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The origins
6000 years of history

Balsamic vinegar
has very ancient roots

Vinegar is a condiment with ancient origins; it seems that the first Mesopotamian civilisations used it as early as 3000 BC.

Must cooking techniques, the basis of the vinegar-making process, were later improved first by the Egyptians, then by the Romans.

Virgil mentions it in his Georgics, in the 1st century AD, dealing in particular with the cooking of must in the Modena area, probably the first evidence of the forefather of what would later become Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena PDO.

In the Middle Ages, further revolutions were made to the Balsamic Vinegar production process, leaving behind terracotta amphorae and switching to wooden barrels, but it was during the Renaissance that it was first treated as a product suitable for the refined palates of the aristocracy.

The beginnings of balsamic vinegar

A delicacy appreciated by
dukes and emperors

The event that led to the birth of Balsamic Vinegar of Modena can be traced back to 1598, the year in which Modena became the capital of the Este Dukedom.
On that occasion, nobles from all over Italy brought their Vinegars as gifts to the Este family and, with them, their recipes. Over the years, traditional recipes were mixed with local ones to create products that were increasingly similar to the Traditional Balsamic Vinegar we know today.

Famous in the courts across all of Europe

At the
court of Este it became ``Balsamic``

The process is long, the first official mention of ‘balsamic vinegar’ in the Este cellar dates back to 1747. Balsamic Vinegar was famous in the Duchy and had admirers in courts all over Europe, but with the Unification of Italy it became universally recognised as a highly prized product.

King Victor Emmanuel II, a lover of Balsamic vinegar, took the best vinegars from Emilia to send to Piedmont and commissioned the Modenese agronomist Francesco Agazzotti to write down the instructions on how to preserve and produce it.

In 1967

The specifications for Traditional
Balsamic Vinegar of Modena were established

Agazzotti’s letters were the foundation of the first specification for Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena drawn up by the Consorteria dell’Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena DOP in 1967.

In 1986 Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena was recognised as DOC (controlled designation of origin) and on 17/04/2000 it was recognised as PDO by the European Community.

The typical spherical bottle with rectangular base, called ‘Giugiaro bottle’ is unique and compulsory by law, as per the specifications, and is sealed with a numbered seal.

If you would like to try this unique product, the result of 6,000 years of history, book a visit at our vinegar cellar or order a cruet!