After our lunch at Osteria Francescana in Modena we visited an acetaia – a small local producer of the iconic Aceto Balsamico di Modena. And our visit to Acetaia di Giorgio turned out to be the highlight of our short stay in the city!
First of all, Marcello of Acetaia di Giorgio was very helpful in advance. Since we had our lunch first, we couldn’t make it to a tour he gave to another group so he offered us a private tour of the acetaia one hour later. In perfect english 🙂
As we arrived at the adress, we couldn’t believe that this pittoresque house was actually a production site for vinegar…until we got out of the car and caught the intriguing smell in the air.
The tour before us was not finished, so we waited 10 minutes in the wonderful garden of the house, in which the Barbieri family lives and produces their wonderful vinegar. Giorgio, Giovanna and Carlotta Barbieri are one of the few, artisanal producers of Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena.
This vinegar is produced under very strict conditions, using only grapes from local producers. Moreover, the vinegar can only be sold as ABT di Modena, if its quality is approved be the consortium of producers. Original ABT di Modena then is bottled in special glass bottles designed by Giugiaro (wo also designed the Audi 80 and VW Golf I by the way …).
Marcello explained us the process of making vinegar and showed us the solera rows for the different vinegars they produce.
The highlight of the tour was a tasting of the different vinegars. It was amazing to see the big jump of complexity between 12 and 25 years of ageing. They also offer a variety of wood finishes like cherry and oak, that add deepness and complexity to this wonderful product. Every vinegar has its own character and taste profile. The highlight surely was „Carlotta“ – a 25 years old vinegar of a solera that was started with the birth of the family’s daughter and finished in different wooden casks.
Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena is a truly fascinating product. The price is reasonable if you consider that in a 100 ml bottle of 25 years old ABT di Modena the essence of approx. 200 Liters of grape must is concentrated!
I took with me a Capsula ORO D.O.P., their 25-years old all puprose vinegar. On special occasions I enjoy it, I savor the shere endless aftertaste and it takes me back to this beautiful spot in Modena, where I first tasted this beautiful product.
My favorite recipy to enjoy the vinegar is Bruschetta from Emilia 🙂