The General Assembly of 2001 named the Scuppernong grape as the official State Fruit (Session laws, 2001, c. 488).
The Scuppernong (vitis rotundifolia) is a variety of muscadine grape, and has the distinction of being the first grape ever actively cultivated in the United States.
It was named for the Scuppernong River, which runs from Washington County to the Albemarle Sound. Giovanni de Verrazano noticed this variety as far back as 1524, and explorers for Sir Walter Raleigh (or Ralegh, as it's sometimes spelled) in the 1580s sent back reports from the Outer Banks of grape vines that covered every shrub and climbed the tops of high cedars. In all the world, a similar abundance was not to be found.
The Roanoke colonists are credited with discovering the Scuppernong Mother Vineyard, a vine that is now over 400 years old and covers half an acre.