Hearty and productive, well-established in American winemaking history, Catawba tends to ripen late. So it often has inadequate sugar levels.
Catawba is a red American grape variety used for wine as well as juice, jams and jellies. The grape can have a pronounced musky or "foxy" flavor. Grown predominantly on the East Coast of the United States, this purplish-red grape is a likely cross of the Native American Vitis labrusca and Vitis vinifera. Its exact origins and parentage are unclear but it seems to have originated somewhere on the East coast from the Carolinas to Maryland.
Catawba played an important role in the early history of American wine. During the early to mid-19th century, it was the most widely planted grape variety in the country and was the grape behind Nicholas Longworth's acclaimed Ohio sparkling wines that were distributed as far away as California and Europe.