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Texas Grape Man

Texan, Thomas Volney Munson (1843-1913), of Denison saved the vineyards of France from phylloxera in 1868. The disease destroyed most of the grapevines in France, decimating their wine industry. Munson, known

as T.V., was a renowned horticulturist with expertise in viticulture. The

French government requested his help. He developed a phylloxera-

resistant rootstock from native Texas vinifera. He shipped cuttings to

France, which were grafted onto French vines. The hardy rootstock of

Texas grapevines thrived in the French soil, therefore saving the vineyards

of France.

The French government sent a delegation to Denison to present T.V. the

“French Legion of Honor” in 1888. Cognac, France and Denison, Texas

became sister cities. In France, monuments were erected in his honor. One

hundred years later, the T.V. Munson Viticulture and Enology Center was

established on the campus of Grayson College in Sherman, Texas.

For more information on T.V. Munson, I recommend Grape Man of

Texas, Authors Roy E. Renfro, Jr., and Sherrie S. McLeRoy.

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