5 min

video

Il Borgo del Balsamico is located in the Italian village of Albinea. This family business is one of the most successful authentic balsamic vinegar producers in the world. Food Inspiration visited them, to portray the production process of the quality-sealed balsamic vinegar.

Maaike de Reuver    Chantal Arnts  Xiao Er Kong

A production process of 12 years 

Slow food balsamic vinegar from Italy

Up until fifteen years ago, sisters Cristina and Silvia Crotti were working in the fashion industry. With an eye for quality and attention to detail, they were active in the family business that their father started. Their help was great, because in addition to his work for the company, their father spent a lot of time in the attic of their country house, where he produced traditional balsamic vinegar. When the sisters too, became more and more interested in the production of the syrupy condiment, instead of marketing the clothing line, the family decided to sell the fashion company and focus full-time on balsamic vinegar production. Not without success. Meanwhile, Il Borgo del Balsamico has grown into one of the most successful authentic balsamic vinegar production companies in Italy.

From fashion to food

Il Borgo del Balsamico has grown into one of the most successful authentic balsamic vinegar production companies in Italy.

According to authentic guidelines, balsamic vinegar is made from trebbiano grapes picked late in the season. This grape variety mainly grows in the surroundings of Modena and Reggio Emillia. The must of the white and red grapes is heated in open barrels over a gentle fire. After the liquid has cooled, it is poured into wooden barrels, topped up with aged balsamic vinegar. The barrels differ in size and are made of different types of wood and are kept in attics, where the temperature can vary considerably between summer and winter. These changes in temperature help the thickening of the balsamic vinegar once in the barrels. 

The fermentation process ensures that the moisture takes on the flavour and smell of the wood in which it matures. Every year, 10% of the syrupy vinegar is drained from each barrel and added to another barrel. The alternating use of chestnut, cherry, oak, mulberry and juniper wood is called the Solera method. It gives a special twist to the aroma of the liquids. Over time, the sugars are converted to alcohol, and then to acetic acid. By repeating this process for at least 12 years, a unique vinegar is created, full of the taste and smell of the different types of wood. Il Borgo del Balsamico produces 400 liters of traditional Reggio Emilia balsamic vinegar per year. Those who have an eye for detail and quality can see from the protected quality seal on the bottles that these are true traditionally aged balsamic vinegars.

The production process

Il Borgo del Balsamico produces 400 liters of traditional Reggio Emilia balsamic vinegar per year.

The demand for products made by the family business has grown exponentially in recent years. The attic has become too small to produce the increasing orders. That’s why – ten years ago – Cristina and Silvia decided to set up a regular balsamic vinegar production line in addition to the production of the authentic balsamic vinegar. A location has now been built near the family home, where 25,000 liters of regular Modena balsamic vinegar are produced and bottled per year. Still of sublime quality, but because the balsamic is bottled after a maturation of at least three in the barrels instead of twelve years, it cannot carry the name of official aged balsamic vinegar. This doesn't change the fact that the taste and smell of this younger version is of poor quality. On the contrary, it still remains a fantastic example of how special and how good Italian products can taste and smell.

65% of the orders of both the aged and regular balsamic vinegar varieties of Il Borgo del Balsamico come from abroad. Most orders come from Germany, but top chefs from Dubai and Singapore are also frequent users of the products from the family business.

Qualitative quantity

Because balsamic vinegar is a flavor enhancer, it can be used in many different dishes. A few drops of the aged balsamic vinegar are enough to flavor almost any bland dish. The product is often used in restaurants in combination with red fruits such as strawberries and other berries, in salads and on ice cream.

Culinary application

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  5 min

Offline: This content can only be displayed when online.

Slow food balsamic vinegar from Italy

A production process of 12 years 

Il Borgo del Balsamico is located in the Italian village of Albinea. This family business is one of the most successful authentic balsamic vinegar producers in the world. Food Inspiration visited them, to portray the production process of the quality-sealed balsamic vinegar.

Maaike de Reuver    Chantal Arnts  Xiao Er Kong

Up until fifteen years ago, sisters Cristina and Silvia Crotti were working in the fashion industry. With an eye for quality and attention to detail, they were active in the family business that their father started. Their help was great, because in addition to his work for the company, their father spent a lot of time in the attic of their country house, where he produced traditional balsamic vinegar. When the sisters too, became more and more interested in the production of the syrupy condiment, instead of marketing the clothing line, the family decided to sell the fashion company and focus full-time on balsamic vinegar production. Not without success. Meanwhile, Il Borgo del Balsamico has grown into one of the most successful authentic balsamic vinegar production companies in Italy.

From fashion to food

Il Borgo del Balsamico has grown into one of the most successful authentic balsamic vinegar production companies in Italy.

According to authentic guidelines, balsamic vinegar is made from trebbiano grapes picked late in the season. This grape variety mainly grows in the surroundings of Modena and Reggio Emillia. The must of the white and red grapes is heated in open barrels over a gentle fire. After the liquid has cooled, it is poured into wooden barrels, topped up with aged balsamic vinegar. The barrels differ in size and are made of different types of wood and are kept in attics, where the temperature can vary considerably between summer and winter. These changes in temperature help the thickening of the balsamic vinegar once in the barrels. 

The fermentation process ensures that the moisture takes on the flavour and smell of the wood in which it matures. Every year, 10% of the syrupy vinegar is drained from each barrel and added to another barrel. The alternating use of chestnut, cherry, oak, mulberry and juniper wood is called the Solera method. It gives a special twist to the aroma of the liquids. Over time, the sugars are converted to alcohol, and then to acetic acid. By repeating this process for at least 12 years, a unique vinegar is created, full of the taste and smell of the different types of wood. Il Borgo del Balsamico produces 400 liters of traditional Reggio Emilia balsamic vinegar per year. Those who have an eye for detail and quality can see from the protected quality seal on the bottles that these are true traditionally aged balsamic vinegars.

The production process

Il Borgo del Balsamico produces 400 liters of traditional Reggio Emilia balsamic vinegar per year.

The demand for products made by the family business has grown exponentially in recent years. The attic has become too small to produce the increasing orders. That’s why – ten years ago – Cristina and Silvia decided to set up a regular balsamic vinegar production line in addition to the production of the authentic balsamic vinegar. A location has now been built near the family home, where 25,000 liters of regular Modena balsamic vinegar are produced and bottled per year. Still of sublime quality, but because the balsamic is bottled after a maturation of at least three in the barrels instead of twelve years, it cannot carry the name of official aged balsamic vinegar. This doesn't change the fact that the taste and smell of this younger version is of poor quality. On the contrary, it still remains a fantastic example of how special and how good Italian products can taste and smell.

65% of the orders of both the aged and regular balsamic vinegar varieties of Il Borgo del Balsamico come from abroad. Most orders come from Germany, but top chefs from Dubai and Singapore are also frequent users of the products from the family business.

Qualitative quantity

Because balsamic vinegar is a flavor enhancer, it can be used in many different dishes. A few drops of the aged balsamic vinegar are enough to flavor almost any bland dish. The product is often used in restaurants in combination with red fruits such as strawberries and other berries, in salads and on ice cream.

Culinary application

Overview magazines

Food Inspiration Magazine is the online magazine for foodservice professionals in search of inspiration and innovation. With the magazine we collect, enrich and spread inspiration. The free subscription magazine is published eight times per year and is an abundant source of inspiration for food and hospitality professionals. Our readers can be found in the U.S., Northern Europe, Latin America and Asia.
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