Nestled in the shadows of the Southern Appalachian Mountains, WoodMill Vineyard is surrounded by the natural beauty, tranquility, and charm of the rolling foothills of Vale, North Carolina. Each spring, the hills are brought to life as an emerald green canopy of vines reach for the heavens and gather sunlight to flavor the sweet southern grape known as the Muscadine. Recognized for their extraordinary flavors, Muscadines are notorious for producing exceptional jellies, desserts, and the popular but often elusive southern indulgence known as Muscadine Wine.
WoodMill Vineyard is approximately 1,100 feet above sea level and located on a plateau about 300 feet above and to the west of the piedmont region in North Carolina. The vineyard has a gradual northeastern slope, constant air movement, and good soil drainage. WoodMill Vineyard started as a ½ acre planting of approximately 100 vines in the spring of 2001 and has constantly grown year-by-year to now consist of five-acres and approximately 1100 vines. Primary Muscadine varieties include Ison, Tara, Dixie Red, Nesbit, and Carlos. Additional Muscadine verities planted mainly to support fresh fruit request include Black Beauty, Supreme, Pam, Doreen, and Scuppernong.
At WoodMill Winery, the Muscadine harvest is typically at its’ peak between mid-to-late September. Although, for fresh fruit gatherers, WoodMill Vineyard provides a select variety of Muscadines with a seven-to-eight week harvest window starting in early September and finishing in mid-to-late October.
We welcome customers to visit our vineyard operation, where we work year-round to grow the finest Muscadines possible for wine production. During harvest, follow the Muscadines from the vineyard to the winery and see how they become the heart healthy wines of WoodMill Winery. WoodMill always welcome visitors with open arms especially if you are interested in being involved in on-going activities at the winery or in the vineyard.
If you are interested in participating in day-to-day activities such as pruning vines, harvesting fruit, crushing grapes, or wine processing we strongly encourage you to contact us and schedule a time that will meet your needs and maximize your experience. As detailed below, WoodMill offers consulting services for serious parties interested in starting their own vineyards and/or learning about advanced wine making techniques.
Muscadines (vitis rotundifolia) are native to the Southeastern United States and thrive on the heat and humidity common to the region. Muscadines are known for producing high levels Resveratrol, an antioxidant that blocks the effects of unstable molecules that occur naturally in the human body called free radicals. Free radicals are known to cause cell damage and have been linked to heart disease, stroke, signs of aging, and certain types of cancers and macular degeneration of the eye. For this reason, Muscadine grapes are currently being sought after as a renewable source for Resveratrol and have been deemed nature’s healthiest grape.
Many varieties of Muscadines grow wild throughout North Carolina from the coastal plain to high Mountain regions. In the wild, Muscadines are typically divided into the three different flowering categories of male, female, and self-fertile. In addition, each of these three categories can be further described by the three basic grape color groups of bronze, black, and red.
One of the most popular varieties of Muscadine is the Scuppernong. The Scuppernong is a female-bronze verity of Muscadine grape named for the Scuppernong River. The Scuppernong was first noticed by Florentine explorer Giovanni de Verrazano in 1524 and by explorers for Sir Walter Raleigh in the 1580’s that sent back reports from the Outer Banks of grape vines that “…covered every shrub and climbed the tops of high cedars. In all the world, a similar abundance was not to be found.” The Roanoke colonists are credited with discovering the “Scuppernong Mother Vine” on Roanoke Island. The “Mother Vine” is now over 400 years old, covers over half an acre and has been known to produce grapes in excess of two inches in diameter on various occasions through history.
The Scuppernong was the first grape ever actively cultivated in the United States and was named the official state fruit of North Carolina in 2001 by The General Assembly. Muscadines are best known for their extraordinary flavor, high sugar content, and unusually thick outer skins. They typically grow to between 1-inch and 1½-inches in diameter in clusters of twenty-to-thirty grapes each. Cultivated Muscadine vines will typically produce between 80 and 120 pounds of fruit per vine, depending on season and variety.