WHAT THE BALSAMICS ARE?
DENOMINATIONS, LAWS, RULES
ITALY: First of all we have to say that ALL BALSAMIC VINEGAR starting from PDO and PGI protected products, according to the Italian law on vinegars, ARE NOT VINEGAR, THEY ARE SEASONINGS/CONDIMENTS.
In Italy, for the “Balsamico”the word VINEGAR is allowed only for the condiments that have obtained the protected geographical denomination (PDO or PGI).
OTHER COUNTRIES: other countries, even in Europe, allow the use of the term “Vinegar” together with “Balsamic”.
USE OF THE “BALSAMICO” word: the term “Balsamico” is instead a generic term and as such can be used in the labeling of products, as established by various sentences in Italian courts, also in the Court of Cassation, and in December 2019, by the Court of European justice. The legitimacy of the use of the term balsamic and/or balsamic vinegar (outside Italy) has been unequivocally established since their use alone does not constitute an evocation of products with protected geographical denomination
…The European Court declares: ” Article 1 of the regulation (EC) n.583/2009 of the Commission of 3 July 2009… … … must be interpreted in the sense that the protection of the designation ” balsamic vinegar of Modena” does not extend to the use of individual non-geographic terms thereof.
The products on the market are:
- Traditional balsamic vinegar of Reggio Emilia/Modena P.D.O.(Protected Denomination of Origin)
- Balsamic vinegar of Modena PGI (Protected geographic indication),the most widely distributed
- Balsamic Creams or glazes
ACETO BALSAMICO TRADIZIONALE DI REGGIO EMILIA Denominazione di Origine Protetta
TRADITIONAL BALSAMIC VINEGAR of REGGIO EMILIA Protected Denomination of Origin
Raw Material: 100% cooked grape must (must= fresh grape juice)
Production area: used grapes, cooking, fermentation, acetification, aging and bottling must take place in the province of Reggio Emilia.
Production process: the process lasts at least 12 years in barrels. The production rooms are generally located in the attic, in a natural environment, warm in summer and cold in winter. The typicality is the aging in battery, set of barrels (generally 5-6 in number) with scalar capacity and different woods. Every year the various barrels of the battery are transferred and topped up.
DOP certification: each production batch is controlled and must comply with chemical and sensory analyses. The controls are guaranteed by the Ministry of Agricultural Policies through the only authorized certification body OCQPR (Regulated Production Quality Control Body).
Bottling: after at least 12 years of aging in battery. After 25 years the product can be “Extravecchio”. The bottling is in 100 and/or 250 ml glass bottles with the shape of an overturned tulip, closed with string and sealing wax. Single-dose in glass vials with a capacity of 10 ml is also possible
Labelling: Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Reggio Emilia Protected Denomination of Origin (PDO)