Vinita: Historical Home
Thomas Volney Munson (1843-1913), the internationally known horticulturist from Denison, Texas developed over 300 varieties of new grape varieties specifically for the American South and Southwest. He is perhaps best known for his work in fighting the phylloxera epidemic of the late nineteenth century, which nearly wiped out the world's vineyards. His solution – grafting Vitis vinifera onto certain resistant native rootstocks from Texas – earned him the Chevalier du Mérite Agricole in the French Legion of Honor and numerous accolades from around the world. Munson belonged to and was honored by a number of viticultural and scientific associations and was considered a leader in the new scientific movement of the time for his cutting-edge work in breeding plant varieties, some of which are still important in modern viticulture and research.
Viticulture Enology Center The T.V. Munson Viticulture Enology Center was dedicated by dignitaries from around the world September 10, 1988. As an instructional site, the 5,000 square-foot facility houses a library for research documents and historic memorabilia; classroom and office space; workroom facilities for processing grape plants, juice and wine. Additionally, the Center has classrooms for the delivery of lectures, seminars, workshops and demonstrations. Academic credit and credit-free courses, as well as meetings, are conducted in the facility. As a repository and research site, the Center houses an extensive set of written materials related to the areas of viticulture and enology. Among these documents are historical materials written about, and by T.V. Munson regarding the breeding of grapes native to this area of the world. The Center is located on the West Campus of Grayson County College, Denison, Texas.
Memorial Vineyard The T.V. Munson Memorial Vineyard was established in 1974 on the West Campus of Grayson County College through the generosity of the W.B. Munson Foundation in memory of T.V. Munson. Dr. Munson experimented with and developed over three hundred varieties of grapes in the Denison, Texas area. Different varieties of his grapes are exhibited in each section of the vineyard, with one section reserved for producing stock for grape culture in the surrounding area. The W.B. Munson Foundation has also provided a greenhouse and a storage and equipment building.
Winery Dr. and Mrs. John Anderson, Denton, Texas donated their winery, Schoppaul Hill to the Grayson County College Foundation, Inc. for use in the College's Viticulture and Enology Program in 1997. Grayson County College has been training students for the grape and wine industry in the Southwestern United States for over thirty years. The College offers both a certificate and an associates degree in viticulture and enology in the T. V. Munson Viticulture and Enology Center located on the West Campus of Grayson County College.
The winery strengthens the program by providing hands on instruction in wine production. Over 250 students annually take advantage of the training provided through the unique program. Classes are offered in a format that is in tune with its students. Classes are taught on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays to better serve the diverse student population. The program is now drawing international students from wine producing nations around the world.
The 35,000-gallon winery, located in Ivanhoe, Texas, is modern in every aspect and has been in operation as a commercial winery for over ten years. Dr. Roy Renfro, Executive Director of the GCC Foundation, Inc. states that, "the Foundation is extremely appreciative of the generosity of Dr. and Mrs. Anderson and that the gift significantly enhances the quality of our program by providing cutting edge technology in wine production processes."