Good year for East Texas grapes


Meadowlark

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Abundant rainfall all through the growing season has contributed significantly to a bumper crop of grapes this year. Estimate yield to be several gallons of grapes with most being used as juice and some used in jellies.

We grow several different types of muscadine grapes including Cowart, Scuppernog, and Nobles. You can see the mixture below:

cowarts 2021.JPG



grapes 2021.JPG


and we also grow, for comparison, the RazzMatazz from Gurneys. The RazzMatazz was highly proclaimed by Gurneys and I might add highly priced. My conclusion: it isn’t worth the high price and fails to meet the high acclaim…muscadines are far superior.

razzmataz.JPG


If you aren’t familiar with muscadines, I encourage you to read about them, including their wonderful health benefits. Very easy to grow and maintain.
 
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Muscadine Grapes (Vitis rorundifolia) are wonderful plants. I wish their fruit was more widely available in markets.

Muscadine Grapes have been used to make wine, such as the famous old variety, Virginia Dare. However, Muscadine Grapes should not be confused with Muscat Grapes, which are a loosely related group of cultivars of the European Wine Grape (Vitis vinifera).

Of further interest is that Muscadines (Subgenus Muscadinia) are phylogenetically distinct in relation to all other true grapes. Muscadinia is the sister group to the rest of the genus Vitis.
 
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Meadowlark

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I wouldn't hold that they are "phylogenetically distinct" against them....they taste great!
 
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I wouldn't hold that they are "phylogenetically distinct" against them....they taste great!
I understand achieving hybrids between the two subgenera was a breeding challenge, but there are now a number of such cultivars. Yet, you didn't have a good experience with one such hybrid: Vitis x RazzMatazz (trade name). I might suspect that Vitis rotundifolia is already so well adapted to humid summer climates that the hybrids perform relatively poorly. I have heard that Vitis rotundifolia doesn't always perform well here in California at least near the coast, due to cooler or drier conditions. Possibly, a hybrid would be a good choice to try in a Mediterranean climate? I also understand that seedless Muscadine cultivars have been developed. I wonder what the fruit quality is like for them?
 

Meadowlark

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The aforementioned Gurney's offers what they claim is the first seedless muscadine. They call it "Oh My". For $70 plus shipping you can try it...but the reviews are NOT good. Not worth the risk to me, especially in view of my experience with their hybrid which does not even come close to matching the wildly exaggerated claims.
 
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That is good to know. When I am ready to grow a Muscadine, I think I will try one or more of the classic, full-blooded cultivars, such as 'Scuppernong'.
 
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