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Muscadine wine is produced from the muscadine grape which has been grown in the south east United States since recorded history. The grape extends from New York south to Florida and west to Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.
The vine is well adapted to a warm humid climate and thrive on summer heat and is used to produce both red and white wine.
Muscadine berries range from bronze to dark purple to black in color when ripe. However, many wild varieties stay green through maturity. They have skin sufficiently tough that eating the 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.
The grapes are also recognized as a health benefit due to the fact that they are a good source of polphenols and other nutrients, having a high concentration of resveratrol.
There are over 300 varieties muscadine cultivars growing in the southern states. These include bronze, black and red varieties and consist of common grapes and patented grapes.
Crops can be started in 3–5 years. Commercial yields of 3–7 tonnes per hectare (8-18 tons per acre) are possible. Muscadines grow best in fertile sandy loam and alluvial soils. They grow wild in well-drained bottom lands that are not subject to extended drought or waterlogging.
They are also resistant to pests and diseases, including Pierce's disease, which can destroy other grape species. Muscadine is one of the grape species most resistant to Phylloxera, an insect that can kill roots of grapevines.
The typical muscadine wine is sweet because vintners traditionally add sugar during the winemaking process; the wine is often considered a dessert wine although some drier varieties exist. The term scuppernong refers to a large bronze type of muscadine originally grown in North Carolina; it is also used in making wine, principally dry red table wine.
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