. Once you taste the DOP (or Protected Designation of Origin) you will understand why the process and name are protected. 16 years to make 12 year old Balsamico, 30 years to make 25 year old. All ingredients including the barrels must be from Modena. There is a consortium that supervises the process and visits the houses. They can only bottle 3% of their total inventory in any given year. The flavor of the vinegar is not “infused” or added after the fact, it comes from the wood the vinegar is aged in. Chestnut, Cherry, Oak, Juniper. Each barrel is of one kind of wood only. To get a mixed wood flavor the vinegar moves from one type of barrel to another as the aging takes place. Each time it moves, it picks up character and flavor from the barrel it is placed in. Our favorite was the Juniper with the mixed wood coming in second.
We visited the beautiful city of Modena. Home of the Aceto Balsamico. Balsamic vinegar.
We had a tasting at the home of Acetaia di Giorgio
The house we visited has been making Balsamico for 120 years.