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The making of traditional balsamic vinegar. To

make

Aceto

and 40 years to produce 25-year-old

Balsamico

Tradizionale di Modena, the grapes

vinegar. These numbers don’t add

must reach a sweetness level of

up because every year 1/3 of each

at least 18% before harvesting.

barrel is added to a barrel of the

The grapes are then crushed

next year to keep the vinegar

and the must (freshly

making

pressed juice) is cooked.

process

alive.

Because of this, it takes

The cooked juice is

more than the years

then put in barrels

declared on the bottle

for aging.

to have all the vinegar inside aged for the stated

The first stage of aging

number of years.

is six years. At this point, the vinegar is wonderful but

Trust

the standards of the Corsorzio

me,

I

don’t

really

understand the math, but this is

require more. The vinegar must

how it was explained to me.

be aged for at least eight more years

Does the fact that I don’t understand

to produce 12-year-old balsamic (the minimum age that Balsamico Tradizionale can be sold)

bother me? No, the proof is in the tasting.

Tasting a vinegar made with love. After seeing the production process, we went into the attic of the house where the barrels of vinegar were aging beyond six years. They are housed in the attic so that the vinegar lives the heat of summer and the cold of winter—a necessity in the making of Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale.

personal experience. The stories of how one has lived with food will determine how we describe a new food experience. I tasted cherries and chocolate with a bit of an acidic kick. I would call it liquid gold.

And the taste? As Emilio explained, taste is affected by

know before you go: The family is pleased to accept people for tours throughout the year; though, they recommend the spring and fall. The tours are free but must be arranged in advance either with them through their website or through the Modena Tourist Bureau.

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