Stems in grapes can provide extra tannins when you are fermenting your wine, but they can also alter the flavor in undesirable ways. De-stemming your grapes helps to avoid this problem, and also allows you to closely examine your grapes before fermentation. That way, you can easily discard any imperfect grapes. De-stemming is not difficult, but it is time consuming. Consider inviting friends over and offering them some of the finished product if they help you de-stem your grapes.
Things You'll Need
- Bowl or large container
Pick up your grapes and gently pull them, one at a time, from their stems. Make sure the entire stem comes away from the grape when you pull. Do not allow tiny pieces of stem to remain.
Place the grapes in a bowl or other large container to be processed in winemaking. Discard the stems, either in the garbage or through composting.
Wear gloves when handling more acidic grape varieties, such as scuppernong. Take care with all grapes, as continued exposure may irritate skin, especially with very acidic varieties.