Help Me Select 1 of 3 Muscadines please

I purchased two vines more than I have room for. With only one spot left i must choose one vine for the whole. I have Nesbitt, Pam, and Dixie Red. Which one would you plant? All three are 2 year plus vines. I have plenty of self fertile vines and about the same quantity for bronze and purple. I guess the other two I’ll pot and run on a lower wire.

Which one would you plant?

Thank you for helping.

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For sure the Pam as it is a later improved variety. I have nesbitt and it is good, but the skin is a little thick. Don’t know much about Dixie Red. I have pam also, but it has not fruited yet.

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Thanks Robert. I’ve heard plus and minus with all three. Dixie Red is listed for jelly, wine, and fresh eating on ison’s website. Nesbitt gets high marks but the skin is always mentioned as a drawback. Pam i hear good and bad but mostly inconsistent year to year in sweetness. Decisions, decisions, decisions.

You may already have this but I use it frequently


I was a student and later worked at the Horticulture department at NCSU when Nesbitt was being evaluated as a numbered selection in late 70’s and early 80’s. There was some debate over releasing it as it had a long harvest season. Which wasn’t what the commercial harvesters wanted.

Fortunately by the mid 80’s there was a big push to get growers into PYO and roadside market for muscadines. Nesbitt was perfect for that with its size, taste and disease resistance.

I planted it on my farm in Virginia before it was released so I have been growing it for over 40 years. I have grown many others over the years. But it’s Nesbitt that I eat the most as it has the longest harvest season for me and stays well on the vine. I am more about the flavor rather than sugar content of grapes. There is certainly a wide range of flavors when you eat varieties side by side. I really liked Magoon and Hunt back when I first started growing. Nesbitt took flavor to a new level and made quite an impression on me. Glad to see it has stayed popular over the years.


I’d even argue you can have TOO much sugar in some of these muscadine grapes. I grow Lane, 15-1-1(Now called Sweet Mix), Ison, Supreme, Black Beauty, Hall, Darlene, Early Fry, and Late Fry. Some of them last year were so incredibly sweet. Still enjoyed them, but if I had to do it over again I wouldn’t even bother using sugar content as a deciding factor.

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I’d pick Pam as it has the highest % dry scar. Wet scar means they don’t keep very well if not used immediately


I’ve grown all three. Dixie Red is a pretty good muscadine, but not in the same class as Pam and Nesbitt. For me, Pam is a bit erratic in production. Nesbitt is reliable, consistent, and has very good flavor for making jelly and fresh eating. If put to the test and could only plant one, I would marginally choose Nesbitt. Please note that there are other muscadines that are better than these three so if I were picking among all the varieties currently available, Nesbitt would down my list from Supreme, Lane, and others.

This chart is a bit more useful to me than Ison’s. Fresh Market Cultivars - Choosing a Cultivar | Muscadine Grape Breeding

I should mention that I had excellent production from Dixie Red, much higher than the charts above suggest. It loses a bit of ground for sugar, size, and flavor compared to the others.


Dixie Red is the only one of the three I have grown or tasted. I’m very happy with it. It has good flavor fresh and makes great jam. I haven’t tried it in wine yet, but from the taste of the grapes I expect it will be good. I planted it as a 2 year plus vine and it grew quickly - filled the trellis the first year, produced several quarts of grapes the 2nd year in ground, and last year, which was the 3rd year in ground, I picked about 64 pounds. They ripened over a six week period. Potential negatives (which don’t bother me), the grapes aren’t as large as some varieties, and there is a fairly high percentage of wet scar, especially if you pick before they are fully ripe.

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Thank you everyone for the input.