Acetaia Leonardi Aged Balsamic Vinegars from Modena, Italy. In a sea of imitators and confusing authentic balsamics, this is the real deal.
The Vinegar farmhouse Leonardi started its activity in the 18th century but it is from the middle of the 19th century that it has been specialized in the production of balsamic vinegar, using the own raw material.
The Vinegar Farmhouse Leonardi
In fact, the farmhouse is surrounded by 10 hectares of vineyards mainly with grapes varieties of Trebbiano (white grape) and Lambrusco (red grape). It is a closed cycle farm since all the production steps take place in the same plant.
The pick-up is still made by hand, according to the tradition, selecting the best bunches of Trebbiano and Lambrusco grapes. It happens during September and October, when the ratio between sugars and acidity is at its most and this is an important phase of the whole process because the quality and integrity of bunches are essential before going through the pressing. The other important operation is the cutting of branches which is made during winter and which determines the health of the plants and then of the future pick-ups.
The Balsamic Vinegar is a very unique condiment, produced in limited quantity because linked to the geographical areas of Modena and Reggio Emilia. It seems in fact that the special climate of this region, with high thermic shocks between the very hot summer and the chilly winter enables the grape must to ferment and maturate in the best conditions according to the traditional methods.
This tradition is handed down by the Leonardi Family which repeats year after year the same production cycle of their balsamic vinegar, giving birth to an always renewed emotion. So let’s follow Giovanni, Clelia and their children Francesco and Clara at the mansion “Corte dei Campi Macri”, they will tell you about the long and fascinating life path of the real Balsamic Vinegar of Modena
The must is put in batteries of wood barrels, made of minimum 9 barrels placed in decreasing size, from 180 to 10 litres. Each barrel is made of a different type of wood (oak, ash, juniper, cherry, mulberry, chestnut…) and is full for 75% of its capacity. The series of barrels are placed in the attics because there the temperature range is higher (very hot summers and chilly winters) which are optimal conditions for the ageing. The barrels are open to enable the natural concentration of the liquid by evaporation. The methods of ageing are usually handed down from father to son and do not follow one only rule, they depend on the long experience and personal taste of the master taster. The next phases happen during the ageing time and can last forever!
Every year sensorial tests are run on every barrel, to control the limpidity, the flavour, the colour and taste of the liquid. We use a glass container to pour the liquid taken from a barrel through the apposite glass pipette. For the visual test, it is better to use the light of a candle to evaluate the colour and consistency through the transparent container in backlight. The olfactory parameters include the intensity, the persistence of perfumes and the acidity, whereas the taste is checked through the intensity, the flavor, the harmony between sour and sweet and the acidity. A china spoon is preferred for the tasting as it does not alter the flavor. Various master tasters compare their results to guaranty the best objective quality.
100 Years Aged Balsamic Vinegar
It’s important to choose the right one for every dish: a new Balsamic Vinegar to dress raw vegetables, a mellowed one to flavour special dishes such as hors d’oeuvres, roasts, grilled meat or fish and so on or to season strawberries and ice-creams or a teaspoon at the end of a dinner as digestive.