North Carolina People, Places, and Things-June 23
I am the dad to five adult children. As they were growing up I attempted to remind them they were special and to implore them to learn something new. My goal was to do that daily.
In 2016 my goal is to learn something new daily on the people, places, and things that make North Carolina special. Everyday this year I am doing a post on what I have learned new.
There has been a growth in the State of North Carolina in establishment of wineries since 2000. In the mid-19th Century, there were some 25 wineries in North Carolina, with extensive independent vineyards, to the extent that North Carolina dominated the national market for American wines at the time. The Scuppernong grape was the primary source for North Carolina’s 19th Century wine, as it had been for about two centuries.
When I read that about Scuppernong I was confused because I thought North Carolinians had been making wine from Muscadine grapes. I went researching what the difference was if any.
Muscadine grapes shown on the left and Scuppernong on the right. The photos really looked the same.
Both Muscadine and Scuppernong grapes are indigenous to the Southeast region of the U.S. They grow both wild and domestically in backyards and on farms from Arkansas to the Carolina’s and everywhere South of there.
Muscadine and Scuppernong are a couple of names that are sometimes used loosely to mean the same grape, but in reality, a Scuppernong is a particular variety of Muscadine. So, technically you could call any Scuppernong grape a Muscadine, but you couldn’t call any Muscadine grape a Scuppernong.
Over the decades Muscadines have been domesticated and grafted into varying sizes and color. Today, there are an endless list of Muscadine varieties. While Scuppernong is a variety of Muscadine it is not considered a hybrid or cultivar. It has been know to be in existence since at least the 1600’s and has been domesticated in its own right.
North Carolina ranks tenth in both grape and wine production in the United States. The state’s wine industry continues to expand, and today is one of the United States’ five most visited state destinations for wine and culinary tourism.
North Carolina top selling winery is Duplin Winery which is located in Rose Hill, NC.
Duplin has a tank capacity of over 1.4 million gallons, is the largest winery in the South, and produces the bestselling wine in North Carolina. Over 100,000 visitors experience our Rose Hill winery and production facility each year.
Duplin’s award winning North Carolina wines include Magnolia, featured in Martha Stewart Living as a favorite summertime wine, Hatteras Red, a North Carolina favorite enjoyed with good ‘ol southern barbecue, and Scuppernong, the oldest wine in America.
I learned a lot about muscadine and scuppernong grapes but unfortunately I am not a fan of sweet wines.