Denison and Cognac

Denison, Texas and Cognac, France are celebrating their 25th Anniversary as Sister Cities on the weekend of October 13-14, 2017.  The Mayor of Cognac, France, Mr. Michel Gourinchas, and a French delegation, will be in Denison as our honored guests for this most special event.  This particular weekend marks the birthdate of American President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was born in Denison, Texas.  His granddaughter, Ms. Mary Jean Eisenhower, will also be in Denison that weekend to dedicate a commemorative plaza surrounding the President Eisenhower statue.  Ms. Eisenhower is the CEO of People to People, Sister Cities International, and we are most happy the she and Mayor Gourinchas will be able to meet on this occasion.

The basis for the Denison-Cognac relationship began in 1887 when viticulturist Thomas Volney Munson devised a particular strain of grape stock that was resistant to the phylloxera blight which was ravishing the vineyards of France at that time.  Because the French were aware of T. V. Munson’s scientific discovery, Pierre Viala, the French Minister of Agriculture, came to Denison and sent many bushels of the vines back to France. The new Texas root stock was then grafted onto the ailing French vines, and the vineyards were saved, earning Munson the Chevalier du Merite Agricole, the French Legion of Honor.

**To learn more about American viticulturist, T. V. Munson, you may purchase the book, “The Grape Man of Texas: The Life of T.V. Munson” on Amazon, or visit  or

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