The vinegar factories
Considered Modena’s “black gold,” balsamic vinegar is a unique product with a thousand-year history. Modena is rightfully proud of its signature delicacy and is anxious to share it. In fact, Modena’s balsamic vinegar is known all over the world, but it deserves to be experienced in greater depth, from its origins in the vineyard to the table (and beyond).
It’s important to clarify the two types of balsamic vinegar: Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena DOP (PDO -protected designation of origin) and Aceto Balsamico di Modena IGP (PGI protected geographical indication). Production methods and the raw materials that go into them make the difference.
Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena DOP , one of the finest artisanal products in the world, is perfected in the silence of the balsamic vinegar factories and through a precise decanting technique and years of refinement and aging. It is prepared from cooked grape must (unfermented juice) and allowed to mature and ferment through a slow, natural acidification process. It is aged for years in casks made of various kinds of wood, becoming increasingly concentrated over time. No other ingredients are added that would affect taste or aroma. To be sold it has to be aged minimum 12 years (affinato). It can be sold only after a quality check by the Consortium and only in a 100 ml bottle designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro.
Aceto Balsamico di Modena IGP is a blend of partially fermented, cooked, or concentrated grape must (a minimum of 20%), wine vinegar (a minimum of 10%), and aged vinegar (at least ten years old). Acidification takes place either as a result of the addition of colonies of bacteria or the well-established methods of “slow surface” fermentation or “wood chip” fermentation. Subsequently, the liquid is refined in wooden barrels or casks for a minimum of sixty days. The area where PGI balsamic vinegar is produced lies between Modena and Reggio Emilia.
To get to know and taste the "black gold" of Modena, you can visit a private balsamic vinegar factory, a municipal vinegar production (acetaia comunale) or the Museo del Balsamico in Spilamberto.
To book a visit to an vinegar factory you can:
- Contact our Tourist Information center of Modena
- Contact a balsamic vinegar maker directly (see contacts below)
- Contact the protection consortia: Consorzio Tutela Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena DOP, Consorzio tutela Aceto Balsamico di Modena IGP
In the page "Food & wine experiences" on our site you will also find tours of one or more days that include a visit to an vinegar factory, combined with other food & wine stops to get to know the other products of this land!
Find an "acetaia" on the map
Acetaie in Modena and surroundings
There are many vinegar productions offering tours throughout the province of Modena, every day of the year. Reservation is always required!
The "Acetaie Comunali" - Municipal Balsamic Vinegar factories
Several Comuni (municipalities) in the province of Modena have established an acetaia comunale, a tribute to this very important product. Some of these acetaia are open on a regular basis, others can be visited only on special occasions or upon request. Not all of them provide guided tours in English. For any information you can contact Modena tourist office ph. 0592032660