Balsamic vinegar production: discovering the vinegar cellar

Balsamic vinegar is one of Italy’s gastronomic treasures and represents a culinary tradition rich in history and passion. It is produced in special places called “acetaie,” where the vinegar is carefully produced and aged. In this article we will explore the art behind the production of balsamic vinegar and we will find out what makes vinegar factories so unique.

The Origin of Modena’s Black Gold

Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena DOP and Balsamic Vinegar of Modena IGP are products originating in Emilia-Romagna. Their story has its roots In antiquity (OF DOP ONLY) and has become a distinctive tradition especially in the Modena area. Also called Black Gold, to highlight its prestige and a characteristic of its appearance (it has a very dark color), this condiment is now appreciated in every part of Italy and also in many other places in the rest of the world.

The production of balsamic vinegar is regulated by various procedures and directions, and characterized by methods handed down from generation to generation.
The main ingredient is grape must, known as cooked must, which is aged in wooden barrels.

The Vinegar Works: a place that encompasses passion and tradition, fundamental to the production of balsamic vinegar

Acetaie are the places where Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena DOP is produced and refined and/or aged. These facilities are often run by families who have guarded the tradition of this precious condiment for generations. A visit to a vinegar factory is a unique experience that offers a window into the history and culture associated with this precious condiment.

Inside a vinegar cellar it is possible to admire the various stages of production of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena DOP.
This long and complex process begins with the grape harvest which must be ripe, of high quality and local varieties (from the Modena area) such as Lambrusco o Ancellotta. Next, the grapes are crushed and the resulting must is simmered for hours. This process reduces the must to a very thick syrup known precisely as cooked must. The latter is fermented in wooden barrels… This is the starting point for the “birth” of balsamic vinegar.

The immature vinegar is slowly transferred to a series of smaller and smaller wooden barrels. Each barrel can be made from a different wood, such as cherry, oak, mulberry or chestnut, and imparts unique aromas and flavors to the dressing. Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena DOP must age for at least 12 years. During this time, the vinegar thickens and develops its characteristic sweet-and-sour flavor.

Tasting in the vinegar cellar

Inside a aceteria you can not only see how the production of balsamic vinegar takes place: you can also taste this delicious condiment. You will be able to taste the difference between Balsamic Vinegar of Modena IGP, with its sweet and sour taste, and between Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena DOP
Affinato ( at least 12 years) and Extra old
( at least 25 years). Boasts a rich, complex and velvety flavor.

Balsamic vinegar production in our vinegar factory

Se desiderate visitare un’acetaia, potete venire nella nostra. All’interno dell’Acetaia Marchi you will see with your own eyes how the production of balsamic vinegar.
You will discover that this product is more than just a condiment: it is a culinary tradition passed down from generation to generation, as well as a gastronomic treasure to be enjoyed and appreciated.