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The Mother Vine

The Mother Vine

The Mother Vine

"Old places have soul

- Sarah Anderson 

Indeed, they do. Otherwise, how could an ancient vine have such power to connect one with the past? Yes, perhaps you guessed right. We are referring to… The Mother Vine. This 400-year-old vine found on Roanoke Island, North Carolina, is like a voyeur into the past. Believe it or not, the Mother Vine gives us a chance to time travel. It pulls back the curtain to a different historical age.

The Mother Vine locates at 263 Mother Vineyard Rd, Manteo, North Carolina. This pristine coastal town, Manteo, has a brimming stature of awe-inspiring essence. And a place like the Mother Vine inspires that essence most.

So, this time let's take a break from exploring big cities or adventure parks. And experience the Mother Vine, a relic from the past, to savor the insight of the past.

History of the Mother Vine

So, where did it start? Did Croatoans plant those white grapes down the shore? Or is this the original vine discovered by colonists? Speculations are many. But whatever it is, it's history now. And no wonder you feel amazed as history goes on.

Sir Walter Raleigh made his first expedition to the New World in 1584. The English explorers reached the shore of Roanoke Island. And they found scuppernongs were abundant on the Eastern North Carolina coast. Philip Amadas and Arthur Barlowe got the vibe of America's oldest cultivated grapevine. So, they wrote, 

"so full of grapes as the very beating and surge of the seas overflowed them."

As time passed, the Mother Vine proved to go along with ages. It feels great when we see the place in good hands. Now, as the Manteo sweethearts take care of the place, things are pretty welcoming. The sprawling grapevines are growing wild, and people are buzzing around the place. In 1957, when the Wilsons' bought the property, the vine was there, covering two acres of the land. Still, the vine occupies a third of their front yard in Manteo. And the Wilsons are now the keepers. Thanks to Estella, whose encouragement changed the heart of her husband, Jack. As Jack felt, 

"... Mother Vine has taken the root in our lives.

Now Estelle makes preserves from the grapes, and Jack inspects the vine. Doesn't it feel cordial when Estelle says, 

"we may own the land, but the vines belong to all people?

It is for sure. That's why kids gather at the vine when the russet grapes droop at the perfect height in the summer. The children pick the sweetest grapes. And the couple remembers their son as a boy picking grapes and selling them at the roadside. So, a visitor says, 

"... Mother Vine not only tells us history, but it also tells us the story of a family."

Something About Scuppernongs

What is North Carolina's state fruit? Too easy, right? These are scuppernongs grapes. And our Mother Vine, the oldest vine in America, produces those scuppernongs grapes. It's an incredible opportunity for the pickers to park the car at the vine and shake the grapes off it. If you desire plentiful sweetness under the bitter skin, scuppernongs are there. Wondering why the white grapes are called scuppernongs? Then allow us to tell you something about the oldest grape named after the river "Scuppernong."

Mother Vine Wine

And now, if you are wondering about Mother Vine Wine, let me tell you it's exotic. It is the expertise of Duplin winery in Rose Hill, North Carolina's oldest and largest winery. They plant the clippings from the original vine in their vineyard and make Mother Vine Wine. Oh yes, they did get permission from the Wilsons'. What does it make special? The wine offers an exquisite and balanced fusion of sweetness and acidity. The distinct camphoraceous flavor of the wine will not let you forget the taste. As you savor each sip of the wine, you can cherish the most delightful pleasure on the earth. 

Duplin Winery locates at 505 North Sycamore Street, Rose Hill, NC. The winery is open from Monday to Saturday. 

They don't need a reservation if you want to go for a wine tasting at the winery. Isn't it great? Though they have specific hours of operation for wine tasting, tours, and shopping. It's always best to visit their website before you make any plans. Duplin Winery events are always splendid for any celebration. 

Please check their website to make a plan for Halloween to Christmas.

Scuppernong Wine

Now, have you ever thought of making scuppernong wine at your home? For that purpose, you must visit the Mother Vine too. The best thick-skinned scuppernongs grapes are always abundant at the Mother Vine. This 400-year-old vine produces the best scuppernongs than anywhere else in the region. So, don't wait. Visit the Mother Vine and create your best homemade scuppernong wine anytime.

How to Root Scuppernong Vine

Don't worry if you get super thrilled after knowing about the oldest grape. You can also go ahead with the plan to root the scuppernong vine in your backyard. For that, you have to follow a few simple steps, 

  1. The right time to plant the scuppernongs is late February or early March. It is best when the frost is over, and the plants can get enough sunlight
  2. Dig a big hole to hold the plant container
  3. Remove the plant from the container and plant the roots in the planting hole with great care
  4. If you are rooting many rows of scuppernongs, there must be enough space between vines

Now here is a suggestion from those who have gone before you to visit the Mother Vine. Start your quest for the Mother Vine with an open (and empty) mind. And as you explore the place, you can feel your mind filling up with millions of memories. 

After all, it's not a simple vine; it's an epic place that narrates the past.

ENC Explorer
Author: ENC Explorer

After getting accepted to ECU, I started looking for things to do in and around Greenville, NC. However, my searches kept taking me to places in South Carolina! There must be things to do around ECU, so I started asking other students. They kept telling me to graduate and move away! This inspired me to begin exploring eastern North Carolina and build this website as a showcase of the places to go, sights to see, and things to do all over eastern NC. I have fallen in love with this region and started taking up roots here. After graduating, I didn't move away - I bought a house here and continue to explore eastern North Carolina.

This place is for Publicity

This place is for Publicity

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