Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena PDO
Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena DOP is a noble product that has its roots in the 1400s and is made from just two ingredients: cooked grape must and time.
As stipulated in the specifications of the PDO (the coveted Protected Designation of Origin certification), the time the product stays inside the battery or group of barrels is strictly regulated by a process of periodic racking and filling. For Traditional Vinegar of Modena PDO, the minimum aging time cannot be less than 12 years.
This version produced by Bonini, the "Riserva," presented in an elegant black package, has been aged for 25 years.
How is balsamic vinegar of Modena produced?
The slow acidification of the grape must begins with cooking the must in steel tanks for a minimum of 48 hours. Bonini uses only Trebbiano grapes that ensure the balsamic vinegar has a perfect balance of acidity and sweetness in the final product. After cooking, the must is skimmed and the contents are introduced into the "abbess" or mother cask, the first step in the series (or battery) of casks, which usually consists of five to seven more of these. The abbess is the only "open" cask, where oxygen can enter and promote the work of the "vinegar bacteria." Other very old casks are connected to the mother cask, where the vinegar bacteria continue to work, feeding on seasonal temperature changes.
From the largest to the smallest cask, the vinegar is decanted and refilled: each cask will retain at least one-third of the liquid inside, which will then pass to the next (and smaller) cask. The most important variable is precisely this third, which remains at the bottom of each barrel. These "leftovers" contain particles of product dating back to the first set of barrels, an ancestral umami and witness to each generation taking on the burden and responsibility of caring for the barrels.
The particles crystallized in the walls of the barrels can date back as much as 50 years, and this is precisely the secret of every balsamic vinegar producer: the ability to preserve this "sediment," which will later lend complexity and round out the taste of this fine product.
Balsamic vinegar aged in barrels for at least 25 years
Born out of a passion for Traditional Balsamic Vinegar, Bonini srl is based just outside Modena. It is exclusively by following the Modena tradition that Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena D.O.P. and all the condiments are made, a vision that involves the use of a single ingredient: cooked must from Trebbiano grapes. The slow acetification of the must gives rise to a product of extreme quality that, over the years, has conquered some of the most desired tables around the world.