Giuseppe Giusti Balsamic Vinegar aged 6 years
Balsamic vinegar has been produced in the Italian province of Modena for over 200 years from the small grapes of the trebbiano di spagna. It owes its incomparable aroma not to herbs or other additives but to its elaborate storage and the time it is allowed to mature.
Producer Giuseppe Giusti - whose family has lived in Modena for 400 years and whom connoisseus see as the producer of the real balsamic vinegar - stores every vinegar for at least eight years in eight different wooden barrels, during which time it loses almost two thirds ofits volume. Every year it is moved from one barrel to the next - from oak to chestnut, from Slovenian beech to mulberry, cherry, ash or juniper. This is the traditional process.
You can, of course, buy cheaper balsamic vinegars which have matured for one or two years in large steel barrels. To distinguish themselves from manufacturers of cheap balsamic vinegars, the producers from Modena formed the Consorzio Balsamico Modena and set up their own classification system, under which balsamic vinegars which are at least 40 years old as DOC. We have some of these - in very small quantities.