This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
This seems to be the grape for the South, and for making wine, which is in greater demand than any other made there from native grapes. John H. Weller, Brinckleyville, N. C, makes and sells this article, at from one to four dollars a gallon.
If I am not mistaken, a drawing and description of the Scuppernong grape has never appeared in the "Horticulturist/' and as there is some misapprehension in relation to it at the North where it of necessity is but imperfectly known, 1 have made a drawing, and submit the following description:
The Scuppernong is a seedling from the Muscadine, Bullace, Bullet, or Bull grape of the Southern States, which is found growing wild from North Carolina to Louisiana. Its botanical name is Vitis Vulpina, and we think it has never been found on the northern slope of the Alleghany Mountains.
To the above common names Downing adds that of Fox grape; this we think a mistake; we have never known it to be designated by that name at the South. The common name of Vitis Labrusca at the south is that of Fox grape; lit is known by no other name in Georgia. So far as we can learn, all the seedlings raised and fruited from the Scuppernong have produced the Brown or Black Muscadine, which is the color of its parent.
The Scuppernong is not dioecious as stated by Downing, but has perfect flowers, while its parent is sometimes monoecious and at others dioecious; the berry is from three-fourths of an inch to one inch in diameter; they grow, in clusters varying from two to eight, which are of a pale dull green when fully ripe: the leaves are from two to four inches across, glossy on both surfaces, of cordate form and coarsely serrated. The Vine is very distinct from all others. While it is one of the most rampant growers, its branches are slender and wiry; the bark is unlike that of any other, being smooth, of an ashy color, and closely specked with small specks of white.
One peculiarity of this grape is, it is free from all diseases, rot, or mildew, in either wood, leaves or fruit. To our mind and opinion it is the great grape of the present day.
In flavor, when well ripened, it is very sweet, with very little if any pulp, and but a trace of Foxy aroma, less of the latter than either Catawba or Diana; when thoroughly ripe the pulp is entirely dissolved into a luscious juice.
The wild Muscadine has, we arc informed, been sent to the north as the Scuppernong. E. Law Rogers, of Baltimore, recently informed us that he had the Scuppernong growing there, which bore dark brown grapes, and was as hard as a crab apple, and appeared quite surprised when we informed him that the Scuppernong was a white or green grape.
The skin of the Muscadine is much thicker, and the pulp much harder than those of the Scuppernong.
As a wine grape, we doubt whether an equal can be found in the world, as being adapted to the Southern States, and we are fully prepared to expect that the very choicest wines will be made from it, with a little more experience.
J. Van Buren.
Mr. McLean, writing from North Carolina, says: "I see a description of the Scuppernong, by Mr. Van Buren, of Georgia. It is a good description of a seedling, but not of the grape generally. He mistakes the origin of that fine grape. I may say something about it on gaining more information than I now have. We consider the Scuppernong and Bullus as original grapes; the first produces from seed both light and black grapes. The Bullus has never been known to produce the Scuppernong, not even the inferior seedling, ,which is easily told from the genuine grape by any one that has noticed them closely".
DIANTHUs CHINENSIs HEDDEWIGII.
J. Van Bu-ren, of Clarksville, Ga., a good horticulturist, thinks the South can grow the Scuppernong grape and make both wine and money. He says one hundred vines should occupy about three acres, and that from their product, wine made and sold at forty cents a gallon would pay better than ever did one hundred acres in cotton. He estimates the yield at 1,500 bushels, and these at 5,250 gallons of wine. He thinks the Scuppernong the grape for the million, and destined to exterminate every wine grape in the Northern States. He names about thirty varieties of our most popular grapes which he has tried and condemned as unfit for wine-making. He thinks no native grape will make a good wine without sugar, and even the Scuppernong requires one pound of sugar to the gallon of juice. No pruning is required according to his views - the only labor being the planting of the vines, erecting high trellises or polings, arbors, etc., for them to run on and picking the fruit.
I have a vine growing on a large ailanthus, where I think the variety may answer, being about as valuable as a grape as the ailanthus is as a shade tree.