Balsamic Vinegar of Modena PGI
As the ancient families of Modena struggled to keep up with demand for Aceto Balsamico di Modena Tradizionale, they began to blend their famed ‘Black Gold’ with local wine vinegar.
And in this process, arising from a desire to share, another authentically Italian culinary icon was born: Aceto Balsamico di Modena.
The grapes, the soil, the climate.
Just as it’s always been, we start with those three elements.The grapes are only ever Lambrusco, Sangiovese, Trebbiano, Albana, Ancellotta, Fortana and Montuni – and the perfect balance of sugar and acidity found in each of the chosen seven varieties is thanks to the beautiful Italian climate and the rich soils of our vineyards.
The extraordinary flavours and textures and aromas of our Aceto Balsamico di Modena are delicious proof of the expertise of our ever-passionate blenders – and a testament to our enduring recipes, that have been passed down and perfected by generations of Modena makers.
Every Balsamic Vinegar of Modena is different, and the art of blending is a patient labor of love. Here’s how we craft ours, from start to finish.
Harvest time is between August and October, and once the fruit’s been picked, we make a sweet, sugar-rich juice – known as grape must – by gently squeezing the grapes together.
The grape must is then concentrated at a low temperature, creating a precious thick and syrupy reduction that's set aside to rest.
At the same time, our cellar masters in the picturesque Modena river town of San Felice are busy selecting good wines to ferment into vinegar.
Once the cooked must has rested and the wine vinegar has reached a state of perfectly aged excellence, the real craftsmanship begins.
The two ingredients are blended, and fermentation begins — and the exact nature of the mixture is down to our master blenders. It’s a true art, refined and perfected by experience.
The amount of must and wine vinegar they add will determine how the finished product tastes — a cooked must with very little wine vinegar will deliver a sweeter, fuller-bodied and more complex balsamic, while the addition of an extra wine vinegar will lead to a tangier and zestier, more aromatic result.
And from there, it’s onto the maturing stage – the start of a long journey, during which the liquid is put to ferment, mature and age in precious, large wooden barrels and vats, where they capture extraordinary aromas from the wood, and develop their magical flavour profile over time.
By law, the maturation period has to be 60 days, but our own minimum is far longer – with our ‘aged’ varieties matured for at least 3 years before being bottled, so it can proudly present the word invecchiato (or ‘aged’ in English) on its label.