Balsamic Vinegar of Modena is a very special vinegar that roots back to ancient Roman times and instead of using wine like other Italian vinegars, the product is obtained by using the cooked juice of the grape, known as the “must”. There are several different types of balsamic vinegars and unfortunately, sometimes they are represented with false claims; for example for their aging claims, quality of ingredients and origin. This has led to some misconceptions and originated some confusion among traders and consumers. This presentation aims to clarify the different types and its production so to offer a better understanding of Balsamic Vinegar of Modena.

Two different recipes originated throughout history, and gave birth to the only two existing, regulated products: Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena DOP (Protected Designation of Origin) and Balsamic Vinegar of Modena IGP (Protected Geographic Indication) Again, these two items are the only two items regulated and approved by the Italian Government and European Union.

Q: What are the only two balsamic vinegar items regulated and approved by the Italian Government and European Union?
A: Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena DOP and Balsamic Vinegar of Modena P.G.I
Q: What ingredients are employed in Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena DOP?
A: Only cooked grape must.
Q: What ingredients are employed in Balsamic Vinegar of Modena P.G.I?
A: Grape must and wine Vinegar. Less than 2% caramel is added for color adjustment purposes.
Q: What is the importance of the grading system?
A: It is the first ever quality indication for Balsamic vinegar and allows for better price/quality comparisons.
Q: What is the reason for the high cost of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena DOP?
“A: The high cost of the barrels, raw materials, and length of time needed to wait before actually selling the product.
Q: Are ageing claims the only and most important determinant of quality?
A: No, actual ageing of vinegar is not ever determined due to the process of the Solera System. Ageing is really the age of the barrel and not of the content it contains.
Q: What determines different quality levels?
A: The quality of ingredients, quantity of ingredients, and ageing.

DOP = Denomination of Protected Origin PGI = ProtectedGeographic Indication
**PGI and DOP are very strict protective systems used to preserve the traditional methods of food production for specific areas and regions. (For example, all Balsamic Vinegar of Modena PGI must be produced under very strict procedures and guidelines within the administrative boundaries of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy)**