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FAMILY LEGACY
Thomas Volney (T.V.) Munson

The Grape Man of Texas: T.V. Munson

"His studies were instrumental in saving the European grape and wine industry from disaster"

TV Munson Headshot
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1843- 1913
 

Thomas Volney Munson, viticulturist, son of William and Maria (Linley) Munson, was born at Astoria, Illinois, on September 26, 1843. He became one of the leading experts in native American grape species, and his studies were instrumental in saving the European grape and wine industry from disaster during the late nineteenth century. 

Much of Munson's work centered around improving the different varieties of American grapes, and his studies led to the introduction of more than 300 grape varieties. In 1909 he published his Foundations of American Grape Culture, which became the standard reference for grape culture in the United States.

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The French government sent a delegation to Denison to confer on Munson the French Legion of Honor Chevalier du Mérite Agricole. Munson also received numerous other awards and honors throughout his life.

1888

1898

T.V. Munson was elected as a foreign corresponding member of the Société Nationale d'Agriculture de France and as an honorary member in the Société des Viticulteurs de France. 

1903-1904

He was a founder and served as president of the Texas Horticulture Society and was a member of the American Horticultural Society and the American Pomological Society. He was also a member of the Texas World's Fair Commission in 1903–04 and in 1904 was on the International Jury of Awards for the St. Louis Exposition.

TV Munson grape varieties
TV Munson grape varieties

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TV Munson grape varieties
TV Munson grape varieties

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TV Munson grape varieties
TV Munson grape varieties

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TV Munson grape varieties
TV Munson grape varieties

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Munson Family in Front of the Vinita Home_edited
Munson Family in Front of the Vinita Home_edited

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TV Munson grape varieties
TV Munson grape varieties

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T. V. Munson's grave marker
T. V. Munson's grave marker

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Munson Family in Front of the Vinita Home_edited
Munson Family in Front of the Vinita Home_edited

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The University of Kentucky awarded him an honorary doctor of science degree.

1906

Munson continued to live in Denison with his wife and seven children until he passed away, on January 21, 1913.

1913

In 1975 Grayson College in the Sherman-Denison area established a Thomas Volney Munson Memorial Vineyard to recognize Munson's contribution to horticulture and to cultivate and preserve many of the Munson grape varieties.

1975

In 1988 the T. V. Munson Viticulture and Enology Center opened next to the vineyard. Several statues honoring Munson have been erected in France. 

1988

 

Experience the History
of T.V. Munson Today

Visit the Vinita House

T.V. Munson's Family Home & Texas Historical Landmark

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Experience a tour of T.V. Munson's family home and now Texas Historical Landmark. Through the efforts of Renfro and the W.B. Munson Foundation, Munson’s 1887 home has been restored. Munson and his family lived in the Vinita home while he was conducting research to help France save their vineyards from root disease. Munson, his wife, and seven children lived in the 10-room Victorian home until his death in 1913. The home was built of brick and wood trim in 1887. It is located at 530 W. Hanna St. in Denison, Texas.  

 

 

To request a tour of the Vinita House, contact Cindy Perez at perezc@grayson.edu

Tour the T.V. Munson Viticulture Center

Dedicated to T.V. Munson's life work

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Located at Grayson College, the T.V. Munson Viticulture Center is home to one of the finest viticulture and enology programs in the southern United States. There are 65 varieties of the original Munson root stock growing at the T.V. Munson Memorial Vineyard. 

Each fall, cuttings are collected and shipped to grape growers and breeders across the U.S. To request cuttings, send an email to hullr@grayson.edu. 

Tours of the Vineyard are available upon request. Please contact Andrew Snyder at snydera@grayson.edu.

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Read the Grape Man of Texas

Purchase the book to delve into the origins of American viticulture

 
Grape Man of Texas Book
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Calling all wine lovers! The Grape Man of Texas is the first biography of Thomas Volney Munson (1843-1913), the internationally recognized horticulturist who developed over 300 new varieties of grapes, some of which are still grown today on almost every continent. He is perhaps best known for his work in fighting the phylloxera epidemic of the late nineteenth century, which nearly destroyed the world’s vineyards.

 

This second edition introduces new insights into the phylloxera period, Munson’s many papers and publications, and his far-sighted grasp of the needs of twentieth-century agriculture and transportation. It details the continuing influence of both his research and his hybrid grapes on modern viticulture and new varieties of vitis that have been bred from them around the world