Processing of Balsamic Vinegar
Aged Balsamic Vinegar
Writings found dating back to the 1800’s on the art of making balsamic vinegar stated, ‘Beyond these barrels and Trebbiano grapes, all you need is time.’ Though this may seem simple, it is an arduous labor of love and respect and dedication to authenticity.
Balsamic vinegar is often mistaken as a wine vinegar. Balsamic vinegar is made by taking just-harvested white grapes (typically, Trebbiano grapes) which are crushed into a “must”, a combination of juice and skin. Unlike wine, the grape is never allowed to ferment, instead the must is cooked at temperatures usually over 212 degrees Fahrenheit, reducing the must to approximately 30% of its original volume.
The balsamic vinegar is then aged for a minimum of 12 years in a battery of seven barrels of successively smaller sizes. The casks are made of different woods like chestnut, acacia, cherry, oak, mulberry, ash, and, in the past, juniper. During the aging process the water slowly evaporates and the barrel infuses flavors into the vinegar. The longer the balsamic has been aged, the sweeter and thicker it becomes. Balsamic vinegar should be rich, glossy, deep brown in color with a complex flavor that balances the natural sweet and sour elements of the cooked grape juice imbued with tones of wood. Unlike commercial grade balsamic vinegar commonly found in grocery markets, authentic balsamic vinegar develop naturally without the addition of sugars and coloring; only through the aging process do these flavors naturally come to life.
Our aged balsamic vinegar are produced using the Solera Method. Solera is Spanish for " on the ground" but universal for quality. Barrels of vinegar are stacked according to age and funneled from the top set of barrels to the bottom. Developed in Spain. The Solera Method consist of transferring vinegar through various barrels. Some aged up to 100 years. Our balsamic are all certified and honored with four 4 leaves. Our balsamic vinegar are GMO and Gluten Free. They are free of food coloring, added sweetener or additives at the end of the aging process.
White Balsamic Vinegar
Producing a white balsamic vinegar begins by crushing the white Trebbiano grapes and pressure cooking at low temperatures unlike dark balsamic vinegars. This prevents the must from caramelizing and keeping the color light. The addition of white wine vinegar is added prior to the aging process. The white balsamic vinegar should be clear in color with brighter flavors due to the slightly higher acidity levels.