While cooking of grape must was already in use among the ancient Romans, the first evidence concerning the balsamic vinegar from Modena dates back to 1046 when Emperor Henry III passed through the Emilia region because he had a yearning to enjoy that perfect vinegar. However, the development of balsamic vinegar tradition is due to the move of the House of Este from Ferrara to Modena in 1598. Many documents confirm that, at the duke’s court, vinegar was usually produced either for internal consumption or to be given to prominent personalities as a precious gift. Within the Duchy, the first definition of “balsamic vinegar” arrived in 1747, whereas in 1800 Balsamic Vinegar of Modena was also featuring at an international level and the dynasties of producers came to life, some of which are still members of the Consortium.
THE PRODUCTION AREA AND PROCESS – Aceto Balsamico di Modena PGI originates only from the provinces of Modena and Reggio Emilia, areas that are fertile and suitable to wine production, and is made using typical local vines. These are territories with a typical semi-continental climate moderated by the proximity of the Adriatic Sea, characterized by harsh winters, hot and humid summers, frequent rains and thick autumn and winter fogs. Balsamic Vinegar of Modena PGI is made following a unique and traditional methodology from partially fermented, cooked or concentrated grape must obtained exclusively from the Lambrusco, Sangiovese, Trebbiano, Albana, Ancellotta, Fortana and Montuni grapes varieties. An aliquot of vinegar aged for at least 10 years as well as a minimum of 10% vinegar obtained from the acetification of pure wine are added to the must.
THE PRODUCT’S PLUS – Balsamic Vinegar of Modena PGI is limpid and glossy in appearance with a colour that is a deep brown tending towards the black, a bittersweet taste with a harmony between the acidic and the sweet (total minimum acidity of 6%), and a persistent delicate, lightly acidic aroma with eventual woody notes. The sweet and sour taste of Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, with its slightly acetic and mild aroma with woody notes, can harmonize any recipe’s ingredients in an extraordinary way. From classic Parmigiano-Reggiano PDO cheese to pasta and rice dishes, from fish to boiled meat, from vegetables to fruit and desserts, Aceto Balsamico di Modena PGI is a never ending refined and intense discovery.
THE CONSORTIUM FOR PROTECTION – Consorzio Tutela Aceto Balsamico di Modena (Consortium for Protection of Balsamic Vinegar of Modena) was founded in 1993 for the initiative of about 10 manufacturers of this typical local vinegar. Since then, the Consortium distinguished itself as the main actor for the protection of the product’s denomination, attracting several other companies of the industry. Starting from 1998, Consorzio Tutela Aceto Balsamico di Modena adopted an internal Regulation, binding all its Members to observe production methods and procedures aimed to guarantee the respect of the traditional manufacturing process, and to grant high quality to the final product: the same rules were then adopted in the product specifications which were submitted to the European Commission in order to obtain the release of the PGI recognition.