A Sip of History, A Taste of the FutureHear narrator read the story.
The Scuppernong River moves slowly in its banks. A wide, beautiful river, it has changed little since the time the first European explorers laid eyes upon it. Here at the Vineyards on the Scuppernong the river is a mile wide, the banks lined with bald cypress.
This land has always been farmed. Before the first European explorer sailed the coast of North Carolina, the Croatan Indians who lived here, were a thriving society of established towns, villages and cultivated fields.
It was in the fertile soil of eastern North Carolina, that the men Sir Walter Raleigh sent to explore this coast, captains Phillip Armadas and Arthur Barlowe, discovered a unique fruit. "Grapes of such greatness, yet wild, as France, Spain, nor Italy hath no greater,” they wrote about them in their 1584 voyage of exploration.
The fruit they discovered was the muscadine grape, a wonderfully sweet and flavorful grape that grows only in the southeastern United States. A huge family of grapes, there are over 250 named varieties. No doubt, the most famous of the muscadines is the scuppernong.
It was a scuppernong grape that Armadas and Barlowe first described in 1584, and a scuppernong grape grows today on the Mother Vine, probably the oldest cultivated grape vine in North America.
The muscadine is a uniquely flavored grape that creates a unique wine.