Grape Man of Texas, the first biography of Thomas V. Munson, Texan who saved the world’s grape crops from the scourge of phyloxera more than 100 years ago, has been named “Best Wine Book in the World” in the prestigious 2005 Gourmand International competition, according to Virginia Messer, publisher at Eakin Press in Austin (TX). The award for the new book by Texans Sherrie S. McLeRoy and Roy E. Renfro was presented Friday (February 11) in Obrero, Sweden. Both authors were on hand to accept the award. Earlier, Grape Man of Texas had been named “Best Wine Book in the English Language” by Gourmand International in Madrid, Spain. Grape Man of Texas chronicles the life and work of internationally known Texas horticulturist Thomas Volney Munson. Working from his North Texas base, Munson not only developed more than 300 new grape varieties suited for production in the Southern United States, but also gained worldwide acclaim for his winning fight against the deadly phyloxera epidemic of the late 19th century which almost wiped out the world’s grape production. His solution involved grafting vinifera onto certain native Texas rootstocks, and it earned him the Chevalier du Merite Agricole in the French Legion of Honor as well as numerous other accolades.