Another day, another story: today’s tale is a story of family tradition; its main protagonist is another Balsamic Vinegar producer of Modena, who decided to open us the door of its ancient family-run Vinegar cellar: Paolo Poppi!
How old is your balsamic cellar?
Our battery is 40 years old; it was bought already formed but it was used for the first time only after 5 years…
Who built it?
It was bought by an acquaintance of ours who shared the same passion.
Is it a family tradition that is handed down from father to son or is it a recent interest?
And when and how did you become interested in Balsamic Vinegar production?
When I was a child I followed the racking and all the various ridges that were done annually. That’s why I became more and more interested in this activity, also because year after year the product was improving.
Surely it is a big treasure for our family, because it is something that was created and left us by our beloved father…
Unfortunately, we keep our vinegar in a cellar, when many other producers prefer to store it in the attic or in the granary…normally attics are the optimal place to keep it.
However I can guarantee that it is a high-quality product and above all it is natural, produced without the addition of substances that try to improve its taste or its visual aspect.
Unfortunately it is common to find on the market products which are not pure but additioned with substances that modify the characteristics which are peculiar of the product itself…
We are proud of the pureness of our vinegar!
How many barrels do you have? Do you know what the barrels are made of?
The battery is made up of 16 barrels of different woods: cherry, chestnut and walnut and it goes from 50 liters up to 5 liters of capacity.
How much vinegar can you produce each year?
We can produce from 3 to 4 liters of ready-to-eat balsamic vinegar every year.
Have you ever thought about selling your vinegar? / What use do you make of it?
Due to regulations and as a family tradition, we have agreed not to sell our vinegar. For this reason, we either consume it in the family or we give it as present to some acquaintance.
How much does the acetaia cost to you annually?
The complete battery requires an annual transfer of the product and this is always done in the winter period. What’s more we make an accurate cleaning around the barrels with a strong vinegar in order to preserve them. This process is done 2 times a year and only when there is a full moon.
More in general, the operations of pouring off, tapping and maintenance require about 8 hours a year, for a total cost of about 300 euros, most of whom are due to the cost of the must that is used for replenishing the barrels.
Currently, our acetaia has a market value of 30,000 euros, and that is precisely because it produces balsamic vinegar.
Since I have children and grandchildren, the acetaia will never be sold and I hope it will be handed down to the family for a long time over the years.