The Vinegar Loft (Acetaia)
Our Vinegar Lofts shelter ancient batteries of casks once owned by the noble families of the province of Reggio Emilia and Modena.
Laid out in the attic gloom, our array of barriques and vats – dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries – quietly guard their precious content.
Il Borgo has hundreds of casks all around the estate – in the attics and greenhouses – places where the extremes of climate gradually do their work.
The barrels themselves, their wood darkened by age, have shapes that speak of ancient craft techniques.
Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Reggio Emilia (PDO) is matured in 450 small casks made of different woods. The casks are group in batteries, i.e., a series of graduated-size casks starting from the largest to the smallest.
Vinegar aging batteries are made up of different capacity casks containing from 10/15 down to 4/5 litres. Each cask is made of a different wood: oak, chestnut, juniper, cherry, ash, and acacia. Each releases its particular aroma and flavour to the maturing Balsamic.
Traditional Balsamic Vinegar has been produced in this area of Italy since time immemorial. It was a tradition among the noble families of Reggio Emilia and Modena on the birth of a daughter to have a battery of vinegar casks made that would later be her dowry.
The traditional balsamic casks are never left empty or changed. Only a small quantity – 10 – 20% at most – of the content of the smallest casks is drawn off for bottling to ensure the Balsamico remaining loses none of it balance. If one of the casks needs repairing, it is taken out of the battery until repaired and then put back in exactly the same place.
Balsamic Vinegar of Modena PGI and Borgo Condiment are aged and refined in barriques of French oak.
The products we called “daily-use” dressings, or condiments, are refined at a specialist plant holding about 400 barriques and several huge 50,000 to 10,000 liter vats.
Balsamic vinegar makers have long studied all aspects of their craft, from the quality of the raw materials and the ingredients released into the refining vinegar by the various wood species through to the exquisite presentation of the finished product to convey the full significance of this ancient tradition of Reggio Emilia and Modena.