The vines at Deep Water Vineyard may be dormant now, but by late summer they will be exploding with muscadine grapes.
“From this state we will prune them back to about 6 inches off the vine and they’ll grow 30 feet until the time we harvest them,” Andrea Freiwald, Owner Deep Water Vineyard, said. “They just really thrive here. For whatever reason they’ve adapted to live in this climate.”
Muscadines are one of few grapes that are native to the United States, and they only grow here in the Southeast region.
“A lot of people coming to us from across the pond or even around the country have never heard of them or tried one before. Maybe they’ve heard of them in a country song!” Friewald said.
And while they’re sweet as can be, muscadines really are one tough grape.
“They have an extra set of chromosomes which give them extra resistance to the things that plague other grape varietals,” Friewald said. “So the pests, the diseases, they are very hearty, obviously to be here in the summertime they need to be.”
There’s a whopping 148 different types of muscadine grapes.
“We grow four here in our vineyard,” Friewald said. “They range in flavor from a cherry tomato to an apple to a straight up grape, so they’re kind of all over the board. They’re a fascinating local fruit.”
While this local fruit is usually turned into a very sweet wine, Deep Water has a wide range of muscadine wines for any connoisseur.
“We brought in a California collaboration as well so we blend with a lot of California grapes that won’t grow here, but we thought would add some fun flavor profiles to the muscadines,” Friewald said.
Fine like a muscadine wine.