Michel Rochat, the head of the École Hotelière de Lausanne, has been named president of the Office des Vins Vaudois, the canton’s wine promotion body. He succeeds Pierre Keller as of January 2019. Keller will have served in the part-time post for 8 years when he leaves; he has heavily promoted Vaud wines outside Switzerland, helping Chasselas in particular make a name for itself in Japan.
Rochat has a long experience of tourism in Switzerland as well as the wine industry and education; for several years he was responsible for higher level education in canton Vaud and he has served on the board of Changins, near Nyon, the viti- and viniculture educational centre, as well as other boards.
This year marks a period of change for the OVV, with Nicolas Joss leaving as director, to be replaced at the end of this month by Benjamin Gehrig, currently assistant director – who is a graduate of the EHL.
The school is well-known in the hospitality industry for its strong network of alumni, which should be an asset for Vaud wines in months to come.