muscadines and scuppernongs

070B6393 About forty minutes outside of downtown Charleston, there's a small grape vineyard right off the road to Beaufort. I spotted it on the way back from a recent road trip, making a mental note to go back and pick some grapes soon. This is the kind of thing I often make a mental note to do and later blow off -- but in this case, soon came yesterday afternoon when my sister and galfriend joined me for a drive down Savannah Highway.

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Muscadines and scuppernongs have only become known to me in the past year, as I often passed them off in stores and markets as mysterious discolored grapes. Turns out, they are a lowcountry staple -- slightly sour with a thicker skin and bigger seeds than regular ole' grapes (I usually spit out the skin but am told some people enjoy it) -- and are super-delicious. Picking your own is always more rewarding (especially for $1.75/pound), and they're already disappearing fast from our kitchen.

For Charleston folks who want to visit, it's called Baldwin Grape Vineyard and is located at 6517 Savannah Highway. It's right off the road with a big "Grape Vineyard" sign, so you can't miss it.