Vittorio, a Traditional Balsamic Vinegar Extra Vecchio DOP from Modena by La Cà dal Non, has been aged in a series of wooden barrels for over 25 years. With an extraordinarily viscous consistency and a unique flavor complexity, this vinegar is special enough to be named after producer Mariangela Montanari's father, Vittorio, a kind and loving man. This Tradizionale balsamic vinegar is so distinctive because its final aging barrel is made out of rare cherry wood, which gives it more fruity notes. The best way of enjoying La Ca' dal Vittorio is pure and simple: a few drops straight from the bottle go a long way to enhance a creamy risotto, ice cream, red fruit like strawberries or cherries, or simply with a piece of Vacche Rosse cheese
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Our vinegar producer in Modena, Mariangela Montanari, is the most balsamico-passionate and all-around enthusiastic person you will ever meet. She says traditional balsamic vinegar shines when paired with salty and fatty dishes. "This is one of the easiest and most distinctly Italian ways to improve a dish and make it special."
Traditional balsamic vinegar can only be produced in Modena and Reggio Emilia areas. Local grapes - in this case, organic Trebbiano Modenese, Sauvignon Blanc, Pignoletto, Spergola, Occhio di Gatta, and Lambrusco - are harvested at the peak of sweetness and cooked in open vats until they've boiled down to one-third the volume. It results in Saba, which is then transferred to different kinds of wooden barrels. Oak, chestnut, mulberry, cherry, and juniper barrels impart their flavor and aroma complexity to the vinegar. Each barrel has an opening 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 - in fact, in Modena, they say that one generation makes balsamico for the next.
Mariangela sums up the uniqueness of this product when she tells us, "Tradizionale is just a simple word, but in the world of balsamico, it makes a great difference. Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena is perfectly balanced in your mouth. The must keeps a sweet and fruity note despite the acidity it gains during the long aging process. You experience sweetness and acidity simultaneously; one does not overpower another."