Denison wine festival honors 'Grape Man of Texas' - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Denison wine festival honors 'Grape Man of Texas'

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A portrait of Denison wine expert T.V. Munson. (KTEN) A portrait of Denison wine expert T.V. Munson. (KTEN)

DENISON, Texas -- The Denison Wine Festival is this weekend. That means food, music, and -- of course -- wine.

One name you'll hear a lot at the event is T.V. Munson. Also known as the "Grape Man of Texas,"  Munson, who died in 1913, spent most of his life in Denison as a horticulturist and grape producer.

"He's been known to say that Texas was his grape paradise," explained Grayson College viticulture professor Andrew Snyder. "So he found the native grapes here in Texas, he used that grape root stock to hybridize and cross-pollinate grapes."

In the late 1800s, a disease spread through France's vineyards and devastated that country's wine industry.  Munson's work saved them.

"The French actually gave him the Legion Medal of Honor. He's the second person to ever receive that after Thomas Edison," Snyder said.

So it just makes sense to have a wine festival in Denison.

"Munson has written his name across the city of Denison -- whether it's Munson Street, Munson Park or Munson Stadium," Snyder said. "Munsons still live and thrive here in Denison, and so his legacy will always be remembered and is very important to the city."

The Denison Wine Festival is Saturday from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. in Heritage Park.