Muscadine Mania

Muscadine Mania: Available just two months a year, these grapes make a distinctive pie
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Now’s the time to snap up muscadines: In the South, these sweet, chewy grapes are available only during September and October. Jeannie Blethen and her husband, Chuck, grow cold-hardy Katuah muscadines, a variety native to Western North Carolina, at their Jewel of the Blue Ridge Vineyard in Marshall. Jeannie makes this pie with the dark purple grapes, and says the texture is similar to cherry pie. But the taste, she notes, “is totally unique.”

How To Eat A Muscadine
If you’re used to conventionalgrapes, tough-skinned muscadines can be intimidating. Here’s an easy technique for enjoying them: Puncture the skin with your teeth. Hold the punctured end in your mouth and squeeze the other side with your fingers to separate the pulp from the skin. Loosen the seeds by rolling the pulp around in your mouth. You can spit out the seeds or eat them; they won’t hurt you. You can also eat the skin, which is high in fiber, manganese, and polyphenols.


Jewel of the Blue Ridge Vineyard
902 Frank Rector Rd., Marshall
Vineyard & Farm Tours
$10, free children under 12
(828) 606-3130


Photograph by Connor Guyton