Aceto Balsamico di Modena PGI is balsamic vinegar obtained from grape must and wine vinegar refined for various periods of time in recipients made from precious wood. It is produced in two typologies: Aceto Balsamico di Modena PGI and Aceto Balsamico di Modena PGI Invecchiato (Aged).
The production area of Aceto Balsamico di Modena PGI is within the provinces of Modena and Reggio Emilia, in the Emilia Romagna region.
Aceto Balsamico di Modena PGI is obtained from the partially fermented, cooked and/or concentrated grape must of the Lambrusco, Sangiovese, Trebbiano, Albana, Ancellotta, Fortana and Montuni grape varieties. Wine vinegar (minimum 10%) and aged vinegar (minimum 10 years) are added to the must, which together must be at least 20% of the total quantity of the product before processing. Aceto Balsamico di Modena PGI must be produced with the traditional method of acidification using selected bacterial colonies, or slow surface acidification, or slow surface acidification with wood shavings, followed by aging. Whichever method is used, acidification and the aging process take place in wooden barrels made from, for example, oak, especially durmast, chestnut, mulberry and juniper, for at least 60 days, and at least three years for the “aged” product.
Appearance and Flavour
Aceto Balsamico di Modena PGI has a delicate and persistent aroma, with an agreeable and harmonious sourness. It is deep brown in colour and its smell is slightly acetic, persistent and with possible woody hints. The flavour is well balanced between sweet and sour.
The origins of Aceto Balsamico di Modena PGI can be traced back to the ancient Romans, the first population to cook grape must in order to conserve it and use it as an invigorating drink, or to flavour and sweeten food. A volume dated 1556, entitled "La grassa", describes various types of vinegar and different ways to use them, among which there is a variety that seems to correspond with today’s “balsamic” vinegar. The development of the tradition of balsamic vinegar is given to the transferal of the House of Este from Ferrara to Modena in 1598. However, the adjective “balsamic” only appeared for the first time in 1747, in the Dukes of Este’s cellar records. Over the centuries, it was given the name balsamic due to its particular therapeutic benefits. In the 19th century, Aceto Balsamico di Modena started to be appreciated internationally: it was in fact the protagonist of the most important exhibitions of the time.
Aceto Balsamico di Modena PGI should be conserved in a glass container, which must be well-sealed and kept away from substances that release particularly strong odours. The extreme versatility of this product makes it suitable for every type of dish. Thanks to its fragrant aftertaste and its aromatic sourness, it is perfect with vegetables, both raw and boiled, but also with all types of meat, fish, desserts and ice-cream. It is excellent served with mature cheeses.
Aceto Balsamico di Modena PGI is the result of a combination of tradition and skills that over the centuries, closely linked to the territoy, have led to the conception and refinement of its recipe. The unusual aromatic hints of the product are due to its ageing in barrels made of precious wood.