The Mustang Grape is Texas’ dominant grape species. It is native to Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, and some parts of Alabama. The fruit itself is very bitter and tart, which limits its use as a table grape. On the other hand, Mustang Grapes make for great jellies and juice, as well as the well-known Texan wine called “Mustang Wine.”
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Order: Vitales
- Family: Vitaceae
- Genus: Vitis
- Species: V. mustangensis
- Binomial name: Vitis mustangensis
Mustang Grape Trivia
- The fruit and leaves of the Mustang Grape can be used as a dye to color clothes
- In the 19th century, the wine made from Mustang Grapes was thought to cure Malaria
- Mustang Grapes can irritate the skin if eaten or mishandled
Mustang Grape Buying Guide
Since Mustang Grapes can irritate the skin if mishandled or eaten, it is very rare that you would find them for sale in any market.
Common Mustang Grape products that you can find all over Texas include Mustang Grape Juice, Mustang Grape Jam and Jellies, and Mustang Wine.
Mustang grapes are also pretty hardy as they grow out in the wild without help from any pesticide. If you have permission to pick them, Mustang Grapes are pretty much free.
Mustang Grape Production & Farming in Texas
Since Mustang Grapes are native to Texas, it is very easy to find them almost anywhere. Take a visit to a local nursery, and you can get seedlings for a very low price.
The majority of the large Mustang Grape production in Texas is performed by vintners who make their own Mustang Wine. Commercial production of Mustang Grapes as a table grape is unheard of as they are pretty unpleasant when eaten as is.
Another thing worth noting is that a lot of households have their own Mustang Grape vines as ornamental plants or as something that grew wild on their property.
Mustang Grapes are immune to a lot of the pests that plague the European variety of grapes. The plants are pretty hardy and require almost no pesticide or fertilizer to them to thrive.
If you live in the Southern or Eastern part of Texas, then growing Mustang Grapes should be no problem as they are native to that area. Once you get them started, your biggest challenge would be to control their growth as they can get pretty wild.
The only requirement to grow Mustang Grapes is that the soil is well-drained. It can survive in any soil, almost any pH level, and it can grow shaded or unshaded. It is a very hardy plant with very minimal pests.
Mustang Grapes should be handled with care and with special protective equipment as they can irritate the skin.
Enjoying Mustang Grapes
Consuming Mustang Grapes in their raw form is not advisable as its acidity may irritate the mouth and other parts that might come in contact with it.
If you have any fresh Mustang Grapes, make sure to keep it out of reach of children as it can be very irritating to the skin.
For Mustang Grape Products like Jam, Jellies, and Mustang Wine, store them as you would any product of the same category.
For Mustang Grapes to be enjoyed thoroughly as a food product, a large amount of sugar must be used to counter the acidity of the grapes.
A good rule of thumb when making jams and jellies from Mustang Grapes is to use three parts of sugar for every four parts of Mustang Grapes.
Since Mustang Grapes are not consumed raw in their fruit form, nutritional information for this variety of grape is not available.
When Are Mustang Grapes in Season in Texas?
To find out when Mustang Grapes are in season in Texas, please check the seasonal chart below. Why is this important? We are rarely encouraged to think about the physical lengths our food travels before arriving on the market shelves. And all of this travel comes with a hefty environmental cost that is concealed from the consumer’s eye. One of the most salient benefits to eating seasonally is that you are effectively reducing your carbon footprint and supporting a more geographically sustainable food economy. Check other fruit and veg that’s in season in Texas now.