The white grape variety originates from the USA. Synonyms are American Muscadine, Big White Grape, Bull, Bullace, Bullet, Bullet Grape, Green Muscadine, Green Scuppernong, Hickman's Grape, Pedee, Roanoke, White Muscadine, White Scuppernong and Yellow Muscadine. It is an all-female grape variety and one of the few specimens of the subgenus Muscadinia species Vitis rotundifolia. Along with Alexander, Catawba, Concord, Niagara White and Norton, it is one of the most important historic varieties in the USA. It was one of the first American vines from which an attempt was made to press a wine in North America. All Muscadinia vines are often mistakenly called Scuppernong. It is probably directly descended from wild vines. The large, spherical berries are white-green to bronze-coloured, so that it is assumed to be a somatic mutation (with loss of colour) of the dark-berried Vitis rotundifolia.
The vines were discovered by English and German settlers in North Carolina on the banks of the Scuppernong River in the 1660s, selected and wine was first pressed from them. The name is derived from "Ascupernung", which means "place where Ascopo grows" (laurel tree) in the Native American Algonquin language. The vine was first mentioned much earlier by the Italian navigator Giovanni da Verrazano (1485-1528) when he explored the Cape Fear River valley (eastern North Carolina) in French service and found many "naturally growing vines". However, since he does not mention any berry colour, it could have been the dark-coloured wild vine. It could also have been these wild vines when, a few decades later, the English colonists...
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