Michele Caimotto, Head Sommelier at Restaurant de l’Hôtel de Ville - Chef Benoit Violier - in Crissier

Bye Marie Linder / June 8, 2015

Michele Caimotto is originally from Padua in the Veneto region. He spent his youth immersed in the world of gastronomy, taking part in the active life of the family restaurant. His father, renowned chef and bon vivant, always strives to enhance the quality of local products, authentic and tasty, such as homemade duck sausage that Michele likes to remember.

For this young sommelier of some of the best tables in Switzerland, good taste, respect for the land and the food is evident, and wine takes its natural place at the dinning table.

Michele first dedicated his time and energy to his university studies in biomedicine; back then his experiences in the hotel industry was just a way to earn some money on the side.

While working in his parent’s restaurant, he decided to take a little distance and began an extraordinary journey that will take him to Italy in 2005 as Chef de Rang, then London, where he will be the youngest employee of the legendary Orient Express train, followed by a job as sommelier at the famous Burj al Arab hotel in Dubai. There he was responsible for new wines acquisition for the seven restaurants of the hotel, he travelled around the world in search of new products and trained new sommeliers. It was a great time during which he rubbed shoulders with more than 100 nationalities and 60 different languages.


He returned to Europe as he was missing the vineyards he claims. There he was hired in various prestigious restaurants. While working in Gstaad Grand Hotel Park, 5 stars, Michele went, for an internship as an observer, to Hotel de Crissier, still under the leadership of Philippe Rochat. There he met Benoit Violier and took full advantage of this educational time.

He certainly made a strong impression with the two chefs since they later offered him the position of Chef Sommelier under Benoit Violier new leadership.

Michele loves wines with a soul and the personalities who produce them, because as he puts it nicely, “the winemaker is best placed to interpret the language of the land”.

Pinot noir is his favourite variety, but there is also room in the heart of sommelier for Chasselas, Chardonnay, or Riesling, which he describes as a sponge to the land, in the sense that they reflect their environment in more exacerbated way than other grapes.

Asked about his favourite Swiss wineries and Swiss wines, the list could be much longer, but he likes to mention wine producers that are vibrant such Blaise Duboux renowned winemaker in Epesses, Raymond Paccot who work at the Domaine de la Colombe in Féchy, Denis Mercier or Christophe Abbet in Valais Martigny, which he calls “the poet of wines”.

If you have the opportunity to be this exceptional sommelier’s hands, you will immediately be charmed, because of his gentle Italian manners and a subtle way of rolling the r. Michele passes the message an unparalleled way and it is a poem to hear him talk about the virtues of pairing a refined Gruyère with its Majesty the Dézaley Chasselas.

For the future, Michele has so many interest and ideas, that he will concede in a smile: “I do not know yet what I will do when I grow up”.