Plant Features: Muscadine

Muscadines (Vitis rotundifolia) are a grapevine species native to the present-day southeastern United States that has been extensively cultivated since the 16th Century. Its recognized range in the United States extends from Delaware south to Florida, and west to Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. They are well adapted to their native warm and humid climate; they need fewer chilling hours than better-known varieties and they thrive on summer heat.

The muscadine berries range from bronze to dark purple to black in color when ripe. They have skin sufficiently tough that eating raw fruit often involves biting a small hole in the skin to suck out the pulp inside. Muscadines are not only eaten fresh, but also are used in making wine, juice, and jelly.

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Although sharing the genus Vitis with the other grapevine species, muscadines belong to a separate subgenus, Muscadinia (the other grapevine species belong to Euvitis), and some have suggested giving it standing as a genus of its own.

Some taxonomists have also suggested splitting two additional species off from Vitis rotundifolia: Vitis munsoniana and Vitis popenoei. All have 40 chromosomes, rather than 38, and are generally not cross-compatible with other “Vitis” species, and most hybrids between the subgenera are sterile.

A few, however, are at least moderately fertile and have been used in breeding. The cultivar ‘Southern Home’, released by the University of Florida, contains both muscadine and Euvitis in its background.

Unlike most cultivated grapevines, many muscadine cultivars are pistillate, and require a pollenizer to set fruit. A few, however, such as ‘Carlos’ and ‘Noble’, are perfect-flowered, and will produce fruit with their own pollen. They may also serve as pollenizers for pistillate cultivars, as well.

Best Muscadine Wine Brands

Duplin Winery

Duplin Winery, located in Rose Hill, North Carolina, has a long-standing reputation for producing some of the finest wines. Established in 1975 by the Fussell family, Duplin Winery has grown to become one of the largest wineries in the United States. The winery specializes in sweet muscadine wines, perfect for those who enjoy rich, fruity flavors.

Popular selections include Hatteras Red, Carolina Red, and the refreshingly sweet Magnolia. The winery also offers wine-tasting tours, allowing visitors to learn about the winemaking process and sample various wines.

Paulk Vineyards

Paulk Vineyards, based in Wray, Georgia, has a rich history dating back to 1970 when the Paulk family began cultivating muscadine grapes. Popular varieties include the Red, White, and the semi-sweet Blush.

Chateau Elan Winery & Resort

Chateau Elan Winery & Resort, located in Braselton, Georgia, offers a luxurious wine experience. The resort, established in 1981, features a winery, spa, golf course, and fine dining, making it a premier destination for wine enthusiasts.

Chateau Elan’s muscadine wines are crafted with precision, showcasing the versatility and unique flavors of the grape. Notable selections include the Muscadry, Duncan Creek, and the Summer Wine.

Each wine is meticulously produced to highlight the natural sweetness and distinctive taste of muscadine grapes.

Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards

Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards, situated in Clermont, Florida, is one of the largest wineries in the state. Established in 1989, Lakeridge Winery has made a name for itself with its extensive range of wines.

The flagship bottles include the Southern Red, Southern White, and the light and fruity Sunblush. They also offer guided tours, tastings, and various events throughout the year, providing a comprehensive wine experience.

Post Familie Vineyards

Post Familie Vineyards, located in Altus, Arkansas, is a family-owned winery with a history dating back to 1880. The winery is renowned for its muscadine wines, which reflect the rich heritage and craftsmanship of the Post family.

Popular types include the Blue Parachute Muscadine and the soft, fruity Red Muscadine.


Muscadine wines provide a unique taste experience rooted in southeastern United States traditions. Red, white, and rosé varieties offer diverse flavors. Duplin Winery, Paulk Vineyards, and Chateau Elan lead the way.