The end of summer was always a bittersweet time for me. On one hand, growing up, it always signaled the end of a three month long vacation. But on the other hand, it signaled the start of muscadine season—something I looked forward to all year long.
If you’re not familiar, muscadines and scuppernongs (a golden variety of muscadines) are large, thick-skinned grapes, with a sweet, tangy taste and native to the southeast. They also have seeds, but are so worth the challenge.
My grandparents have the most amazing muscadine and scuppernong vines in their backyard (see photos below of last year’s crop), and picking the grapes was one of my favorite things to do with my granddad at the end of every summer. I didn’t care how many mosquito bites covered my legs, we would check every single vine for a ripe grape to wiggle off.
My grandfather who passed recently this year was meticulous in his muscadine’s care. And now that I’ve moved away, I missed picking them this year.
So I, in desperate need of a taste of home, decided to find a few u-pick farms and vineyards around Birmingham to visit and finally pick some of my favorite summer fruits.
U-Pick Your Own Muscadines
Morgan Creek Winery
Located in Harpersville, Alabama, (about 45-55 minutes from Birmingham) Morgan Creek Winery has been producing some of Alabama’s sweetest grapes and wine for nearly two decades. During muscadine season, you can pick muscadines and scuppernongs for $10 a gallon or $40 for five gallons. They also offer complimentary tours and tastings 6 days a week from 10AM-6PM. See their full list of wines with Birmingham inspired names like Vulcan Red and Cahaba White. Or shop them online here.
- Address: 181 Morgan Creek Lane, Harpersville, AL
- Hours: Monday-Saturday 10AM-6PM | Closed Sunday
- Contact: (205) 672-2053
Oh, and don’t forget their Grape Stomp Festival happening September 21 from 10AM-4PM. Tickets are $15 for adults, $5 for kids 12 and under, and $35 for an 8-seat table.
With 150 fully-loaded muscadine and scuppernong vines, you’ll definitely want to visit Holmestead Farm. There are options to pick them straight off the vines, or buy them at their produce house. But you’ll want to make a day-trip out of it because they’re about an hour and 20 minutes out from Birmingham.
While you’re there, check out some of their other u-pick options including Japanese persimmons, figs and tomatoes. Visit their site for a full list of the end-of-summer/early fall fruits and veggies available now.
- Address: 6582 County Road 7, Talladega, Alabama
- Hours: Monday-Saturday 9AM-4PM | Closed Sunday
- Contact: (256) 404-4316
Sleepy Hollow Blueberry Farm
Contrary to their name, they grow much, much more than blueberries. And right now, it’s all about the muscadines and scuppernongs. As of 9/6 they still had plenty to be picked. They are also only located about 40 minutes from Birmingham so not a bad drive, plus you’ll have a snack on your way back.
- Address: 877 Sleepy Hollow Rd, Hayden, Alabama
- Hours: Monday-Saturday 6AM-7PM | Closed Sunday
- Contact: (205) 568-3513
As Alabama’s oldest continually operated winery, Bryant Vineyard is known for their muscadine wine. Their vines, first planted in 1965, now produce some of the sweetest grapes in the state, and you can pick them yourself.
Right now, they’re offering u-pick muscadines for $1.50 a pound. Go for the grapes and stay for the complimentary wine tastings. They are located on Lake Logan Martin, about 55 minutes outside of Birmingham. Stay updated on their Facebook page, and see their wine options here.
- Address: 1454 Griffitt Bend Rd, Talladega, Alabama
- Hours: Thursday-Saturday 10AM-5PM | Closed Sunday-Wednesday
- Contact: (256) 493-1260
The season usually lasts throughout the end of September, but obviously sometimes Mother Nature has other plans. Make sure to call ahead to each farm or vineyard to make sure there’s still plenty to be picked.