Guided tours of the Antica Acetaia, or vinegar lofts,
with Balsamic Vinegar tasting
Close your eyes and allow the fragrance to lead you… This is how our guided tour of the Borgo del Balsamico Acetaia, or vinegar lofts, begins – a place synonymous with tradition, refined flavours and excellence.
The guided tour starts here where our 150 centuries-old casks are laid out, and where the Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Reggio Emilia (PDO – EU Protected Designation of Origin) ages – or ‘refines’ as the locals call it – down the years.
Borgo del Balsamico’s batteries of casks date back to the 18th and 19th centuries and were once owned by noble families of Modena and Reggio Emilia. During the visit, you will learn how each barrel is different from the next and that each cask in a battery is made of one of seven different wood species: acacia, oak, chestnut, juniper, cherry, ash, and mulberry. Our Traditional Balsamic Vinegar ages in each of these casks in turn, every wood species adding its special colour, flavour and fragrance to the final product.
The casks are grouped in batteries, in our case groups of seven barrels – although some producers use groups of 5 or 6 – in a sequence of descending size, the last and smallest barrel being the cask from which the Balsamic Vinegar will be finally drawn.
Each year, a specified amount of vinegar is drawn from the smallest cask for bottling. This is then topped up with a small amount of the aging liquid from the next size cask, and so on up the battery to the largest cask, which is topped up with new production must. It’s an ancient method is known as “Solera”.
The visit to the vinegar loft is followed by a tasting session where the fragrances of our Balsamic Vinegar become an experience for the palate.
Tasting proceeds by degrees, to get your palate used to the different notes of the different balsamic vinegars.
Using a teaspoon (never made of metal!), you will first taste the different everyday vinegars (Balsamic Vinegar of Modena PGI – Protected Geographical Indication -, or Condimenti (Dressings) and then pass to Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Reggio Emilia PDO (Protected Designation of Origin).
Going from the young, more tart balsamic vinegar to the syrupy consistency and complex notes of the king of all balsamics, Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Reggio Emilia, is a unique experience that has to be tried, as words can’t really capture the range of flavours.
You will taste notes of vanilla, dry fruit, tamarind, plum and cherry, and all the woods of the casks in which the Balsamic Vinegar has lain for 25 years and more.
Your palate will respond to this unique experience of the senses. After your visit, the words Balsamic Vinegar will take on a whole new significance!
Balsamic Vinegar tasting in Antica Acetaia
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dogs are welcome with a supplement