Originally appeared on Fine dining Lovers by San Pellegrino
Transcribed by Marcelo Pinto June 1st, 2012
The traditional balsamic Italian vinegar from Reggio Emilia is one of the most
well knows product of the Italian cuisine. A rare product spread all around the
world for its particular taste ad proprieties. Grapes and tradition linked to
give to the people a unique product loved by everyone. A way of life, tradition
and respect for the land, love and family heritage that stand still in this
particular area since many years. The Italian food culture is well know all
around the planet and this is why it is so. The heritage of the families stand
where it belongs.
The Rampata word comes from a non common term, a dialect from Reggio Emilia
“La Rampeda”, a famous area that slopes or in some cases “ramps” upwards the
We find our selves on the banks of the little Enza river in the Montecchio
Emilia area. A region well known for Lambrusco and obviously for the balsamic
vinegar from the region
Henry III of Franconio in 1046 crossed the north of Italy traveling to Rome to
see the Pope and receiving the imperial coronation.
In the days in the Po’s region he brought a lot of gift to Boniface of Canossa,
the father of Matilda and one of the most relevant men in the kingdom. This
is because he’d like to receive in return the famous vinegar from this area a
product well known in the area and made in his castle. Many people told him
about the qualities of this product.
Balsamic vinegar is a rare good, a luxury good because the specific
term “balsamic” comes from the word “balsam” and it was used and considered in
the past as a drug and an elisir of long life.
The secret of this product is the time that guarantees the best quality and it’s
impossible to have a traditional balsamic vinegar from Reggio Emilia without a
long time process.
We’re cooking the grape juice because the must needs one day cooking in a
cauldron directly on the fire, but at low heat.
In this way. The liquid part slowly disappear and the sugars can concentrate.
When the product will be put into barrels the natural process will happen, the
fermentation that get converted the sugar into alcohol.
When I was young, none of us: my brother, my cousins and me can help in this
particular phase because it was considered too dangerous.
We can watch the cooking from the window and because it needs a long time, we
woke up early in the mourning opening the windows smelling the aroma of the must
entering the rooms.
Knowing what was happening, but the only thing we could do was to peeking out
from the window.
Our farm stands inside the vineyards, our oxygen, our family’s oxygen.
We have Malvasia’s wine, Trebbiano, Ancellotta, Grasparossa and few varieties of
There is a maniac care gives to the plants, because we perfectly know that
everything is born from here, from this soil. So we can’t leave everything to
chance, especially in this last period, thanks to all the attention and care to
the basic ingredients and production phases of the Lambrusco Wine, we’ve reached
Not just the Italian market, but also the foreign markets have given us huge
satisfaction. Wines absolutely need a good years.
We try to produce the traditional balsamic vinegar during good vintage, but the
grapes play quite a relative role, meaning that grapes juice when cooked for
long time automatically loses a but of its vintage.
Talking about the traditional balsamic vinegar, really needs ageing in the
barrels, into the barriques. This is the real secret.
We’re in the “acetaia”, in the attic. All the “acetaie” are always in the top
parts of the buildings, in the attics because the strong cold during the winter
time and the humid heat during the summer are really crucial.
To get the traditional balsamic vinegar you need a series of different barrels
Our family tradition use to have a 5 barrels series made of different sizes: 50
litres, 40 litres, 30 litres, 20 and 15 litres. All made from different woods.
Evey time a child was born, especially a girl, a new “batteria” of barrels
started. This “batteria” was given as dowry for the future marriage of this
Every member of my family has a personal “batteria” and obviously every
personal “batteria” is personally considered the best one.
Thinking about my childhood the treasures were these family traditional balsamic
My family has been producing traditional balsamic vinegar and wine for 4
generation, about 100 years.
My grandfather Ermete inherited this passion for the work, the wine, while the
traditional balsamic vinegar was kept only for family use.
The word “tradition” is connected entirely to my microcosm like everything that
belongs to me. It’s an experience of my life, a part of me from the outside and
The important is communicating this feelings in a correct way to the others, not
only the children, but all the persons the we meet daily.
I have a huge respect for the people who have passed this down to me, but always
watching to the future.
The Italian tradition inside a simple product that is possible to use in many
different ways. A precious recipe that stand still on the top of the Italian
goods export. The traditional balsamic vinegar from Reggio Emilia is the essence
of the Italian rural culture and a cuisine product that is possible to use on
many different foods. If you have never tried this amazing product, now it’s
time to change you habits and to enjoy the taste of a unique essence.