Extravecchio or Affinato Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena P.D.O.? The differences

The Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena D.O.P. is one of the most appreciated and imitated condiments of our territory, which since 2000 boasts the Protected Designation of Origin.
At Acetaia Marchi we produce it exclusively with cooked must of grapes from the provinces of Modena and Reggio Emilia. In order to obtain a quality product we have to reproduce special climatic conditions in unique attics and follow a detailed step-by-step procedure.
We produce both types of traditional balsamic: Affinato and Extravecchio. These products differ from each other in particular with regard to the ageing process. Let us go into detail.

Types of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena P.D.O.

As mentioned above, the two main categories of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena are distinguished on the basis of their ageing process. The ageing of the product is determined by the time it spends inside the barrels. As the Balsamic vinegar ages, it is decanted into smaller barrels. The set of barrels is called a “battery” and must consist of at least 4 pieces.
Refining is the process by which Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena PDO becomes increasingly concentrated and aromatic as it ages, thanks to the action of vinegar bacteria. It takes about two years for the fermentation and acetification process of the original product to start. It takes another ten years of ageing in the various barrels of the battery to obtain a product that can be defined as “Affinato”.
An “extravecchio” is a traditional balsamic which has been matured in wooden barrels for at a minimum of 25 years. This type of product is taken annually from the smallest barrel. Its production and bottling must follow the procedures set out in the product specification. The specification obliges producers to bottle Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena PDO in 100 ml bottles, sealed on the cap with a numbered label.

The differences between Affinato and Extravecchio

In short, the main difference between the two products is the ageing time, which is longer for the Extravecchio. This difference translates into a further distinction: one concerning flavour and texture. The longer the ageing period, the more dense the consistency and the more aromatic and distinct flavour of extra-old Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena PDO.
Aromaticity is defined by a tasting committee made up of 5 tasters who must be certified by the Chamber of Commerce of Modena. They award a score for the visual appearance, aroma and taste of the product. Only after approval by the commission will it be possible to bottle and sell the vinegar as Traditional Balsamic.
An aged vinegar must reach a minimum score of 229 points, while an extra-aged one must not have a sensory score lower than 255 points.

Would you like to taste an excellent Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena D.O.P.?

If you answered yes, don’t hesitate to try our products. At Acetaia Marchi we offer both the Affinato and the Extravecchio, both pure and fine, with an intense, deep and bright black colour and a pleasant and harmonious acidity. We can offer a variety of solutions and each time you will have a unique, high-quality Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena D.O.P. at your disposal.