DOP Traditional Balsamic of Modena 25 Years “Extravecchio”
This traditional balsamic vinegar has received from the European Commission the DOP (Protected Designation of Origin) recognition and is submitted to a strict production policy. It is made exclusively of cooked grape must aged for many years in wooden barrels where it naturally gets thicker and aromatic from year to year. Every year it is transferred into a different wooden barrel to acquire the various aromas of oak, cherry, chestnut, ash, mulberry, juniper woods. Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena DOP can only be found in the special shaped 100ml glass jar designed by Giugiaro and each bottle is numbered and sealed with the DOP mark of the Consortium. Only two qualities are put on the market: “Affinato” aged for at least 12 years and “Extravecchio” aged for minimum 25 years. They are pleasantly thick and sweeter than Balsamic Vinegar of Modena IGP therefore they can be used on many dishes. The “EXTRAVECCHIO” is also used pure at the end of a meal as an after-dinner, for its digestive properties.
WHAT IS BALSAMIC VINEGAR OF MODENA?
It is a condiment typical of Modena area, made from cooked grape juice (called “MUST”), concentrated through a long cooking process and put on rest in wooden barrels to acetify and concentrate naturally.
All products from PonteVecchio are made following the traditional methods handed down from father to son and using the ingredients provided by the local vineyards surrounding the farm, the typical Trebbiano white grape and Lambrusco red grape. From these two qualities of grapes, we obtain the “must” (cooked grape juice) which is the basic ingredient for the balsamic condiments here aged in the numerous wooden barrels located in the attics of the “Acetaia”.
The aged vinegar has very remote origins; literature testifies that it was used as a “precious gift” offered to nobles, kings and intellectuals in sign of respect, peace or to pay some dues. It was also included in the ladies’ dowries for its medicinal properties and high value. Thanks to Giacomo Casanova who used to offer it to his lovers, the aphrodisiac reputation of the aged balsamic spread out but it is especially well-known for its digestive properties, this is the reason why an aged Balsamic (thicker and sweeter) can be used pure as an after-dinner.
The artisanal methods to produce balsamic Vinegar are handed down within the balsamic artisan families, they briefly consist of:
1. Pick-up of grapes typical of Modena area and immediate pressing to get the juice.
2. Cooking of the juice to get a concentrated must.
3. Aging of the must in wood barrels located in the “Acetaia”(attics of the houses, very cold in winter and very hot in summer to help the natural fermenting and concentration process).
4. Tasting and transfer from the barrels to the final bottle.