As you might guess by their species name rotundifolia, muscadines are rotund.
They’re the thick-skinned, super-sized cousin of table grapes! Because of their thick skins and large seeds, they are more concentrated in protective antioxidants than any other grape.
Muscadines grow in the wild throughout the southeastern United States, spreading into eastern Texas and as far north as Virginia.
Years of breeding have led to many varieties of muscadines, with some better for fresh consumption and others better for juice and wine-making. Vineyards and wineries throughout the south plant specific cultivars based on size, yield, juice quality, harvest period, etc.
“Picking muscadines to enjoy as juice along with muscadine pie on grandmother’s back porch has a strong place in childhood memories of many native Southerners.” (Olien 1990)
- Muscadines have the highest antioxidant capacity, measured by ORAC score (antioxidant rating), including 6 times more resveratrol than regular grapes!
- The polyphenols in muscadines are studied for their natural immune strengthening and anti-inflammatory activities.
- The high antioxidant content is thought to be due to an extra chromosome, thicker skins and larger seeds compared to other grapes — these traits allowed it to adapt and thrive in the extremely hot and humid climate of the American South!
- Muscadines are American-grown using sustainable, traditional farming practices.
- Muscadines are a traditional medicine and food for Native Americans going back many hundreds of years.
- Muscadines are one of the most highly researched fruits native to the United States. In fact, more than 100 preclinical and clinical studies have been published on muscadine!
- Muscadine fruit powder is a whole-food source of nutrients including resveratrol, oligomeric proanthocyanidins, catechins and ellagitannins – a unique combination of antioxidants, unlike any other fruit!
First cultivated and consumed by Native Americans for hundreds of years, muscadines (Vitis rotundifolia Michx.) go by many names originating from the first tribes, including scuppernongs, bullets, or bullises. Muscadines are also known in various parts as bull grapes, bullet grapes, or Southern fox grapes.
This public resource is made possible by contributions from the
“Papa” Jacob Willis Paulk, Sr. family, the First Family of Muscadines.