A Comprehensive Guide to the DOP Balsamic Vinegars of Modena

In the heart of the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, Modena is famous not only for its rich historical heritage and vibrant gastronomy scene, but also for being the birthplace of Balsamic Vinegar, one of the most sought-after culinary specialties on the globe. Balsamic vinegar from Modena is so special that it has been awarded the prestigious DOP (Denominazione di Origine Protetta, or Protected Designation of Origin) status, ensuring its production, processing, and preparation occurs in specific geographical areas, according to traditional methods.

The two types of DOP Balsamic Vinegar of Modena are Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena DOP and Aceto Balsamico di Modena DOP. Both types hold the cherished DOP label but are distinct in taste, production, and aging process.

Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena DOP

Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena DOP represents the highest quality of balsamic vinegar. This vinegar, made exclusively from the must (juice) of local grape varieties, undergoes a long aging process of at least 12 years in a series of wooden barrels, called ‘batteria’. The result is a thick, glossy, and deeply flavored vinegar that is both sweet and sour, with a complexity that’s hard to match.

Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena DOP is further distinguished into two types based on their aging process:

Affinato: Aged for a minimum of 12 years, the Affinato version has a harmonious balance between sweet and sour. Its versatility makes it ideal for both cooking and finishing dishes. The balsamic vinegar is encased in a bulb-shaped bottle and sealed with a white cap.

Extra Vecchio: Extra Vecchio means ‘extra old’ and this balsamic vinegar is aged for at least 25 years, some even age for several decades. Its richness, depth of flavor, and viscosity make it perfect for use as a finishing touch to dishes. Extra Vecchio is contained in a bulb-shaped bottle with a gold cap.

Aceto Balsamico di Modena IGP

Aceto Balsamico di Modena IGP is a younger relative of the Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena DOP, requiring a minimum aging of 60 days. This type of vinegar is made by mixing grape must with a small percentage of wine vinegar, giving it a strong, sharp flavor.

The vinegar is aged in wooden barrels, much like its traditional counterpart, but for a shorter period. It is ideal for use in salad dressings, marinades, and for deglazing pans. The more aged versions of Aceto Balsamico di Modena DOP can be drizzled over roasted meats, cheeses, or fresh fruits.

Exploring Modena

Tourists visiting Modena have the unique opportunity to visit ‘acetaie’, traditional balsamic vinegar producers. Here, you can learn about the production process of this prestigious vinegar and even participate in tastings. Tours typically include a walk through the vineyards, a peek into the aging rooms with their fragrant wooden barrels, and, of course, a chance to taste the delicious final product.

One highly recommended acetaia to visit is Acetaia Giusti, the oldest producer of balsamic vinegar in the world. They offer a guided tour that immerses you in the history and tradition of balsamic vinegar production, followed by a tasting session of their exquisite products.

Modena is not just about vinegar, though. The city offers a wealth of culinary experiences, including local markets, enotecas (wine bars), and osterias serving traditional Emilia-Romagna fare. Not to mention, it’s home to Osteria Francescana, a three-Michelin-starred restaurant ranked multiple times as the best in the world.

Whether you’re a food lover, a history buff, or simply someone who enjoys immersing themselves in local culture, a trip to Modena is a must. The chance to savor one of the world’s finest gastronomic products in its very birthplace is a truly unforgettable experience.

A comprehensive list of producers.

Acetaia Borgo Castello SRL

Address: Via Genova 244 – 41056 Savignano sul Panaro (MO)
Phone: +39 059 768711
Email: [email protected]
Additional Information: Nestled in the picturesque town of Savignano sul Panaro, Acetaia Borgo Castello SRL offers visitors a taste of traditional balsamic vinegar, made with love and dedication. Explore the rich family history behind this establishment and savor the flavors of their high-quality vinegar.

Acetaia Cazzola e Fiorini SRL
Address: Via Puglie 4 – 41056 Savignano sul Panaro (MO)
Phone: +39 059 8676968
Email: [email protected]
Additional Information: Acetaia Cazzola e Fiorini SRL, located in the heart of Savignano sul Panaro, is renowned for its meticulously crafted balsamic vinegar. The century-old family enterprise invites you to immerse in a truly authentic Italian gastronomic experience.

Acetaia Fini Modena SRL

Address: Via Rizzotto 46 – 41126 Modena (MO)
Phone: +39 0535 59190
Email: [email protected]
Additional Information: Set in the historical city of Modena, Acetaia Fini Modena SRL exemplifies the fusion of time-honored tradition and innovative techniques in the creation of their acclaimed balsamic vinegar. Experience first-hand the passion and craftsmanship that goes into each bottle.

Acetaia Giuseppe Cremonini SRL

Address: Via Foschiero 1142 – 41057 Spilamberto (MO)
Additional Information: Acetaia Giuseppe Cremonini SRL, situated in the charming town of Spilamberto, offers visitors the opportunity to delve into the fascinating world of balsamic vinegar production. Witness the skillful process that transforms simple ingredients into a world-renowned delicacy.

Acetaia La Bonissima SRL

Address: Via Tonini 2 – 41043 Formigine (MO)
Additional Information: Acetaia La Bonissima SRL, located in the charming Formigine town, is a temple of balsamic tradition. They boast a rich lineage in the art of vinegar making and open their doors to share the passion of their craft with visitors.

Acetaia Malpighi SRL

Address: Via Emilia Est 1525 – 41126 Modena (MO)
Additional Information: With a strong connection to Modena’s balsamic tradition, Acetaia Malpighi SRL embodies the city’s rich gastronomical heritage. This is a place where time-tested methods meet the love of food, resulting in a high-quality balsamic vinegar.

Acetaia Manicardi SRL

Address: Via Massaroni 1B – 40014 Castelvetro (MO)
Additional Information: Set amid the picturesque landscapes of Castelvetro, Acetaia Manicardi SRL presents an extraordinary exploration into the world of artisanal balsamic vinegar production. Their dedication to maintaining the highest standards is evident in every drop of their exquisite vinegar.

Acetaia Tradizionale Filippi SRL

Address: Via Bembo 44 – 41123 Modena (MO)
Additional Information: Acetaia Tradizionale Filippi SRL showcases the authentic Modenese balsamic tradition in its purest form. Visitors can witness first-hand how their expertly crafted balsamic vinegar evolves from humble beginnings to a celebrated global delicacy.

Acetaia Vetus di Scacchetti Mauro

Address: Via Maestra di Rubbiara 3 – 41015 Nonantola (MO)
Additional Information: Acetaia Vetus, led by Mauro Scacchetti, invites you to explore a tale of tradition and innovation. Here, in the heart of Nonantola, you can discover the fine art of balsamic vinegar production that has been honed through generations.

Acetificio Andrea Milano SRL

Address: Via dei Vitali 63,65 , Modena 41100
Additional Information: Acetificio Andrea Milano SRL, situated in bustling Modena, is a testament to the city’s gastronomic prowess. They take pride in producing balsamic vinegar that enhances the essence of Italian cuisine around the globe.

Compagnia Del Montale SRL: Nestled in Sassuolo, Compagnia Del Montale SRL is renowned for its meticulous blend of traditional and modern methods in producing exquisite balsamic vinegar. Visit them at Via Tobagi 6/A – 41049 Sassuolo (MO), Italy, or call at +39 0536 806434.

Elsa Di Domeneghetti Maurizio Società Agricola SS: Situated in Bomporto, this company is steeped in tradition, transforming locally grown grapes into a taste of the Italian countryside. You can find them at Via Carrate 28/A – 41030 Bomporto (MO), Italy, or contact at +39 059 901312.

Emiliaceti SRL: With its roots in Maranello, Emiliaceti SRL has etched its name in the realm of balsamic vinegar. Their location is Via Maestri del Lavoro 19 – 41053 Maranello (MO), Italy, and their contact number is +39 0536 946841.

Emiliani SRL: Nestled in the heart of Carbonara Scrivia, Emiliani SRL has a well-established reputation in crafting high-quality balsamic vinegar. Visit them at Via Genova 11 – 15050 Carbonara Scrivia (AL), Italy, or reach out at +39 0131 892230.

Fattorie Giacobazzi SRL: Positioned in Nonantola, Fattorie Giacobazzi SRL is known for its unique and intricate process of balsamic vinegar production, drawing tourists and gourmets alike. Find them at Via Di Vittorio 28 – 41015 Nonantola (MO), Italy, or call at +39 059 546076.

Ferrarini SPA: Based in Reggio Emilia, Ferrarini SPA showcases the passion of Italian tradition in every drop of their balsamic vinegar. Visit them at Via Ferrarini 1 – 42123 Reggio Emilia (RE), Italy or contact them at +39 0522 9321.

ondo Montebello SPA: Immerse yourself in the rich history of balsamic vinegar production at Fondo Montebello SPA, located in the scenic Pozza di Maranello. Their address is Via Maestri del Lavoro 9 – 41053 Pozza di Maranello (MO), Italy. For inquiries, they can be reached at +39 0536 944063.

Galletti di Galletti Aurelio e C. SNC: Situated in San Daniele Po, this family-operated establishment prides itself on creating authentic balsamic vinegar that encapsulates the flavors of Italy. Their address is Via Faverzani 13/A – 26046 San Daniele Po (CR), Italy. They can be contacted at +39 0372 65544.

Gran Deposito Aceto Balsamico Giuseppe Giusti SRL: A visit to Modena isn’t complete without a stop at Gran Deposito Aceto Balsamico Giuseppe Giusti SRL, a company with centuries of balsamic vinegar production under its belt. Find them at Strada Quattro Ville 155 – 41123 Modena (MO), Italy or call them at +39 059 840135.