ACETO BALSAMICO TRADIZIONALE DI REGGIO EMILIA PDO

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TRADITIONAL BALSAMIC VINEGAR - THE PRODUCTION

1) GRAPE USED - THE MUST

Trebbiano grapes

The Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Reggio Emilia, Traditional balsamic vinegar of Reggio Emilia must be made with type of grapes provided in the disciplinary, cultivated in Reggio Emilia province.

Cavalli uses mainly white Trebbiano grapes.

The must has to be softy trodden and has to have at least the 15% of sugar concentration. In order to avoid any fermentation it has to be cooked as soon as possible after being collected.

The most wonderful step in all the production is represented by the cooking of grape must on direct fire.  The cooking has  two purposes:

1) It sterilises the must and it removes any fermantation process. As a matter of fact, the alcoholic fermentation has to start only when the cooked must will be in the barrels.

2) It concentrates under the impact of water evaporation (20/50 liters are lost). the sugar quantity contained (around 33%) and it gives to the yeasts plentiful nourishment. These yeasts belong to the”saccaromyces” genre and by transforming sugar in alcohol they produce a plentiful nourishment to the bacteria acetica, which are responsable about the alcohol transformation in acetic acid.

Slow cooking must lasts about 8 – 10 hours to avoid sugar over concentration which should create problems in the first alcoholic fermentation and in the following acetic oxidation and, at the end, much more dangerous, it should crystallize the glucose in the concentration step due to the water evaporation.
In other word, during the long ageing in the barrels, the fragile balance between sugar and acidity would be modified (with the risk is that the glucose could overcomes the fructose) and that could cause the total or partial crystallization of Balsamic vinegar.