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In winemaking, the process of destemming involves separating the grape berries from the stems before fermentation. Destemming is typically done to prevent any harsh tannins or vegetal flavors from the stems from being incorporated into the wine. It’s also a safety measure to prevent any chance of bacterial contamination.

Once the grapes are destemmed, the berries are then crushed, and the juice is separated from the skins and seeds. This juice will be fermented to produce wine. Destemming can be done by machine or manually.

Destemming is the standard practice in most wineries, particularly for white wines and rosé wines, as it’s intended to produce a wine that is lighter in color, lower in tannins, and less extracted than wines made with whole clusters. The wine will be less harsh, with softer tannins, and a more delicate aroma, focusing on the grape’s natural fruitiness.

However, not all grapes are destemmed before fermentation, some winemakers choose to ferment with whole clusters, which can add tannins, structure and complexity to the wine. As always, it’s a winemaking choice and depends on the winemaker’s desired outcome, the grape variety, and other factors.

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