How to produce balsamic vinegar of Modena IGP. Balsamic vinegar of Modena IGP is a must in an Italian kitchen and is now an integral part of the Italian tradition. But how to produce balsamic vinegar of Modena IGP?
Balsamic vinegar is produced by the partial fermentation of grape must, which can come from the territories of Lambrusco, Sangiovese, Trebbiano, Albana, Ancellotta, Fontana and Montuni. Wine vinegar and aged vinegar (at least 10 years old) are added to the must in equal parts, usually the minimum of their percentage is about 10.
The grape must used to produce vinegar is approximately 20 % of the initial product to be processed. To obtain a final product without any alteration, the must to be used need to have at least an acidity of 8 g/kg and a minimum net dry extract of 55 g/kg. Caramel can also be added, but nothing else, up to a maximum of 2% to achieve the desired colour.
The production of balsamic vinegar of Modena IGP is carried out through acidification: this can be accomplished thanks to bacterial colonies or slow maturation. The next step is the ageing process: it takes place inside selected wooden containers, such as oak, chestnut, oak, mulberry and juniper. The minimum aging period is 60 days from when the ingredients are mixed together. At the end of this process, the product obtained is examined and entrusted to a group of experts who decide whether the product can obtain IGP certification.
After 60 days in the wooden casks, Balsamic Vinegar of Modena PGI can have an additional ageing period in smaller casks. If this process is more than three years long, the product is labelled as “invecchiato” (aged). Once all these steps have been completed Balsamic Vinegar can be put on the market and sold in glass, wood, ceramic or terracotta bottle, they can have various measures (0,250 l; 0,500 l; 0,750 l; 1 l; 2 l; 3 l or 5 l). Moreover, they can be sold in single-dose packs of plastic or composite materials, of 25 ml maximum. The product can be labelled as “balsamic vinegar of Modena IGP” only if all the production processes are carried out exclusively in Modena and Reggio Emilia territories.