BALSAMIC VINEGAR OF MODENA

 

 

 

 

 

THE SECRET:
SIMPLICITY'
1
The Product
Balsamic Vinegar of Modena PGI

A product of the Emilian territory and skill honed over thousands of years, it is clear and bright with an intense dark brown colour tending towards black. Its taste is bitter-sweet with a harmony between acidity and sweetness while its odour is lightly acidic, delicate and persistent with eventual woody notes.
The secret behind Balsamic Vinegar of Modena PGI lies in 3 factors:

  • grapes

  • earth (climate & environment)

  • love

2
How It Is Made
Balsamic Vinegar of Modena PGI

Obtained exclusively from the Lambrusco, Sangiovese, Trebbiano, Albana, Ancellotta, Fortana and Montuni grape varieties, it is produced from cooked or concentrated must, with the addition of a quantity of wine vinegar, and aged in barrels for at least 60 days, or up to and beyond 3 years for products labelled as invecchiato (aged). Fermentation begins immediately in large vats and continues after transfer into casks constructed using prized woods such as oak, particularly sessile oak, chestnut, mulberry and juniper. The product thus obtained is filtered and then subjected to a “final examination” (analytical and organoleptic), which leads to the product being certified as Balsamic Vinegar of Modena PGI.

CHARACTERISTICS

The Balsamic Vinegar of Modena Protected Geographic Indication is reserved to vinegars with the following characteristics:

  • clear and bright clarity;
  • intense, dark brown colour;
  • bitter-sweet, balanced flavour;
  • aroma that is slightly acidic, delicate and persistent, with eventual woody notes;
  • density at 20°C of no less than 1.06 for a refined product;
  • actual alcohol strength not exceeding 1.5% vol.;
  • minimum total acidity of 6%;
  • maximum total sulphur dioxide of 100 mg/l.;
  • ashes: minimum 2.5 per thousand;
  • minimum net dry extract of 30 g/l;
  • minimum reducing sugars of 110 g/l.

Balsamic Vinegar of Modena PGI:
ageing period in excess of 60 days

Aged Balsamic Vinegar of Modena PGI:
ageing period in excess of 3 years

To learn more, flip through the production disciplinary

Balsamic Vinegar Houses:
The Acetaia

The house of Balsamic Vinegar of Modena PGI is called acetaia. It is a location dedicated exclusively to the long production and ageing process necessary for transforming balsamic vinegar into the priceless product we have all come to know.
Visiting an acetaia is a sensory voyage through modern charm and ancient aromas that serve as a background to the many stories the producers have to tell, each different from the next but all permeated by the passion for this product of the Modena tradition.
Many have opened their doors to tourists and balsamic vinegar enthusiasts: go to the list
The visit can include a look at the production and ageing locales, product tasting, and even live demonstrations of the must cooking phase.

The Production Cycle

The product is obtained from grape must that is partially fermented, cooked and/or concentrated. An aliquot of vinegar aged for at least 10 years is added as well as at least 10 % of vinegar produced from the acetification of pure wine. The amount of cooked and/or concentrated grape must should not be less than 20% of the total product volume to be sent for processing. The addition of a maximum of 2% by volume of final product of caramel for colour stability is permitted. The last phase, before release for direct consumption, is bottling.

Fermentation

The fermentation of grape must, i.e. the biochemical transformation of organic materials by micro-organisms, takes place in large vats with interiors that are maintained at optimum conditions.

Concentration/Cooking

After fermentation, the resulting must is concentrated and/or cooked until the initial mass attains a density of at least 1.24 at a temperature of 20°C.

Assemblage

The raw materials, cooked and/or concentrated must, wine vinegar and an aliquot of vinegar aged for at least 10 years, are assembled following a traditional processing method, so as to guarantee the analytical and organoleptic characteristics of the final product provided for in the disciplinary.

Acetification and Refinement

The assembled mixture is subjected to acetification using selected bacterial colonies, or using the well-established method of slow surface acetification or slow acetification using wood chippings, followed by refinement. Both acetification and refinement take place inside receptacles constructed using prized woods such as oak, particularly sessile oak, chestnut, mulberry and juniper.

Ageing

After sixty days of refinement in wooden vats, Balsamic Vinegar of Modena can undergo an additional period of ageing in barrels, casks or other wooden receptacles that are generally smaller in size. If the ageing period exceeds three years, the final product may be labelled “invecchiato”, aged.

Bottling

The resulting product is transferred into glass bottles, or containers of wood, ceramic or terracotta. Every receptacle is labelled with the product name, “Balsamic Vinegar of Modena” Protected Geographic Indication (PGI).