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:
earth (climate & environment)
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.
The Balsamic Vinegar of Modena Protected Geographic Indication is reserved to vinegars with the following characteristics:
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
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).