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What's The Difference Between Muscadine And Scuppernong Grapes?

Posted on July 30, 2015 by Ed Kraus There have been 15 comment(s)

Hello EC Kraus,

Muscadine Scuppernong For Wine MakingI was wondering what the difference was between muscadine and scuppernong grapes? I hear people talk about both as if they were the same thing. Are they? Or are they different?

Justin S.,
Hello Justin,

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. This is how some of the confusion comes about.

Today in spite of the facts, most people refer to the red varieties as Muscadines and to the white varieties as Scuppernongs.

I say, regardless of what you call them, these grapes make wonderful country wines. Using Scuppernongs is even a great way to learn how to make white wines for the first time.Shop Steam Juicer

Preparing these grapes my take some effort though. Because of their incredibly thick skins, running them through a grape crusher may be necessary as opposed to simply crushing them by hand.

An alternative to getting a grape crusher would be to use a steam juicer to extract the juice. The steam juicer bursts the skins with steamed heat. The juice then falls out the colander of steamed grapes and runs out into a collector. Once cooled, the juice is ready to go straight into the fermenter.

I hope this information helps you understand a little better about the difference between Muscadines and Scuppernongs.

Happy Wine Making,
Ed Kraus
Ed Kraus is a 3rd generation home brewer/winemaker and has been an owner of E. C. Kraus since 1999. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years.

This post was posted in Wine Making Blog

15 thoughts on “What's The Difference Between Muscadine And Scuppernong Grapes?”

  • Vita M.King

    muscadines make very very very good wine,when the berry is right.the wine has a very very very nice color to it,and the smell and the taste go hand in is very very good,i have made it before,it is one of my familys wines.the muscadines have to be right just like the grapes,you use.and yes i have used the big blueblack grapes,from one of my relatives vines,they made the best wines.the grapes,were the very very good ones.the vines had been in the family before i was born.and i am 49 years old.i don't know where they came from,i just know that they made the best wines,jams,jellys,cobbars,pies.and yes i like eating the muscadines,and eatting the dewberrys,and using them to make wine,the drewberry wine is great.happy wine making and i am always learning about wine,i think that it is great.

  • Bill Dorsey

    Are the James grapes considered Muscadine grapes. They are dark in color. I was wondering if this is one of the factors used to distinquish the different grapes. Thanks

  • Customer Service
    Customer Service August 2, 2015 at 6:49 am

    Bill, I had to do some research on this because I am not familiar with this grape. It appears to be be grown primarily in SC. From the best of what I can gather it is a hybrid of Lambrusco and a Muscat of some variety, however I cannot verify any of this. Hope this helps you out.

  • Eddie Rhoades

    A red delicious is an apple and a yellow delicious is an apple. An Elberta is a peach and a Hale's haven is a peach. A Sugargate is a muscadine and a scuppernong is a muscadine that was found growing along the Scuppernong river.

  • T.C.

    I was born and raised in Atlanta, GA and I am 44 now. Since I could remember we have always had Muscadines all over the place growing in everyone's backyard. Still do. I currently live in the Suburbs South of Atlanta and live on a 5 acre lot and I have two large vines covering the backyard. One has what we call the Muscadine (black/purple) and on the other side of the yard, we have the other we call the Scuppernong. (White) This is how I was taught to distinguish them all my life, is that correct? Don't know and not really troubled by it at all! We don't make wines, we don't make jams, nor pies, we don't sell them like some of our neighbors, we simply eat them off the vine, and let friends, family and neighbors pick as many as they want as long as they are careful not to damage the vines. Even after people leave with bags full, their are still so many that go rotten on the vine as their are just too many of them. We are going to have to prune them back this year as they have completely taken over the peach tree and the pear tree that neither tree bared any fruit this year. Also because the lawn service guys sprayed weed killer on one end and we have to make sure it does not kill off any more than it already has. We also have Fig and Apple trees and luckily the grape vines are out of reach or I am sure they would have taken over those as well.

    I know my comment does not really answer the question, but I just thought I would share my experience with this grape.


  • Martha Mills

    T.C., I want to visit your backyard! It sounds so yummy and pleasant! Personally, I'm a scuppernong fan, having grown up in Florida with them in our backyard - over 8 decades ago! (you surely sound like a good neighbor!)

  • Betty

    Love these grapes. I was raised in Mississippi and had both to eat. Use to climb up a tree for the Muscatine. I love them todY. In Texas we have grapes and Muscatine vines in my back yard. Thank you for info

  • Sandra

    Scuppernong is bronze/white type variety of muscadine. Muscadines are in general either bronze a.k.a. white or black a.k.a. purple. Scuppernong was THE first variety of muscadine and became so well known that lay people started using the term scuppernong to describe any bronze/white type muscadine which is innacurate. There are several varieties of both bronze, and black muscadines of which scuppernong is only one.

    Also, the terms variety and cultivar can be used interchangeably.

    Personally I like to eat them fresh right off the vine.

  • Kay Kocher

    I would like to make a 5 gal batch of sweet red muscadine wine from juice I plan on buying at a winery. I can't find a recipe using the juice. Does anybody have a good recipe I could use?

  • Terry Zaffuto

    I have made wine with the Bronze (white wine) muscadines and the purple. In fact I just bottled some strawberry / muscadines wine that came out great. Very unique taste, that is fantastic! As for as smashing them you can get a clean sanitized bucket and use a commercial quality smasher (got from a kitchen supply company for 7 dollars) OR you can freeze the grapes overnight in a large freezer bag getting all the air out. I double the bags cause after they thaw I use a roller pin for bread making and smash the grapes in the bag. Very easy and quick and then just dump the bags into the main fermenter and start your process.

    • Ed Hancock

      You are so right Terry. I freeze all my fruit before I make wine out or it. Freezing the fruit causes it to break down faster and the wine seems to work off faster. I too, use a rolling pin to mash the fruit in the bag that I freeze it in. You can also use a full bottle of wine to crush the grapes.

  • Ben Kirk

    You can also freeze the muscadines (dark) and scupperongs (light). My way of classifying them. That will also burst the inside cells. I have been making native wines for 5 seasons and love it. The last weekend in September there is a Muscadine Festival in Kenansville NC. Most wineries that make this type of wine set up displays and you can sample their wines. There are Beach Music Bands and shap contests. A great get together.

  • Glenn

    I produce about 15 gallons of Scuppernong wine a year and my customers buy all that i will sell. It is an enjoyable wine to drink, it is dry but with lots of flavor, sometimes similar to green apples. TIP; to process the grapes, i use an old sausage grinder with the internal die taken out, you want to break the skin but not crush the seeds

  • Gordon

    What can I use to lubricate the screws on the press I bought from Kraus

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