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
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
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
(*: 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