On the tables of kings and emperors
The first to fall in love with balsamic vinegar was the Emperor Henry III, who in 1046 had it sent to him from the fortress of Canossa because he had learned that it was made “perfettissimo” (utterly perfectly) there. We are in the provinces of Modena and Reggio Emilia, where between the twelfth and fourteenth centuries the guilds charged with safeguarding the recipe and production methods of a vinegar obtained by cooking the must of wine were formed. A product that must have already been very similar to the balsamic vinegar we know today.
Centuries passed, and in the Modena area more vinegar cellars sprang up, rooms used to store the barrels during the long process of maturing balsamic vinegar, which was christened as such for the first time in 1730. The Duke of Modena Rinaldo d’Este gifted a bottle of vinegar to the famous Vignola scholar Antonio Muratori, calling it “balsamic” with reference to its balsamic, curative – and perhaps even aphrodisiac – properties.
Between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, balsamic vinegar began to be appreciated internationally. In 1965 its Production Specifications were officially published in the Official Journal, and European recognition came in 2009 with the Protected Geographical Indication (P.G.I.) status. In the meantime Ponti introduced all Italians to the quality and versatility of its Balsamic Vinegar of Modena P.G.I..
The rules of the vinegar cellar
There’s only one way to make Balsamic Vinegar of Modena P.G.I., and this is by following the Production Specifications that govern it.
It must be produced exclusively in the vinegar cellars of the provinces of Modena and Reggio Emilia using must obtained from the 7 most cultivated grape varieties in Emilia Romagna – Lambrusco, Sangiovese, Trebbiano, Albana, Ancellotta, Fortana and Montuni – which guarantee perfect acidity and sugar content. To these musts are added wine vinegar and a percentage of wine vinegar aged for a minimum of 10 years. Balsamic Vinegar of Modena P.G.I. matures in casks of noble wood in the vinegar cellars, in ideal temperature and aeration conditions.
Balsamic Vinegar of Modena P.G.I. was created in the vinegar factory of Vignola, at the foot of the Modena hills, with a must content, maturation time and minimum density higher than those established by the Regulations. It is the result of our experience and skilful art, rigorous selection of raw materials and love for our work and for quality.
Balsamic Vinegar of Modena P.G.I. is the result of the slow maturation of Ponti high quality wine vinegar and cooked grape must concentrated in vats, barrels and casks of different woods and for different periods according to the recipes. Our finest Balsamic Vinegars of Modena P.G.I. mature in casks of three different woods, each giving the vinegar unique characteristics: the mild vanilla aroma of oak, the aromatic tannins of chestnut and the sweet pungency of cherry. The casks are kept at room temperature in the vinegar cellar in order to take full advantage of the seasons. Heat favours fermentation and concentration, while cold favours sedimentation.
Aged for taste
A condiment resulting from the slow aging of concentrated grape must and cooked must with wine vinegar.
An ancient recipe that has found in the region of Modena and Reggio Emilia the most suitable grape varieties, the most deep-rooted knowledge and taste for good food.
In 2009 Balsamic Vinegar of Modena was granted Typical Geographical Indication (P.G.I.), a status that confirmed at European level an excellent Made in Italy product which has been regulated by strict Production Specifications since 1965.
The words of Balsamic Vinegar of Modena P.G.I.
This is the place where Balsamic Vinegar of Modena is produced and aged under conditions that facilitate its refinement.
This is the process by which alcohol (e.g. from wine and apple cider) is transformed into acetic acid by acetobacteria, scientifically called acetobacter vinegars and discovered by Louis Pasteur in 1863.
Refinement or maturation
This is the process by which vinegar develops its best characteristics. It takes place in barrels or casks made of fine oak, chestnut and cherry wood for a minimum of 60 days.
This is the period of no less than three years during which Balsamic Vinegar of Modena P.G.I. remains in barrels or casks and can be defined as “aged”, the only adjective that the Production Specifications allow to be used for Balsamic Vinegar of Modena P.G.I..
Cooked must, brown and fragrant thanks to the caramelised sugars it contains, gives structure and the typical taste to Balsamic Vinegar of Modena P.G.I.. Concentrated must, with a fresher and more fruity bouquet, adds aromas and floral notes. The must comes exclusively from the seven grape varieties indicated by the Specifications, which are the most commonly cultivated in Emilia Romagna.
The set of rules and instructions which must be followed in the production, storage, packaging and marketing of food products to be certified with a certificate of origin or quality.
P.G.I. stands for Protected Geographical Indication. It indicates the geographical name of a given production area used to designate a food product. It is obtained by official recognition by the European Union.
Qualification that refers to a character or a typical property of a vinegar. It is perceived by the sensory organs at the moment of tasting.
Balsamic Vinegar of Modena P.G.I.
We never compromise on quality, which is why we rely on suppliers with whom we have established a longstanding relationship of trust.
We use only fine Ponti Wine Vinegar, produced in our 4 vinegar factories in Piedmont, Emilia-Romagna, Veneto and Lazio.
The right balance
We bring together concentrated and cooked musts and wine vinegar according to the different recipes of our Balsamic Vinegars of Modena P.G.I., from the freshest and most fragrant to the most aged and structured.
Our experience and our production specifications, which are more rigorous than those of the Consortium for the Protection of Balsamic Vinegar of Modena P.G.I., regulate the maturation of our vinegars in vats, barrels and casks made from different woods and for different periods depending on the recipes.
Our products have a double guarantee of quality. One from the Consortium's production specifications and another from the Ponti Quality System, even more stringent than the former and certified by SGS, the worldwide reference point for quality and integrity.
With artisan care we fill, cap and label the bottles, which are customised for their target market.
Discover the exclusive Ponti Quality System certified by SGS
This is the period of maturation in fine wooden barrels
An essential step in which the Balsamic Vinegar of Modena P.G.I. is enriched with unique scents and flavours. We let our balsamic vinegars mature and age much longer than the minimum time required by the Balsamic Vinegar of Modena P.G.I. Production Specifications, because this is the only way they can become Ponti Vinegars.
This is the essential ingredient for the production of Balsamic Vinegars of Modena P.G.I.
The characteristics of Balsamic Vinegar of Modena P.G.I. vary according to the quantity of cooked grape must or concentrate used. In our balsamic vinegars of Modena the minimum percentage of must is higher than that required by the Specifications.
Along with the colour, this is one of the most important visual characteristics for the evaluation of Balsamic Vinegar of Modena P.G.I..
The degree of smoothness and the flavour depend on the amount of concentrated or cooked must present in the recipe. Our range of Balsamic Vinegars of Modena P.G.I. includes different levels of density, all with a value well above the minimum required by the Specifications.
Choose your Balsamic Vinegar of Modena P.G.I.
Fresher for grilled vegetables? Or smoother for salmon? And which to try with chocolate?
Among our Balsamic Vinegars of Modena P.G.I. there’s the perfect one for your dish.
Choose according to the maturation period, the quantity of must and the degree of density – just read the label.
GRILLED DISHES | SALADS | VEGETABLES
SALMON | SLICED BEEF | RISOTTO
FRUIT | CHOCOLATE | CHEESE