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Thomas Volney Munson Memorial Vineyard

KPRC-TV

Sound | 1970s

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  •  Brief history of Perrin Air Force Station 
  •  Preparing land for grape growing 
  •  Cultivating grape cuttings 
 
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This 1970s news segment for Houston’s KPRC-TV profiles the former Perrin Air Force Station in Denison, detailing the history of the base and plans for future use of the property. Much of the site was donated to Grayson College, who set aside part of the land for a Thomas Volney Munson Memorial Vineyard. Munson was a world-renowned horticulturist and viticulturist who lived in Denison from 1876 to 1913. Grayson College opened the vineyard in 1975 to honor Munson as well as cultivate some of his grape varieties. In the segment, an unidentified reporter visits the vineyard site as well as the hothouse where some of Munson’s
Thomas Volney Munson (1843 -1913) was a world-renowned horticulturist and viticulturist. He moved to Denison, Texas, in 1876. Inspired by the state’s biodiversity, Muson soon began a series of collection trips across the United States and Mexico. Publishing his observations on the classification, hybridization, and varieties of native grape species, he became the definitive source on American grapes in horticultural society. Munson’s grape expertise went global when he provided phylloxera-resistant rootstock from the Texas native Vitis berlandieri to French growers. Grafted with varieties of Vitis vinifera, the rootstock helped rescue the French wine industry from devastating losses. For his service, the French government awarded Munson the Legion of Honor Chevalier du Mérite Agricole in 1888. The only other American to receive the honor at that time was Thomas Edison. Muson was the founder and president of the Texas Horticulture Society. He was also a member of the American Horticultural Society and the American Pomological Society. Muson died in Denison on January 21, 1913. In 1975, Grayson College established the Thomas Volney Munson Memorial Vineyard to honor the esteemed horticulturist and cultivate some of his grape varieties. In 1988, the college opened the Viticulture and Enology Center.