How it's made
WHAT IS THE TRADITIONAL BALSAMIC VINEGAR OF MODENA DOP?
Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena DOP is made with cooked must only obtained from selected grapes of Modena's surroundings. Cooked must then matures by slow acetification, a natural process of fermentation and progressive concentration gained through a long ageing in a set of precious wooden barrels, without adding aromatic substances.
WHO DETERMINES THE QUALITY OF THE TRADITIONAL BALSAMIC VINEGAR OF MODENA DOP?
The production of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena DOP is controlled by a regulation. The tasting of each Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena DOP takes place in the Consortium which establishes the final score and bottles the product inside the exclusive 100ml bottle designed by Giugiaro. Then two ranges of ageing are selected on the basis of the organoleptic characteristics. It is called Affinato, the Balsamic Vinegar with minimum of 12 years. Meanwhile it is called Extra Vecchio, the Balsamic Vinegar with minimum of 25 years.
WHICH IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DOP AND IGP BALSAMIC VINEGAR?
There is a substantial difference: Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena DOP is obtained, whereas the Balsamic Vinegar of Modena IGP is produced. Another difference concerns the ingredients: DOP product is made with 100% cooked must obtained from grapes picked in Modena's surroundings. On the other hand IGP product is a blend of cooked must (minimum 20%) and wine vinegar. These are two very different processing cycles, however both are subject to controls to guarantee the consumers.
WHAT IS COOKED MUST?
Cooked must is the main ingredient of our Balsamic Vinegar of Modena IGP. It is made by slowly cooking the must which in turn is obtained by squeezing ripe grapes. Cooking the must is an important phase which let us concentrate the sugars and flavours by evaporating, and give a dark colour at the same time.
IS WINE VINEGAR PRESENT IN IGP PRODUCTS?
Yes, it is. The wine vinegar is an ingredient used to make IGP products and it is required by the IGP regulation for 10% minimum. No one of our IGP products has wine vinegar as the main ingredient, on the contrary our products are based on cooked must. These information are always provided on the list of ingredients carried by each bottle: the first ingredient in the list is always the one present with the major percentage.
IN WHICH BOTTLE CAN I FIND IGP AND DOP BALSAMIC VINEGAR?
Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena DOP is bottled only by the Consortium inside the exclusive 100ml bottle designed by Giugiaro. This is a guarantee for the consumer and a seal of its exclusivity. Meanwhile Balsamic Vinegar of Modena IGP can be found in different bottles with different sizes: 250ml, 500ml, 750ml, 1 liter, 2 liters, 3 liters and 5 liters. These can be made of glass, ceramics, wooden or terracotta. Alternatively plastic single-dose packet with a maximum capacity of 250ml, are authorized .
WHERE IS PRODUCED BALSAMIC VINEGAR OF MODENA IGP? AND TRADITIONAL DOP?
The IGP regulation circumscribes in Europe the production of Balsamic Vinegar of Modena IGP to the Italian Province of Modena and Reggio Emilia. Regarding Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena DOP, the area authorized is localized only in the Province of Modena.
WHICH ARE THE VINES USED FOR BALSAMIC VINEGAR OF MODENA IGP PRODUCTION?
For Balsamic Vinegar of Modena IGP production are allowed the following seven different vines (both white and red grapes): Trebbiani, Lambruschi, Sangiovese, Albana, Ancellotta, Fortana, Montuni. In our production we use exclusively grapes coming from local hills vineyards which grew on clay lands until October in order to obtain grapes containing more quantities of sugars.
HOW OLD IS THE PRODUCT?
The IGP regulation of production forbids the use of numerical forms to distinguish the different products. This means that it is not allowed to indicate the age of the IGP product on the label. Regarding the Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena DOP, the denominations of Affinato and Extra Vecchio are both authorized in order to guarantee two different minimum ageing (12-year and 25-year)without specifying a precise age on the label.
WHAT DOES THE DENSITY ON THE LABEL INDICATE?
The density on our label of Balsamic Vinegar of Modena IGP is a term which expresses the ratio of 1 liter to 1 kilogram regarding the finished product. For instance 1,22 is the density of a product that weight 1,22 kg per liter. The minimum density required by the IGP regulation is 1,06. When this term increases, it shows the quality rise of the product. Our products carries a density which is connected to the colour of the leaves on the label.
IS THE CARAMEL IN COMPLIANCE WITH REGULATIONS?
Yes, it is but only for Balsamic Vinegar of Modena IGP. The percentage authorized is for a maximum of 2% in order to stabilize the colour. Since we don't consider caramel an appropriate ingredient for a high quality Balsamic Vinegar, all our products are free of it.
IS BALSAMIC VINEGAR OF MODENA IGP ALCOHOLIC?
We cannot define it as alcoholic. In compliance with IGP regulation which imposes a maximum of 1,5% alcohol by volume, our IGP products tend to average 0,5% alcohol by volume.
IS YOUR BALSAMIC VINEGAR DI MODENA IGP OR BALSAMIC VINEGAR TRADIZIONALE DI MODENA DOP CONTAINING GMO?
All our products comes from strictly GMO free ingredients.
WHICH IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ORGANIC AND NON-ORGANIC?
The difference resides in the type of ingredients rather than in the way of producing. Organic Balsamic Vinegar of Modena IGP is a product made with grapes coming from organic agriculture. This guarantees the application of natural growing methods in order to avoid the use of pesticides and fertilizers which are potentially dangerous to people. Therefore organic agriculture exploits natural fertility of the soil limiting human interventions and refuses the use of GMO.
WHICH IS THE ROLE OF BARRELS IN THE AGEING PROCESS?
Our barrels are passed on generations. The most "recent" ones date back to 1970s. The wood so impregnated with Balsamic flavour, gives the finished product superior quality features. On the contrary the use of new manufactured barrels is largely diffuse.
ONE OR MORE KINDS OF WOOD FOR PRODUCING BALSAMIC VINEGAR DI MODENA IGP?
The IGP regulation of production doesn't oblige the use of different kinds of wood. However, we use the following kinds of wood: oak, cherry, chestnut, juniper, mulberry. This let us give strong aromas and perfumes to our IGP products.
WHICH IS THE EXPIRY DATE OF BALSAMIC VINEGAR?
It isn't required an expiry date for Balsamic Vinegar of Modena IGP. Being a vinegar, this product is a preserving agent on its own. Few advices: keep the bottle closed after use and not expose it to humidity. For Balsamic Vinegar of Modena DOP , it is established that the bottling lasts no more than 10 years.
HOW BIG IS A BARREL?
The capacity of our barrels tends to average 70-80 liters, obtaining a good exchange between wood and product. According to us, bigger sized barrels are not indicated because of the lower contact between product mass and internal surface of the wood. This is frequently forgotten affecting the production quality.
DOES BALSAMIC VINEGAR DI MODENA IGP CONTAIN SULFITES?
In our production of Balsamic Vinegar of Modena IGP no sulfites are added. On the other hand our finished products may contain traces of sulfites because they are naturally present in raw materials such as must and wine vinegar. This is totally in compliance with IGP regulation of production.
WHY IS GOOD QUALITY BALSAMIC VINEGAR EXPENSIVE?
WHEN IS YOUR BALSAMIC VINEGAR OF MODENA IGP BOTTLED?
Once certified, all our products keep resting in the wooden barrels. We don't have bottles in stock, because our Balsamic Vinegar of Modena IGP is kept in barrels until the moment of our customer order. In the end we guarantee that each phase of the processing cycle is totally handmade.