Balsamic Vinegars of Modena
Balanced for Perfect Flavor
finest balsamic Vinegars are born in the lovely rolling hills of
Modena, between the Secchia and Reno River valleys in the
provincial northwest of Italy where resinous barrels give fine Balsamic
Vinegars their unique flavor.
Balsamics are a study in balance and contrast. Sweet and sharp.
Spicy and mellow. The process begins with gently crushing the
wine grapes and concentrating their juice over an open flame. Then
the sweet thick grape "must" is fermented once by yeast to make
alcohol. Then fermented again by the "madre" culture to make the
smooth and subtle sourness for which Balsamics are known.
The process of becoming vinegar occurs in wooden barrels. As the
volume decreases through evaporation over the years the maturing
liquor is transferred to smaller and smaller casks, each with its
special blend of aromatic flavoring woods. The filled barrels are
placed in the attic for ideal temperatures, hot in Summer, cold
in Winter. Over years of aging, the fruit and spice and mood
of the finest Balsamic emerges.
Complex flavor in fine Balsamic Vinegar comes from this long and
exacting aging. A variety of barrels are used including durmast,
chestnut, ash, cherry and mulberry. Balsamic vinegar makers keep
a secret art in the matching and blending of resinous aromatic staves.
One taste of a truly fine Balsamic will make clear why it is worth
all the effort. Balsamic Vinegar is truly in a class apart from
other vinegars. Unlike the sharp tastes we usually associate with
vinegar, the balsamics present a rich dark complex of sweetness
While Balsamic Vinegar lends itself well to a stunning vinaigrette,
it may find its highest expression in distinctly un-vinegar-like
roles such as a splash on fresh fruit or ice cream. It should come
as no surprise that when Balsamic Vinegar was first produced, more
than 600 years ago, it was reserved exclusively for the use of the
nobility by Ducal fiat.