June 20, 2024

Food and Hospitality

PHOTOS: Hospitality students visit an Italian winery

A Tuscan vineyard becomes a classroom on a study-abroad trip this summer.

June 20, 2024

An Italian winery became a classroom for students in the School of Hospitality at Metropolitan State University. This summer, Michael Wray, Ph.D., and Bernardo Alatorre took study-abroad students on a private tour of the Banfi Winery in Montalcino, Italy, in Tuscany in early June. The winery sponsors students to attend an International Studies class in which Wray and Alatorre discuss the importance of the Banfi Winery and its impact on the American market. In 2023, Banfi sold 10 million bottles of wine, led by its award-winning Brunello.

Kenn Bisio, retired MSU Denver professor emeritus and world-renowned photojournalist, documents the day.


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Perugia, Italy. MSU Denver students wait to board the chartered bus for a field trip to the Banfi Winery in Montalcino, Italy (Tuscany). Left to right: Bobbi Kramer, Avery Bailey, Mark Kramer and Bryant Wright. Photo by Kenn Bisio
Montalcino, Italy. Professor Michael Wray, Ph.D., plays tour guide and historian on the bus to the Banfi Winery. Wray is teaching in Italy this summer (2024) in Perugia. Photo by Kenn Bisio
Banfi Winery, Montalcino, Italy (Tuscany). Michael Wray talks of the importance of the Banfi Winery and the impact its wine, Riunite, had on the American wine market. The sales of Riunite helped launch what is known today as the Banfi Winery in Italy. In 2023, Banfi sold 10 million bottles of wine, led by its award-winning Brunello. Photo by Kenn Bisio
Montalcino, Italy. June 7, 2024. MSU Denver student Taylor Neil, makes a photograph through a window at the Banfi Winery. Banfi sold 10 million bottles of wine in 2023. Photo by Kenn Bisio
Banfi Winery, Montalcino. MSU Denver Hospitality student Taylor Neil makes a group portrait of Michael Wray’s Summer International Studies class in Italy at the Banfi Winery. Left to right: Bernardo Alatorre, instructor and coordinator of Brewery Operations Program, his son, Sebastian Eduardo Alatorre (incoming first-year at MSU Denver), Avery Bailey, Trang Huynh, Bryant Wright and Bobbi Kramer. Back row: Professor Michael Wray, Ph.D., and Mark Kramer. Photo by Kenn Bisio
Montalcino, Italy. June 7, 2024. A tour of the Banfi Winery led by Paul Ense, guide and sommelier. Ense is talking about the two American brothers, John and Harry Mariani, and who bought 7,000 acres in the 1978 and planted vines to start Banfi Winery. Photo by Kenn Bisio
Banfi Winery, Montalcino, Italy. MSU Denver professor Bernardo Alatorre talks with MSU students at the Banfi Winery. Photo by Kenn Bisio
Banfi Winery, Montalcino, Italy. Michael Wray and Bernardo Alatorre pose in front of cask containing the famed Banfi Brunello wine. Photo by Kenn Bisio
Perugia, Italy. June 7, 2024. Sunrise on the day of the field trip to Banfi Winery. Photo by Kenn Bisio
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