Mt. Carmel St. Cristina Society

Basalmic Vinegar

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That basalmic vinegar - also called black gold - is produced in Modina - Emilia Romagna. It is made with unfermented grape juice or must, from selected Trebbiano grapes after being transferred from one barrel to another once a year for five years. It takes 220 pounds (or 100 kg) of grape must to make approximately 2 quarts (2 liters) of balsamic vinegar. The time, patience and skill required make the top quality brands very expensive. One hundred year old balsamic vinegar, aged in oak wood barrels can cost up to $650 for one quart, but for real connoisseurs no price is too high to pay.

The must is filtered, then boiled, then cooled and poured into a large barrel of oak for one year. Each year the vinegar is transferred to smaller barrels made fo different woods in the following order: Chestnut, Cherry, Ash, and Mulberry. It is in these wood-scented barrels that the vinegar acquires the famous taste, body, and color.