Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Munson, T. V. (1843–1913), Texan credited with putting phylloxera-resistant roots on French vines, and saving Europe’s vineyards from devastation. Thomas Volney Munson was a lifelong student of viticulture, especially american vine species. At Kentucky University he became interested in texas and its grapes and travelled tens of thousands of miles in 40 states gathering wild vine specimens, and studying soils and climates. He travelled by horseback and train, hunting from rail cars and jumping off to collect specimens whenever the train stopped. In 1876, Munson settled on the Red River near Denison in Texas, which he described as a ‘grape paradise’ because of the six or eight species of wild vines there. He developed a vineyard and nursery business as well as becoming the authority on the wild grape species of North America. Munson’s passion was for vine breeding, and he produced about 300 varieties using local vitis species lincecumii, champini, and candicans. None however became commercially important.