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Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Reggio Emilia by San Giacomo Silver label indicates that this traditional balsamic has been aged 18-20 years in barrels of various types of wood, giving it a rich and complex aroma bouquet. Thick and viscous, it strikes the perfect balance between sweet and savory, and makes a delicious dressing for roasted meat or vegetables, a creative topping for creamy desserts. For a classic Emilian combination and killer appetizer plate, drizzle it on thick chunks of aged Parmigiano Reggiano. According to producer Andrea Bezzecchi, it’s great on risotto or dense vegetable soups, and takes boiled or mashed potatoes to a whole new level.

Traditional balsamic vinegar is made by boiling grapes before they ferment, and can only be produced in the regions of Modena and Reggio Emilia. Local grapes are harvested at the peak of sweetness and cooked in open vats until they’ve boiled down to one-third the volume. This concentrated must is transferred to wooden barrels, made of different types of wood that impart their own complexity of flavor and aroma -  oak, chestnut, mulberry, cherry and juniper. Each barrel has a hole in it to encourage evaporation; as the water evaporates the liquid becomes more and more concentrated, and is transferred to progressively smaller barrels.  This process takes years - and only when the final product is tasted and approved by the certifying committee can it bear the DOP label.

Andrea produces three levels of traditional balsamic vinegar, differentiated by the color of their labels: Red, aged for a minimum of 12 years; Silver, aged for 18-25 years, and Gold, also called Extra Vecchio, aged for more than 25 years.

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