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Reggio Emilia - Traditional Balsamic Vinegars P.D.O.

Quick Overview

The authenticity of D.O.P. vinegars is safeguarded by the Consortium of Producers of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar from Reggio Emilia. Traditional Balsamic is classed into one of three categories depending on the assessment of the tasters: Oro (Gold), Argento (Silver) or Aragosta (Crimson).

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Details

These are the colors of the three labels applied to the typical little bottles of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Reggio Emilia. The labels indicate three different product qualities, obtained by ageing the vinegar for different lengths of time, with 12 years being the minimum. This is a choice made by the Consortium of Producers of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Reggio Emilia that dates back to its foundation in 1986 and is designed to allow consumers to make an informed purchase. In 2000, the European Community, as an addition to the prestigious recognition that gave Traditional Balsamic vinegar of Reggio Emilia Protected Designation of Origin status, drafted a standard that establishes the following:

• all producers must be certified by an independent Certification Organisation, identified among those recognized by the EC itself and authorized by the Ministry for Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies. This Body carries out checks throughout the production chain and issues a certificate only after verifying that the strict production regulations have been fully complied with;

• all products must comply with the density and acidity values indicated in the production regulations, attested to by specific tests carried out in laboratories compliant with the ISO/ IEC 17025 standard. These certificates must be sent to the Certification Organisation for verification;

• the products to be bottled are tested for suitability and quality features by the Certification Organisation. Anonymous samples undergo a tasting session and organoleptic testing, carried out by a commission of five master tasters, who fill in a test sheet with their opinion, expressed by a series of numbers indicating the sensations they perceive from the product;

• products deemed suitable for sale must be bottled in the province of Reggio Emilia, exclusively in the dedicated containers with the shape and size established by the production regulations;

• all the stages in the bottling process must be carried out in the presence of the Certification Organisation, which has the task of checking on how the bottles are filled, corked and sealed with wax and, once the process is complete, of delivering the bottles back to the producer, complete with the progressively numbered labels of the appropriate color that allow for product tractability.

Now, it's time to discover these labels one by one.

Additional Information

About:

There are very few cases like Traditional Balsamic Vinegar, where its history is “the product”.

In fact, this fruit of the intelligence and the passion of men has honored and characterized the most fortunate and most knowledgeable tables for many centuries.

Its ancient roots are for the most part unknown, and surround the “most special vinegar in the world” with a veil of mystery, about where the idea and the production techniques came from, the beginning of the modus operandi passed down through the generations from father to son, which today we call know how.

The earliest ancient writings which mention it date back to the year 1046, when the Emperor of Germany, Henry III, travelling to Rome for the coronation, stopped in Piacenza. From here he wrote to Boniface, Marquis of Tuscany and father of the famous Countess Matilde of Canossa, asking for a gift of a special vinegar which “he had heard flows in the most perfect manner”.

Within the very walls of the castle which was to become very famous a few years later for the “pardon” meeting between Pope Gregory VII and the Emperor Henry IV, the story goes that a vinegar was made, elixir and balsam, which was craved desperately by the royalty.

These historic facts are told in the poem “Vita Mathildis”, written by the monk Donizone, who was the main-biographer of the Great Countess Matilde. In the XII, XIII and XIV centuries, we know for sure that, in Reggio Emilia, Scandiano and in the other main towns of the territory, vinegar producers formed real consortium-type groups in which all members jealously guarded the secrets of this most precious production.

The earliest ancient writings which mention it date back to the year 1046, when the Emperor of Germany, Henry II, travelling to Rome for the coronation, stopped in Piacenza. From here he wrote to Boniface, Marquis of Tuscany and father of the famous Countess Matilde of Canossa, asking for a gift of a special vinegar which “he had heard flows in the most perfect manner”.

Within the very walls of the castle which was to become very famous a few years later for the “pardon” meeting between Pope Gregory VII and the Emperor Henry IV, the story goes that a vinegar was made, elixir and balsam, which was craved desperately by the royalty.

These historic facts are told in the poem “Vita Mathildis”, written by the monk Donizone, who was the main-biographer of the Great Countess Matilde. In the XII, XIII and XIV centuries, we know for sure that, in Reggio Emilia, Scandiano and in the other main towns of the territory, vinegar producers formed real consortium-type groups in which all members jealously guarded the secrets of this most precious production.

After the imperial imprimatur, during the whole Renaissance period, Balsamic Vinegar often appeared on the tables of the kings and the nobility, particularly at the table of the Dukes of Este. When Alfonso I, Duke of Ferrara, came to reign in 1476, the history of balsamic vinegar received a decisive boost. The whole of the ruling dynasty in the duchy of Modena, Reggio Emilia and Massa, across the centuries up until 1859, enriched the accounts of the history of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar.

Lodovico Ariosto, not by chance from Reggio Emilia, writes in the third of his Satires dedicated to his cousin Annibale Malaguzzi, “at my house I’d rather have a turnip to cook, and cooked on a stick I take and mash and spread with a little vinegar and must”. In 1863, in a publication by Fausto Sestini, we can clearly read that “in the provinces of Modena and Reggio Emilia since ancient times a very special quality of vinegar has been prepared, whose appearance and excellent aroma led them to call it Balsamic Vinegar”.

The testimonies of Balsamic Vinegar become more frequent in the 1800’s, particularly in the dowry lists of the noble families from Reggio Emilia. At that time it was in fact customary to enrich the dowry of the noble women who were to be married with jars of precious balsamic vinegar and sets of little barrels with the same precious content.

The rest is history of our times.

Ingredients No
Product of: Italy
Organic No
Volume 3.38 fl oz
Weight No