Wine is proof that God loves us.
— Benjamin Franklin

The classes, articles and certification courses are meant to answer some of those questions. Marrying love  of wine and knowledge. 

Why study wine you might ask? 

There are so many advantages. Be it a business dinner, and you are able to pick the perfect wine for your prospective client. Or, you may find that this love may prompt you on a career in wine yourself. Build your foundation at Van Belle Academy.

Most Oenophiles have that moment. A span of space where what's your mouth, touches heart, soul and mind.

In the breadth of my career, I have been very fortunate to taste many wines. Be it a 1956 Mouton Rothschild, or a salty, fresh Pinot Auxerrois sitting across from a man I love.

Taste, and smell can transport us back in time and open a world of questions.

Our Teachers


Dieuwke Engelsma

Dieuwke started her career in science, studying Medical Biology, and later completing her PHd. She veered off into wine studying SDEN Level 4 and WSET level 4 (with merit) in 2013.

In 2008 she left science and started her new career in wine, working on the importing and trading aspect. Her focus shifting to teaching wine courses. She recently completed WSET certified educator course.


Jody Pollara

Jody Pollara has a Bachelor's degree in Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Management from the University of Delaware and a Higher Diploma from SSTH Swiss School of Hotel and Tourism Management.

Recently, Jody has achieved the WSET Diploma which is the highest certification awarded by the Wine and Spirit Education Trust, an international certifying body for wine professionals. Jody loves to share her passion for wine through education.

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Neil Tallantire

Neil has had a lifelong interest in wines and spirits. He was President of the Oxford University Wine Society and Captain of their successful Wine Tasting Team.

Although holding a Master’s Degree in Jurisprudence, Neil decided that a purely academic life was not for him. Neil subsequently spent much of his career in the beverage industry, initially working on Cognacs, Champagnes and Fortified Wines with Seagram in the UK, USA and Asia. More recently Neil worked at Diageo in a range of senior global and local roles in the wine and spirit categories.

Neil holds WSET’s dipSET as well as being an accredited educator for both wines and spirits.


Julee Resendez

Julee Resendez, was born into the wine industry. A granddaughter of Washington State vineyard proprietors, she spent the summers of her youth tending the vines.

With a background in journalism and communications, Julee started her career in the hospitality industry with a great passion for wine. She developed the wine programs for New York City Michelin-starred restaurants David Burke, Bouley, and Marcus Samuelsson.

Julee spent 9 years working in corporate distribution, importing, and supplier.

Julee holds WSET Level 3, Finishing Diploma 2019, Certified Sherry Educator and Certified WSET Educator.