Muscadines vs. Scuppernongs

If you aren’t from the south, chances are you have never heard these names before. The first time I heard the words “Muscadine” and especially “Scuppernong”, I laughed out loud, trying to figure out how these words were really said without the southern accent . But as funny as they sound, this is really what these varieties of grapes are called.

Tonight, we bought three Scuppernong vines from a man who lives close by. Scuppernongs are Muscadines, they are just a “bronze” or golden colored version. Plain ol’ Muscadines are either black or red.

These grapes are huge compared to what we are used to seeing in the grocery stores. They are much sweeter too. I am already so anxious to make grape juice and jelly from them! The plants we got are two and three years old, so they should be producing by next summer. (If I don’t kill them, that is.)

The grower suggested that we get different varieties. So, we got a  “Tara”, a “Darlene”, and a “Pineapple”. Two are male plants, and one is a female. You need a male to fertilize a female plant, but the males are self-pollinating. You don’t have to worry about cross-pollination though, as each will stay true to its variety.

The man showed us around his property, obviously very proud of the orchard we saw there. He puts a lot of time into training and pruning all of those plants by hand.

The ones we got from him have already been trained up a 5 ft bamboo stick, and are ready to be trellised. I asked a lot of questions, and he was more than happy to give me all of the advice I needed on how to plant and grow them.

We really should have had the trellis system in place before getting the plants… but if you’ve been following me for any amount of time you know how we do things. We do plan on getting it all set up in the next day or so though. Once it’s finished, I’ll do a “How To” post on planting and trellising grapes.

I’ve been wanting grape vines ever since we moved out here! I’m so happy to finally have some ready to go. I really hope they make it. It will be so wonderful to have grapes every summer! Maybe next summer, if we do this right.

11 thoughts on “Muscadines vs. Scuppernongs”

  1. We had those when I grew up in South GA and when my daddy got where he wasn’t able to prune them any more they did cross. They were trellised on the same trellis so on one end we had scuppernongs and on the other muscadines but in the middle we had a light pink grape. They do make a beautiful jelly. And I really miss them.

  2. AWESOME! I totally hope they work out for you. We have a few vines ourselves and by next year they should be full on producing. Can’t wait to see your ‘How To’

  3. Ive always liked those things, I like the muscadines better, its funny, but Ive never thought of them as a type of grape, I guess they seem so unlike traditional grapes. I wonder if they are only a southern thing?

  4. That sounds great, Kendra, good for you! I don’t know what type of grapes flourish around my neck of the woods, but I know that there are wineries all over mid-MO! So, once we move out of our rental, I hope to invest in some vines… some day.

    Be sure to let us know how it goes!

  5. That’s the biggest thing I’ve missed about my parents moving from my home place. We picked both by the 5-gallon bucket, and I had more jelly and juice than I could keep up with. We never, ever, ever had to buy jelly, except the occasional strawberry. My favorite is the scuppernong by far, and the wine is outstanding – I buy mine from Duplin on the way back from the beach (or at Sam’s Club if I need a fix more than once a year).

    I did have one vine there that was both muscadine and scuppernong. (I love how the spell check makes them look even funnier with the big squiggly red line.) I don’t know if they grafted from not being pruned for years, or what, but it was super cool. Dad always thought one vine being male was rubbish. I had no idea it was true!

    One of our scuppernong vines at the old house, just getting ripe. Eating that first ripe grape was always an event.

    Good luck with these! They are so hardy! Let me know if you need help in a few years getting rid of them! *wink*

  6. Down where I am from we call the dark muscadines a ‘bullis’. We harvested our bullis from the vines last week. I steamed juiced them and canned the juice. Absolutely delicious!


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