The making of traditional balsamic vinegar. To
and 40 years to produce 25-year-old
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
pressed juice) is cooked.
Because of this, it takes
The cooked juice is
more than the years
then put in barrels
declared on the bottle
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
the standards of the Corsorzio
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.