The Vineyards... It's Harvest Time
Our Own Local Vineyard!
Did you know the grape vineyards on either side of Cleo Chapman Highway are actually Vineyards POA community vineyards? In spring the vines are pruned so they will produce the best crop possible.
This year's harvest is over, but the next one will begin in early September, 2023. The first three weeks of the harvest are reserved for community members only. After that, your guests and other Cliffs property owners may share in the picking. You can read HERE THE POA GUIDELINES FOR PICKING GRAPES.
Please note the grape vineyards off the 5th hole of the Vineyards golf course, are private Cliffs Club property.
To learn more about how to pick a muscadine grape or how to make jelly click on the following helpful links:
Google on Muscadine Grape Recipes and you can find even more recipes! NPR once called Muscadines the "Best Grape You've Never Tasted".
Muscadines are native to North America, according to Patrick Conner, a professor in the horticulture department at the University of Georgia, home of the oldest muscadine breeding program in the U.S. You can find them all around the Southeast region of America, as far north as Kentucky and as far west as East Texas.
"They are native to our region and with all the humidity and the heat down here, I think the tough skin protects them from a lot of the fungal diseases," Conner says. Because they are easy to grow here, our grounds committee does not need to use any pesticides on our vines.
Unlike bunch grapes, which ripen and are harvested in clusters, muscadine grapes ripen individually over a several-week period in late summer. When muscadines are ripe, they remove effortlessly from the vine. They have to be harvested by hand so as not to bruise the fruit. Known for their thick skins and seeds, that doesn't deter several of our residents from harvesting and canning the muscadines for jelly or even trying to ferment them for a bottle of wine.