in viticulture and oenology as a trainee at the Wädenswil Wine Centre. Her next goal is to complete the WSET® Level 4 Diploma in Wines.


Katharina teaches the Level 2 – WSET® Award in Wines.


Spirits & Bar knowledge (mixology) – our lecturers

Victor Topart

Victor Topart

Victor teaches in the French and English language

With more than 15 years of experience in the bar and cocktail industry, Victor has worked in Palace bars in France, Scotland and Switzerland as well as in various cocktail bars in Lausanne. He was also Bar Academy Trainer for Diageo for several years before becoming the manager of the Crapule Club cocktail bar in Fribourg. Passionate about Mixology and spirits, he likes to share his knowledge with enthusiasm and energy.

Victor teaches the Level 2 – WSET® Award in Spirits as well as the “mixology” practical aspect related to this course


Beer & Brewing courses – our lecturers
Our Resident Craft Brewer:  
Thomas EldridgeThomas Eldridge


Thomas teaches in the English and French language our practical brewing courses

Thomas is currently head brewer of Brasserie Docteur Gab’s, where he is responsible for the day-to-day production of their varied range of beers, as well as the organisation of the production team. An award-winning brewer, he has a proven track record at both microbreweries and larger, regional breweries.

As well as being an experienced teacher, he also serves regularly as a jury member of international beer competitions

Thomas is in charge of our practical beer production courses. Watch our course dates page for details of the next practical courses!

Nathan Maire

Nathan teaches in the French and English language our Introduction to Brewing courses as well as certain MasterClasses

Nathan changed profession a number of years ago and has, since 2015, been working for a Craft Brewery in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. His various positions of responsibility within the brewery have provided an opportunity for him to gain a professionally sound level of knowledge of the beer production process. He has also taken and passed several levels of the Institute of Brewing and Distilling (IBD) qualifications to support his practical knowledge. 

Nathan is now embarking on a new challenge where he wishes to pass on his knowledge to other brewers.

Our team for distilling: will be finalised and announced in the coming months
Our Sake experts: Sake courses – our lecturers 

Natsuki Romano-Kikuya

Natsuki teaches in the English and Japanese language

Born into a family that has been running a Sake brewery in Akita, and a Buddhist temple in Toyama prefecture, both on north-west side of Japan where is nourished with the best ingredients from the mountain and the ocean, and where winter can be severely cold. During her school years in the United States, Natsuki spent most of her time dealing with international volunteering works and documentary film making featuring the boarder issues between the US and Latin American countries. Natsuki went back to Japan and worked 2 and half years at the business and HR consulting firm called Motivation Inc. in Ginza Tokyo.Her Sake journey, to trace the path of her family roots, had started in 2009.
Natsuki had worked as a “Sake sommelier” at Zuma & Roka restaurant in London, UK, and in 2013. she had launched “Museum of Sake”, the Sake PR and Education agency to introduce and promote Sake to European markets.
Natsuki is helping to set up and will teach at WSET Level 1 & Level 3 Award in Sake launching in August 2014.• Sake sommelier certified at Sake Service Institute (SSI)
• WSET Level 3 Award in Wine (2013)
• Sake Communicator Award 2011 winner by Sake Samurai and International Wine Challenge (IWC)
• Sake judge at IWC Sake Category since 2011
• Executive Sake sommelier at Sake Experience and Sake Award hosted by Hyper Japan since 2012
• WSET (Wine and Spirit Education Trust) The Sake Qualification Development Manager
• Bibendum Wine Sake advisor
Honami Matsumoto

Honami Matsumoto

Honami teaches in the English and Japanese language

Honami has been working with sake for nearly 15 years and is a Kikisakeshi-qualified sake sommelier, WSET-certified educator for Sake Level 3, Wine Level 1, Level 2 and an International Wine Challenge(IWC) Panel Judge in the sake category.Having trained at Leith’s School of Food & Wine and Le Cordon Bleu, Honami is a qualified sommelier and has worked at some of London’s renowned places including luxury wine and spirits merchant Hedonism Wines.Honami has planned and hosted numerous number of exciting sake events at Hedonism Wines and beyond, many of which had sake and food matching with various renowned restaurants and chefs in London.


Honami created House of Sake to provide carefully selected accessories, events, promotion and sake education to the UK and beyond.

Our canine teaching assistants you will probably meet either Merlin or Arthur in one of our classes. They are trained (or in the process of being trained) to reduce your stress levels 
Merlin & Arthur Since the 21st of September 2018 Merlin became an important member of our team while still a puppy (10 weeks old). Arthur joined the team on the 9th of March 2020, and is learning from his elder brother how to improve the class wellbeing.


course locations


Biel / Bienne


L’école du vin – Seeland

Mittelstrasse 14c

2502 Biel / Bienne

Tel: 033 533 25 21



Chemin des Primevères 15

1700 Fribourg

Tel: 026 424 65 29




Route de Soleure 12

2072 St Blaise

Tel: 032 344 80 85


ritzy formation continue

Techno Ark 3

3960 Sierre

Tel: 027 606 90 31

Valais – Naters

Gianni Genussatelier

Lindenweg 7

3904 Naters


academic charter

Our Academic Charter:

“Our teaching aims to provide specialist knowledge of the principal alcoholic beverages of the world in combination with commercial factors. The excellence of the teaching transmitted to our students is enriched by a variety of practical and theoretical exercises.”

Unpacking the Mission Statement / Objectives :

1.     All our courses have been designed so that the students:

  • are able to attain a high level of quality and internationally recognised; be it on an academic, professional or vocational level.
  • Have access to the latest developments – be they scientific or statistics
  • Are able to benefit from the national and international communities of which we are active members.
  • Are supported by efficient teaching methodologies that encourage and favour learning and research through the appropriate technology and pedagogical approach.
  • Support our students on an academic, as well as personal level with advice given as needed privately should the need arise.
  • Our students are encouraged to become innovative persons who contribute to their sphere of influence (work or other) and are more efficient.
  • Develop careers that are both intellectually stimulating and rewarding.

2. Our teaching methodology is founded on:

  • Specialised subject knowledge and its application
  • An informed practice ”founded in evidence” and “innovative”
  • Small classroom groups (maximum of 10 to 15 participants depending on course location)
  • A modern educational approach based on experiential learning
  • Applied research to pertinent problems and their solutions
  • Our continual questioning approach and not taking anything for granted prior to entering the classroom with the fixed objective of self-improvement

3. Our applied research includes:

  • A close partnership with partners from all sectors – public, private and voluntary
  • Making use of our knowledge and capabilities with a view to understanding and solving existing problems that could be beneficial on an economic, commercial, environmental, cultural or social level
  • Individual and group research projects
  • Tailor-made courses to encourage the transfer of knowledge
  • Serving on competition juries both in Switzerland and abroad
  • Working with professionals from different disciplines/backgrounds whose discipline possesses common elements and where the objective is the exchange of knowledge.

The future:

In the next 10 years, we should:

  1. Have successfully designed pertinent courses on the vocational level that are, at the same time both innovative and creative where the objective is the improvement of the student’s learning process
  2. Have increased our number of students
  3. Have raised our students’ level of satisfaction to the level of “very satisfied”
  4. Have improved the career opportunities for our graduates
  5. Have improved the level of satisfaction amongst our staff using appropriate external tests
  6. Have raised the number of students attending our courses in the Cantons where we are currently active, added other Cantons to our sphere of operations and established ourselves with a reputation for quality
  7. Be recognised and benefit from a reputation with both individuals and with companies in Switzerland for offering quality further education in the specialised field of alcoholic beverages and the production thereof


  1. We operate on the principle of academic freedom
  2. We contribute to economical prosperity, cohesion and social well-being
  3. We are motivated by a constant search to stimulate innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship amongst our students, our staff and the organisations we work with
  4. We aim to work in long-term partnerships, with external organisations, and we encourage teamwork within our institution
  5. We firmly believe that we improve ourselves and become stronger by listening and learning from all who make use of our services
  6. We pursue the continual improvement of our services, and do everything possible to be more client oriented and use the advances in technology in an appropriate manner
  7. As an organisation we respect one another and value the diversity and equality of opportunity which are available to us
  8. We value our staff and strive to support them in the development of their knowledge, experience and skills for their professional well-being and the institution’s benefit
  9. We aim to respect the environment and the communities we are active in
  10. We strive to raise the awareness of all our students and staff of the implicit responsibility and the dangers of working in a domain with alcoholic beverages

Amended and updated, in July 2017 by Byron P. Catéchis

accreditations & partners

We are accredited/certified by

The Wine and Spirit Education Trust

Over 94,822 students, in over 80+ countries and 19 languages sat WSET® examinations in the year 2017/2018.    
An organisation with educational charity status, the WSET® is the only wine and spirit educational entity approved by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, the UK government’s regulator for education. We are currently accredited by the Wine and Spirit Education Trust to offer all courses up to the Diploma level. We are currently not eligible to offer the Diploma course, but aim to offer it in the near future.

We are an official examination centre for the Institute of Brewing and Distilling examinations. The IBD qualifications are recognised in over 100 countries in the world.

Our courses support candidates in the preparation leading to the IBD qualifications in Brewing and Distilling by covering the practical aspect

Our partners & customers:​​​


logo-civc TW





We also run workshops and courses in the following Educational Institutions:


terms and conditions

Course Registration:

Registration can be made by phone, email, post, or online. Please note that the registration is binding in each case. 

Cancellation/Course transfer policy :

The participant can postpone their participation in a course, free of charge up to 5 working days prior to the first day of the course. In the case of a later cancellation or transfer, the full course fee is due.

Exceptions to this rule are the WSET® courses where the minimum deadline for cancellations/course transfers is 1 month. The full examination fee for the WSET® courses will be due when a transfer to another course is requested less than three weeks prior to the examination date.

Please note that all cancellations or course transfers need to be made in writing (email or post).

Course fees are not refunded.

This offer is subject to the condition that the minimum number of registrations are met to run the course. Should the minimum number of participants not be met, l’école du vin – Seeland reserves the right to cancel the course. The already registered students will automatically be registered for the following session in the form of a credit. The candidate wishing to cancel their registration, is required to inform Byron Catéchis for l’école du vin Seeland, in writing. The telephone or email notifications have no validity in this case. Refunds will made minus an administration charge of CHF 50.—as well as any other services such as examination fees.

Attendance – candidates are expected to attend all classes, should a candidate not be able to attend one day’s classes or three units during a module, the candidate will be required to complete the missing units or day’s classes at the next course availability and then sit the examination. The candidate will be liable for any extra costs incurred unless a medical certificate is provided within 7 days of the date of the absence specifying the reason for the absence. A certificate of attendance can only be issued when a candidate has attended all classes within the module.

Special Needs / Learning Difficulties – please inform us of any special needs you may have at the time of course registration or four weeks prior to the examination date (whichever is the longest) along with the supporting official (medical) documentation as appropriate.

Please note: for all our courses involving tasting, you need to be of the legal age for the consumption of wine, fortified wine, spirits and or sake according to the Canton of the course location. Please note, that the legal age is probably not the same for all the aforementioned beverages, but this can vary according to the Canton.


Conditions Générales:

L’inscription peut être effectuée par téléphone, courrier électronique, poste, ou en ligne. Veuillez noter que l’enregistrement est ferme dans chaque cas.

Politique d’annulation / transfert de cours:

Le participant peut reporter sa participation à un cours gratuitement jusqu’à 5 jours ouvrables avant le premier jour du cours. Dans le cas d’une annulation ou d’un transfert ultérieur, les frais de cours entiers sont dues.

Les exceptions à cette règle sont les cours WSET® où le délai minimum pour les annulations / transferts de cours est de 1 mois. Les frais d’examen complet pour les cours WSET® seront dues lorsqu’un transfert à un autre cours est demandé moins de trois semaines avant la date d’examen.

Veuillez noter que toutes les annulations ou les transferts de cours doivent être effectués par écrit (courrier électronique ou poste).

Cette offre est sujette à la clause conditionnelle qu’il doit y avoir le nombre minimum de candidat inscrit au cours pour que celui ci soit maintenu. Dans le cas contraire, les inscriptions déjà enregistrées seront automatiquement reportées sur la prochaine session sous forme de crédit. Le candidat souhaitant annuler son inscription doit prévenir Byron Catéchis pour l’école du vin – Seeland par écrit. Les demandes par téléphone et internet ne seront pas prises en compte. Modalités d’annulation le cours payé sera remboursé moins 50.- CHF charge de l’administration ainsi que les prestations spéciales telles que les examens.

Présence – les candidats sont censés assister à toutes les classes, si un candidat ne pourra pas assister à une journée des classes ou trois unités pendant un cours, le candidat sera obligé de compléter les unités manquantes ou les jours de classe à la prochaine séance du cours, puis se soumettre à l’examen. Le candidat sera facturé les frais supplémentaires à moins qu’un certificat médical est fourni dans les 7 jours à compter de la date de l’absence. Un certificat de participation ne peut être délivré que si un candidat a assisté à toutes les classes à l’intérieur du module.

Besoins spécifiques / Difficultés d’apprentissage: – veuillez nous informer au moment de la registration ou quatre semaines avant la date de l’examen (selon laquelle est la plus longue) dans le cas où vous avez des besoins spécifiques en nous soumettant les documents (médicales officiels) nécessaires.

Veuillez noter: – pour tous nos cours qui incluent la dégustation des vins, vins fortifiés, spiritueux et saké, vous devez être de l’âge légal dans le Canton où le cours est organisé. Veuillez noter que l’âge légal n’est pas nécessairement le même pour toutes les boissons mentionnées, mais la loi peut varier selon le Canton.

Allgemeine Geschäftsbedingungen:


Die Anmeldung zu einer Veranstaltung erfolgt telefonisch, per E-Mail, mittels oder Online-Anmeldung. Die Anmeldung ist für den Teilnehmenden auf jeden Fall verbindlich.

Verschiebung, Annullierung:

Der oder die Teilnehmende kann bis 5 Arbeitstage vor der Veranstaltung den Kurs kostenfrei verschieben. Bei späterer Absage ist grundsätzlich der volle Veranstaltungsbeitrag fällig. Im Fall einer späteren Verschiebung oder Annullierung ist die volle Kursgebühr fällig.

Von dieser Regelung ausgenommen sind alle WSET- Kurse. Hier beträgt die minimale Frist für Absagen/Verschiebungen 1 Monat.

Prüfungen des WSET können nur bis spätestens 3 Wochen vor dem Prüfungstermin verschoben bzw. annulliert werden. Für Verschiebungen nach diesem Termin ist die volle Prüfungsgebühr geschuldet.

Bitte beachten Sie, dass Verschiebungen/Annullierungen immer schriftlich (E-mail oder Post) erfolgen müssen.

Sollte die Mindestanzahl von Teilnehmer nicht erreicht werden, behaltet l’école du vin Sàrl das Recht vor, den Kurs zu stornieren, oder beziehungsweise, zu verschieben. Die registrierte Studenten werden automatisch für den nächsten Kurs ohne zusätzlichen Kosten angemeldet. Der Student, der seine Kursteilnahme stornieren möchte, soll Herrn Byron Catéchis (für die Firma l’école du vin – Seeland) schriftlich informieren. Telefonische oder per Emailmeldungen haben keine  Rechtliche Validität in diesem Fall. Kursgelder werden erstattet in spezielle Fälle minus Administrationskosten von CHF 50.– sowie andere Dienste wie Prüfungsgebühren. 

Anwesenheit – Es wird erwartet, dass Kandidaten bei alle Kurstage anwesend sind. Wenn ein Kandidat einen Kurstag oder drei Einheiten während den Kurs abwesend ist, wird der Kandidat automatisch zum nächsten Kurs verwiesen, um die fehlenden Einheiten oder Kurstag nachzuholen. Erst dann wird der Kandidat die Prüfung ablegen dürfen. Der Kandidat haftet für etwaige zusätzliche Kosten, es sei denn, ein ärztliches Attest wird innerhalb von 5 Werktagen nach der Abwesenheit vorweisen kann. Ein Zeugnis der Teilnahme kann nur ausgestellt werden, wenn ein Kandidat bei alle Einheiten des Kurses anwesend war.

Besondere Bedürfnisse / Lernschwierigkeiten: – bitte teilen Sie uns Ihre Lernschwierigkeiten bei der Kursanmeldung mit, oder vier Wochen vor dem Prüfungstermin (je nachdem, welche die längste).  Lassen Sie gleichzeitig die benötigte (ärztliche) Zeugnisse uns zukommen.

Bitte merken Sie: – für alle Kurse die Verkostungen beinhalten, muss der Teilnehmer von Gesetzlichen Alter für Wein, Gespritete Weine, Spirituosen und Sake sein. Diese Regel bezieht sich auf den Standort wo der Kurs stattfinden wird. Bitte beachten Sie, dass das gesetzliche Alter ist wahrscheinlich nicht gleich für alle genannte alkoholische Getränke, dies kann aber nach Kanton variieren. 

Termini e condizioni:

Iscrizione al corso:

L’iscrizione può essere fatta per telefono, e-mail, posta, o online. Si prega di notare che la registrazione è vincolante in ogni caso.

Politica di trasferimento di cancellazione:

Il partecipante può rinviare la loro partecipazione ad un corso, gratuitamente fino a 7 giorni antecedente del primo giorno di corso. In caso di cancellazione o trasferimento ulteriore, il prezzo del corso è dovuto.

Le eccezioni a questa regola sono i corsi WSET® in cui il termine minimo per cancellazioni o trasferimenti dal corso è di 1 mese. La tassa di esame completo per i corsi WSET® sarà dovuto al momento della richiesta di un trasferimento a meno di tre settimane prima della data d’esame del corso.

Si prega di notare che tutte le cancellazioni o trasferimenti dei corsi devono essere fatte per iscritto (e-mail o posta).

Gli spese del corso non sono rimborsati.

Questa offerta è soggetta alla condizione che il numero minimo di iscrizioni sono soddisfatte per eseguire il corso. Se il numero minimo di partecipanti non sarà raggiunto, l’école du Vin – Seeland si riserva il diritto di annullare il corso. Gli studenti già iscritti verranno automaticamente registrate per la successiva sessione nella forma di credito. Il candidato che desidera cancellare la loro registrazione, è tenuto ad informare Byron Catéchis per l’école du vin – Seeland, per iscritto. Le notifiche di telefono o e-mail non hanno alcuna validità in questo caso. I rimborsi saranno fatti meno una tassa amministrativa di CHF 50.-, così come tutti gli altri servizi, quali tasse di esame.

Presenze – i candidati sono tenuti a partecipare a tutte le classi, se un candidato non è in grado di partecipare a una giornata di classi o tre unità durante un corso, il candidato verrà richiesto di completare le unità mancanti o la giornata dei classi alla prossima disponibilità di corso e poi prendere l’esame. Il candidato sarà responsabile per eventuali costi aggiuntivi sostenuti a meno che un certificato medico è previsto entro 5 giorni lavorativi dalla assenza. Un attestato di frequenza può essere pubblicato solo quando un candidato ha partecipato a tutte le classi all’interno del corso.

Bisogni speciali / difficoltà di apprendimento – Vi preghiamo di comunicarci eventuali esigenze particolari si possono avere al momento della registrazione al corso o quattro settimane prima della data del esame (a seconda di quale è il più lungo) insieme con la documentazione di supporto ufficiale (medico) a seconda dei casi.

Si prega di notare: per tutti i nostri corsi che coinvolgono la degustazione, è necessario avere l’età legale per il consumo di vino, vino fortificato, liquori e sake o secondo il Cantone che il corso avrà luogo. Si noti, che l’età legale non è probabilmente la stessa per tutte le bevande di cui sopra, ma può variare a seconda del Cantone.