This summer, New Mexico State University student Cordell Pacheco traveled more than 6,000 miles and crossed an ocean to learn about the wine and food industry in a way few students have experienced.
Pacheco, a senior in NMSU’s School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management, based in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, received a scholarship from the family-owned wine company Banfi Vinters to participate in a seven-day educational tour of Italy. He was the only student from New Mexico to participate in the trip from May 26 to June 2.
Pacheco was part of a group of hospitality students from 13 colleges in the United States and Ireland, including Cornell University, Auburn University, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and the Culinary Institute of America, who immersed themselves in Italian food culture, and visited prominent Italian wine producers in Strevi, Acqui Terme, Verona, Montalcino, Siena and Rome.
Bill Whiting, director of wine education for Banfi, and Elizabeth Koenig, the winery’s director of hospitality, led the tour, officially called the Banfi Scholastic Tour, which takes place every other year.
“The Banfi Vintner Foundation sponsors this trip to expose top food and beverage students to the depth of the wine and food industry in Italy,” said HRTM Director Jean Hertzman, who also took part in the trip.