The Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena is the result of the particular climatic characteristics and the variety of the grapes typically grown in Modena, together with the art of cooking the must and the loving procedures of the annual transfer of the vinegar between the barrels. After the grapes are pressed and before the fermentation begins, the musts are cooked in open-air boilers, at ambient pressure, to reach a concentration of 30 to 50%, (depending on the need in the production regime). After a long period of decanting, the cooked must begins a natural and simultaneous reaction of fermentation and acetic bioxification by yeasts and acetobacteria. The product then undergoes a phase of transformation called maturation which is of fundamental importance for the formation of the typical balsamic perfumes.
Then follows the aging phase during which the characteristics of the product gain the optimal refinement.
The three phases are done using a series of barrels of different woods (mostly oak, chestnut, mulberry, cherry and juniper) and of decreasing volume ranging from 75/100 liters to about 10 / liters. Each wood gives the vinegar a particular characteristic: the chestnut rich in tannins will contribute to the dark color, the mulberry will concentrate the product faster, the juniper will yield the resinous woods, the cherry will sweeten the taste while the oak, precious wood for vinegar already mature, will give it a typical vanilla scent. The difference between the capacity of the barrels is required by the need to perform the annual vinegar transfers in the appropriate manner. These consist in bringing the liquid of the barrels back to the level with the one of the respectively previous barrel, to compensate the removal of the finished product and the annual decrease due to evaporation. These operations require expertise and prudence in respect of the evolutionary status of the product, to ensure its optimal development in the coming centuries.
It is famous and appreciated all over the world. He obtained the DOC protection in 1986 (L.93 of 03/04/86). It was recognized as a DOP by the European Community on 17/04/2000.
Raw materials: typical Modena grape must, mostly Trebbiano and Lambrusco, Spergola and Berzemino, without addition of other substances.
Processing: direct cooking in open-air boilers, natural fermentation and acetification of cooked must, successive vinegar transfer between the barrels, slow aging under the watchful eye of the producer.
Use: product of great versatility. Preferably used raw, it is best expressed together with Parmigiano Reggiano and strawberries. Delicious with extra virgin olive oil in the salad. It marries beautifully with roasts and boiled. Enhances the aromas and flavors of each dish. Excellent when taken as a digestive.
Age: the Certification Body and the Expert Tasters Commission certify the two available quality levels:
Affinato, aged minimum 12 years *
Extravecchio, minimum aging of 25 years * (gold capsule)
(*: any reference to the production year, or to the presumed age of the product, as established by the Disciplinary can not be declared on the package, only the "Extravecchio" quotation is allowed, for the product which has not aged less than 25 years ).
Characteristics: dark brown colour, deep and shiny. Density appreciable in a correct, fluent syrupy. Scent, characteristic bouquet, fragrant, complex but well amalgamated, penetrating and persistent, of evident but pleasant and harmonious acidity. Characteristic flavour, sweet and sour and well balanced, with appreciable acidity, lively, frank, full, velvety, intense and persistent, in good harmony with its typical olfactory characteristics.
The traditional spherical-shaped bottle with a solid glass rectangular base is mandatory for all producers, as required by the Production Regulations.