The North Carolina Muscadine Grape Association, Inc. (NCMGA)

was established on August 17, 1973. Thirty-four years later, the purposes for which the non-profit organization was originally organized remain the same:

To promote educational research for the purpose of discovering and developing better, or new varieties, methods of production, packing, handling, storing, processing, marketing, and disease control.
 
To promote through advertising, service work, merchandising, tours, and other means the consumption of grapes and grape products and the use by producers of better nursery stock.
 
To promote efficient production, pacing, handling, storing, processing and marketing of grapes and grape products and to secure and distribute to its members, information and trends relative to the operation and management of the grape business.

The grape and wine industry in North Carolina is flourishing! Muscadine wine now represents a significant proportion of wine sales in the state. The industry now includes over 1,000 acres of muscadine grapes, with the prospect of more acreage being added each year as formerly used tobacco land converts to vineyards. A number of successful, established wineries, and several brand new or developing wineries specializing in muscadine wine can be found throughout all regions of North Carolina. In addition, at least two businesses have been created based on production and marketing of "nutraceuticals" or health-oriented muscadine products.

Today, the North Carolina Muscadine Grape Association (NCMGA) is proud to represent a small but active group of producers, processors, and marketers. The NCMGA hosts an annual meeting/trade show and vineyard/winery tour that brings individuals together from across the state who have interest or investment in the NC muscadine industry.

We invite you to enjoy the resources this site offers and to consider becoming an NCMGA member.

Heritage Of The Muscadine Grape                           

The muscadine grape is known as America’s first grape and Roanoke Island is home to the oldest known grapevine in the United States. This four-hundred year old Scuppernong mother vine has a trunk two feet thick and once stretched one-half an acres.

In 1584, Philip Amadas and Arthur Barlowe, the first explorers sent to the New World by Sir Walter Raleigh.  One of the first things they observed was that the land was overflowing with grapes. What the two saw was probably the agricultural work of Croatoans, who reportedly made wine from the white grape.  These grapes undoubtedly provided sustenance for the early settlers of the Lost Colony.

It’s no wonder that North Carolina has proclaimed the muscadine grape as its state fruit, and is considered to be the home of America’s first cultivated “white grape”.

 Muscadine Grapes Are Very Unique

Muscadine grapes are scientifically known as Vitis Rotundifolia grapes and are native to the Southeastern United States. They can be found growing wild, and in the back yards of many southern homes.

The muscadine grape differs from other grapes in several ways. First, the most notable difference is the thick skin of the grape. This thick skin gives muscadine grapes a natural resistance to disease, fungi, and insects, and is where much of the antioxidant power of the muscadine grape is stored. These thick skins account for 40% of the weight of the grape.

Second, muscadine grapes have an extra set of chromosomes containing genes that allow them to produce a unique balance of phytonutrients that are virtually absent in other grapes.

Third, the muscadine grape has significantly more antioxidant power than other grapes. Based on the ORAC standard measurement, muscadine grapes have been measured as high as 6,800 per 100 grams, compared to 739 for red grapes. The muscadine grape skins alone have about 6-8 times as much antioxidant capacity as whole blueberries.

The fourth main difference in muscadine grapes and other grapes is the amount of natural resveratrol and ellagic acid. These phytonutrients have been studied as powerful antioxidants with potent anti-cancer properties.

Many of the phytonutrients present in the muscadine grape have been recognized as powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents – the most powerful of these concentrated in the skins and seeds.