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Popular Muscadine Cultivars in North Carolina

Wine/Juice Processing  

Carlos
Ninety to ninety-five percent of the commercial muscadine production in North Carolina is Carlos.  Carlos is a vigorous, productive, self-fertile cultivar bred in North Carolina.  Uniform ripening facilitates mechanical harvesting of this cultivar.  The primary use of Carlos is for wine and juice processing.  It does have a dry stem scar, making it acceptable as a fresh market cultivar, though its small size and bitter, tough skin lowers its rating in consumer taste tests.  Carlos also has a tendency to “brown” when placed on grocery shelves after being stored under refrigeration. Carlos is one of the most cold-tolerant cultivars when completely dormant in the winter. However, it is prone to early budbreak and may experience cold damage from late spring freezes or frosts (see Freeze Damage).

Carlos muscadine

Noble muscadines

Noble
Noble is the primary red muscadine cultivar used in wine and juice production.  It is a highly productive, vigorous, self fertile cultivar also bred in North Carolina.  Its small size and wet stem scar prevent its use for anything but processing. Noble is relatively cold tolerant.

Doreen
Doreen is another self-fertile processing cultivar used for wine and juice in North Carolina. It is highly vigorous and productive, producing flavorful "football-shaped" fruit.

The muscadine Doreen

Magnolia
Magnolia is also a self-fertile processing cultivar originating from a North Carolina cross. It is used primarily in wine and juice processing due to its wet stem scar. Magnolia is known for its uneven ripening. Magnolia is relatively cold tolerant.

 

Welder
Welder is a self-fertile processing cultivar out of Florida. Vines are vigorous and productive. Welder has uniform ripening with a wet stem scar. Very little commercial acreage is currently grown in North Carolina.

Welder muscadines
Fresh Marketing  

Alachua
Alachua is a self-fertile cross out of Florida. It ripens uniformly with a dry stem scar. Alachua is primarily a fresh market cultivar.

Alachua muscadine

Darlene
Darlene is a female cultivar available from Ison's Nursery in Georgia. Fruit have excellent flavor with high sugar content, suitable for the fresh market.

Darlene muscadine
Fry
Fry is a favorite U-pick muscadine cultivar out of Georgia. It is a female cultivar with a wet stem scar, limiting its usefulness in the retail market. Fry is prone to ripe rot and winter cold damage.
Fry muscadine
Granny Val
Granny Val is a large, self-fertile, fresh market cultivar available from Ison's Nursery in Georgia. It ripens very late in North Carolina and may be subject to damage by wet weather in the fall. It also has a wet stem scar if picked under-ripe, so may be best suited to U-pick operations.

Granny Val muscadine
Jumbo
Jumbo is a large, black, female cultivar suitable for U-pick operations. Vines are vigorous and productive, but the fruit are astringent when under-ripe and have a strong undesireable flavor when over-ripe.
Jumbo muscadine
Nesbitt
Nesbitt is a large, black, self-fertile cultivar bred in North Carolina. Fruit ripens over a three-week period and is suitable for fresh marketing. It is one of the most cold-tolerant fresh market varieties available. Nesbitt is one of the top 5 fresh cultivars recommended in North Carolina.
Nesbitt muscadine

Scarlett
Scarlett is a self-fertile, fresh market cultivar out of Georgia. It has good flavor and a dry stem scar, suitable for the fresh market.

Scarlett muscadine

Summit
Summit is a large, bronze, female cultivar out of Georgia. Vines are vigorous and productive, producing sweet fruit with a dry stem scar and uniform ripening. Summit is less susceptible to winter cold damage than many of the other fresh market cultivars out of Georgia. Summit is one of the top 5 fresh cultivars recommended in North Carolina.

Summit muscadine
Supreme
Supreme is a very large, black, female, fresh market cultivar available from Ison's Nursery in Georgia. Its large size and edible skin make it a favorite in consumer taste tests. Supreme is one of the top 5 fresh cultivars recommended in North Carolina.
Supreme muscadine

Sweet Jenny
Sweet Jenny is a very large, bronze, female cultivar. It has very good flavor and high sugar content, but its wet stem scar limits its suitability for retail sales. It will do well for U-pick operations and has good disease resistance and cold tolerance.

Sweet Jenny muscadine

Tara
Tara is a large, self-fertile cultivar out of Georgia, similar in size and quality to Fry. It has good flavor, high sugar content, and a very dry stem scar. Tara is one of the top 5 fresh cultivars recommended in North Carolina.

Tara muscadine

Triumph
Triumph is a self-fertile cultivar out of Georgia. Production and vigor are good. Fruit can develop a slight reddish color when fully ripe, which some retail buyers dislike. Fruit ripen early in the season and have good flavor, high sugar content, and "crunchy" pulp. Triumph is one of the top 5 fresh cultivars recommended in North Carolina.

Triumph muscadine

Table 1. Characteristics of Popular Muscadine Cultivars in North Carolina
(from Whit Jones, Duplin County Cooperative Extension Agent, 2006)

Bronze   Black
Cultivar
Ripening
Size
Stem Scar
  Cultivar
Ripening
Size
Stem Scar
Early Fry (F)
Very Early
Large
Wet
  Sugargate (F)
Early
Very Large
Wet
Triumph (SF)
Early
Medium
Very Dry
  Noble (SF)
Early-Mid
Very Small
Wet
Carlos (SF)
Early-Mid
Small
Very Dry
  Supreme (F)
Early-Mid
Very Large
Wet
Florida Fry (SF)
Early-Mid
Large
Very Dry
  Ison (SF)
Early-Mid
Large
Wet
Summit (F)
Early-Mid
Large
Dry
  Polyanna (SF)
Mid-season
Large
Very Dry
Tara (SF)
Early-Mid
Very Large
Very Dry
  Alachua (SF)
Mid-season
Medium
Dry
Scarlett (F)
Mid-season
Large
Dry
  Nesbitt (SF)
Mid-Late
Large
Dry
Golden Isles (SF)
Mid-Late
Medium
Dry
  Rosa (red) (F)
Mid-Late
Very Large
Wet
Doreen (SF)
Late-Very Late
Small
Wet
  Black Fry (F)
Mid-Late
Large
Very Wet
Late Fry (SF)
Very Late
Large
Dry
  African Queen (F)
Mid-Late
Large
Wet

F - female, SF - self-fertile

References

Ison's Nursery 2008 Catalog
Jones, W. 2006. Personal communication.
Mortensen, JA. 2001. Cultivars. Chapter 4 in Muscadine Grapes, FM Basiouny and DG Himelrick (eds), ASHS Press.

Sources of Vines

Muscadines for Home Use Muscadines for Commercial Use
Big Red© INV   Carlos BNV, INV, OCN, TPN, TTN, WPN
Doreen BNV   Doreen BNV, INV
Fry BNV, INV, SBN, TTN, WOC, WPN   Fry BNV, INV, TTN, WOC, WPN
Ison© INV   Jumbo BNV, INV, TPN, WPN
Jumbo BNV, INV, TTN, WOC, WPN   Magnolia BNV, INV, TIN, TTN, WPN
Magnolia BNV, INV, TTN, WPN   Nesbitt BNV, INV, TIN, TTN, WOC, WPN
Nesbitt BNV, INV, TTN, WOC, WPN   Noble BNV, INV, OCN, TIN, WOC, WPN
Noble BNV, INV, TTN, WOC, WPN   Scarlett BNV, INV
Scuppernong BNV, INV, WOC, WPN   Summit BNV, INV, TTN, WPN
Southern Home BNV   Supreme© INV
Summit BNV, INV, TTN, WOC, WPN   Tara BNV, INV, TIN, TTN
Supreme© INV   Triumph BNV, INV, TIN, WPN
Tara BNV, INV, TTN      
Triumph BNV, INV, WPN      

Bottoms Nursery and Vineyard
360 Pullins Road
Concord, GA 30206
770-884-5661
http://www.bottomsnursery.com/
BNV

Tinga Nursery
2918 Castle Hayne Rd.
Castle Hayne, NC 28429
910-762-1975
http://www.tinganursery.com/
TIN

Ison's Nursery and Vineyards
Route 1, Box 191
Brooks, GA 30205
1-800-733-0324 or 770-599-6970
http://www.isons.com
INV

TyTy Nursery
4723 US Hwy 82 W / P.O. Box 130
TyTy, GA. 31795
1-800-972-2101
http://www.tytyga.com/
TTN

Old Courthouse Nursery
323 Old Courthouse Rd.
Warsaw, NC 28398
910-293-9374
http://www.old-courthousenursery.com
OCN

Willis Orchard Co.
PO Box 119
Berlin, GA 31722
1-866-586-6283
http://www.willisorchards.com/
WOC

Stark Bro's Nurseries & Orchards Co.
P.O. Box 1800
Louisiana, MO 63353
1-800-325-4180
http://www.starkbros.com
SBN

Woodard Pecan Nursery
5194 US HWY 70 East
Princeton, NC 27569
Phone: 919-965-3561
http://woodardpecan.com/
WPN

 

The use of brand names and any mention or listing of commercial products or services in this publication does not imply endorsement by the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service nor discrimination against similar products or services not mentioned.

 

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