[NAFEX] Roy Renfro
jakuehn at verizon.net
Mon Sep 5 15:59:27 EDT 2005
...and is this something we should print in Pomona?
On Jul 31, 2005, at 6:50 PM, Lon J. Rombough wrote:
> There is a direct NAFEX connection here because the late W.E. Dancy,
> who was a major player in collecting Munson varieties for the Munson
> Memorial Vineyard, was a founder of NAFEX.
> -Lon Rombough
> Roy E. Renfro Jr.
> Professor bolsters legacy of North Texan who saved French wine industry
> 03:58 PM CDT on Saturday, July 30, 2005
> By DIANA KUNDE / Special Contributor to The Dallas Morning News
> More than a century ago, a tall North Texan won a French Legion of
> Honor medal for his role in rescuing the French wine industry from the
> deadly pest phylloxera. Thomas Volney "T.V." Munson, a Denison
> horticulturist, helped the French find disease-resistant native Texas
> grapes that could be grafted with French vines.
> JIM MAHONEY/DMN
> Roy E. Renfro Jr. is a booster of the Texas wine industry and
> sometimes blends his own vintages. He’s a founder of the Texas Wine
> and Grape Growers Association.
> Fast-forward to 1974. Roy E. Renfro Jr. was a newly appointed
> agriculture professor at Grayson County College. He volunteered to
> help the Munson family foundation build a legacy for its ancestor,
> whose work was largely forgotten in his home state.
> It was to be a career-altering decision.
> Today, Dr. Renfro, 59, is director of the T.V. Munson Viticulture
> (grape-growing) and Enology (wine-making) Center, as well as a vice
> president of the college.
> He helped found the community college's degree program in viticulture
> and enology, which brings in about 250 students a semester. He's a
> co-founder of the sister-city program between Denison and Cognac,
> France – where Munson shipped his life-saving rootstocks. He's a
> founder of the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association.
> This year he and co-author Sherrie S. McLeRoy were feted in Örebro,
> Sweden, as winners of the Gourmand world award for their biography of
> Munson, Grape Man of Texas (Eakin Press, $39.95).
> A farmer's son from Lannius, just east of Bonham, the soft-spoken
> educator now jets to Cognac and elsewhere in the French wine-growing
> regions. He has won two French medals himself for his work
> popularizing Munson's history.
> And he hobnobs with the likes of Art Smith, Oprah Winfrey's personal
> chef, whom he met in Örebro.
> He likes to paint. He likes to cook for his family. And the Pottsboro
> resident occasionally blends his own vintages, working with an
> enologist. Most of all, he's passionate about the Texas wine industry
> and its potential.
> Dr. Renfro spoke to The Dallas Morning News at the T.V. Munson Center
> and nearby instructional winery.
> What has it been like to spend much of your working life memorializing
> another man – one who died before you were born?
> It's really been a journey of enjoyment, high respect and much more
> respect for the man as I've gotten to know him better. It's been a joy
> and a treat to be able to show him off. ... He was a hidden entity,
> and still is in many cases, in the states. If you're in France,
> Germany and Italy, he's well-known in the wine world.
> What do you like about him?
> The main thing I really liked about him was his sense of purpose. He
> had a drive within him; he knew what he wanted to do, and he spent his
> entire lifetime doing just that. Trying to create a better plant on
> this Earth. As Thomas Jefferson said, the most useful thing a man can
> do is add a plant to the world.
> Most people, I'm guessing, don't think of North Texas as a place for
> grapes. You think of prairie, you think hot, maybe you think of the
> Dallas Cowboys – but you don't think wine. Yet Munson, I read in your
> book, called it a "grape paradise." And I take it that you agree.
> Wholeheartedly. His reason for saying that was because there were 12
> to 15 different grapes growing along the Red River when he got here.
> Wild grapes. And he could choose from those to hybridize with the
> improved varieties already in existence along the East Coast. It's
> still that way today.
> How long will it take Texas to get to the level of a California for
> wine, as far as reputation and perhaps knowledge?
> I don't know what time frame to put on it. But if I had my guesses,
> with the growth of the industry as it's happening now, and with the
> knowledge that's been gained up to this point ... I'm guessing that
> our wine industry will at least quadruple within the next 10 years.
> Wow. And what is it now?
> I think we have approximately 100 approved wineries in Texas. And I'm
> saying we'll have probably 400 or more. I really think Texas will grow
> at a more rapid rate than many of the big winery states because of all
> the knowledge that we have at this point in time.
> What's your favorite Texas wine?
> You've asked me an impossible question. I would just say that we've
> come a long way in the last 10 years, as far as quality is concerned,
> I would say that the [medal-]winning wineries in the state are doing
> an excellent job; they've chosen the right varieties for their locale.
> Among those would be Becker [in the Hill Country], Messina Hof [Bryan]
> and Lone Oak [Valley View] here in our region. There are many, many
> What do you like most about your job?
> You'd have to say the students. They come in with such enthusiasm and
> vision of what they want. Sometimes we pop their bubbles the first
> day. We don't couch grape growing as a glorious thing. It's hard work.
> It's agriculture.
> What would you like to see here ultimately, as Munson's heritage?
> Well, my latest venture with him is that I've secured his home, which
> was built in 1887, and I'm currently into the renovation. Probably,
> the ultimate culmination will be when we get that completed and open
> to the public as a museum, hopefully by the fall of 2006.
> Diana Kunde is an Arlington freelance writer. She can be reached at
> dikunde at sbcglobal.net
> This text is invisible on the page, but this text is affected by the
> invisible item's flow. This text is invisible on the page, but this
> text is affected by the invisible item's flow.
> nafex mailing list
> nafex at lists.ibiblio.org
> **YOU MUST BE SUBSCRIBED TO POST!**
> All other messages are discarded.
> No exceptions.
> To subscribe or unsubscribe, go to the bottom of this page (also can
> be used to change other email options):
> File attachments are NOT stripped by this list
> TAKE STEPS TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM COMPUTER VIRUSES!
> Please do not send binary files.
> Use plain text ONLY in emails!
> Message archives are here:
> NAFEX web site: http://www.nafex.org/
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Size: 8061 bytes
Desc: not available
Url : http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/private/nafex/attachments/20050905/a1264648/attachment.bin
More information about the nafex