Balsamic vinegar: a bit of history… and a guided tour of the vinegar cellar afterwards!

The history of balsamic vinegar is deeply linked to the Modena area and has its roots in a centuries-old tradition. The latter, in 2000, led the traditional product to obtain Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status. In 2009, it allowed the condiment made by adding wine vinegar to cooked must to be included by the European Commission in the register of I.G.P. (Protected Geographical Indication) products. Let’s take a look at the main stages of balsamic vinegar, from the past to the present, and how to learn more about them on a guided tour through the vinegar cellar.

The Traces in Ancient Rome

We all know that balsamic vinegar is of Italian origin, but few of us know that the history of this condiment has very ancient origins. We find, in fact, some traces of its production and use as far back as the Middle Eastern civilisations of the 3rd millennium BC and, above all, during the period of the Ancient Romans. It was here that the cooking of grape must was born, typical of the balsamic vinegar production process that can be observed during a guided tour of the vinegar cellar.

Initially, however, must was not used as a condiment. We find evidence of such use in the first book of Virgil’s Georgics.
More specifically, it tells of a woman from the Emilian area who used to cook must to put it in barrels and consume it later.

At the court of the Estensi

Over the centuries, the ancestor of balsamic has undergone numerous changes. However, the first concrete evidence of a condiment from the Modena area, similar to balsamic vinegar, dates back to the transfer of the Este family from Ferrara to Modena. In the registers of the Este secret cellars, relating to the year 1747, there is mention of this interesting food and wine product.

The Napoleonic Invasion and the Balsamic Vinegar Trade

Until 1796, the year of the Napoleonic invasion, balsamic vinegar was a condiment found only on the tables of the Este dukes. After Napoleon’s arrival in Italy, this product began to be known and sold even outside the Duchy of Modena. Producers began to present it at numerous international exhibitions, meeting with great success.

It is also possible to date back to the 19th century the establishment of the first dynasties of producers of balsamic black gold, who are still part of the Consorzio di Tutela today.



Balsamic Vinegar Today

In 1933, balsamic vinegar was officially recognised by the Minister of Agriculture Giacomo Acerbo. It was in 1965, however, that the Official Gazette published the first specification on the ‘Characteristics of composition and method of preparation of Balsamic Vinegar of Modena’. Over time, this condiment has become increasingly popular. It has gained greater appreciation year after year.

Balsamic Vinegar of Modena from Acetaia Marchi and the guided tour of the vinegar cellar

.As we said at the beginning, from the diffusion and appreciation obtained over time, balsamic vinegar has come to obtain some very important recognitions. We at Acetaia Marchi are proud of this and that is why we produce our vinegar by valuing tradition and using top quality grapes. We do not use preservatives or other substances that can alter the authenticity of the dressing.
We only offer products that guarantee a unique and unforgettable culinary experience.

Bring the taste of tradition to the table with Balsamic VinegarTraditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena D.O.P. and the Balsamic Vinegar of Modena I.G.P. from Acetaia Marchi. Then, do not hesitate to book a guided tour of the acetaia, during which you will discover how this delicious and precious condiment is produced. You certainly won’t regret it!