I crushed Monday 9/21 about 20 lbs of Petite Pearl and did not remove the stems (green stems like in your pic) This as an experiment. I hope to get a gallon of finished wine out of it. The grape-must does have a vegetal character to it and quickly dries the palate. I kind of like the direction that this wine might be heading. I will keep the stems in the grape-must until it is done fermenting.I wasn't able to find much discussion about crushing and fermenting with stems so I'm posting this thread. Back in the day everybody just had a crusher in the garage and a plastic barrel. You brought home the grapes in the wooden boxes and ran them through the crusher, dropping the entire crush with stems into the barrel and walked away. I remember punching down my Dad's must and seeing all those stems tangled up in there... When I started making my own wine I always got the distributor to run my grapes through their big de-stemmer machine and brought home the must in pails, leaving the stems and boxes behind. But now I want to crush myself and ferment with the stems like we did when I was a kid. I recall the strong bitterness and tannin...and want to recreate that again. So, my question is this: I'm just buying Central Valley California grapes that are shipped up here to the Toronto area, not the premium AVA grapes, and wondering if I'm getting myself into trouble. Smiling Baby from Lodi is what they mostly carry. I'm thinking Merlot. You guys think the stems from this type of grape will be too green for this experiment? Or, is it worth trying?