The first written reference is found in the poem “Vita Mathildis”, written by the monk Donizone, biographer of Matilda of Canossa, in 1046. Henri III, Emperor of Germany, en route to Rome for his coronation, stopped in Piacenza and wrote to Bonifacio, Lord of Canossa Fortress, requesting a special vinegar that “he had heard was made perfectly there”.
They therefore decided to bottle the product after at least 12 years of ageing, marking the characteristics bottles with a lobster-coloured label, whereas those containing vinegar aged for few more years have a silver label, and those with vinegar aged for over 25 years have a gold label and the designation “Extra Old”.
The term “balsamic” is an attraction, as it has become known throughout the world by the marketing of products similar to the traditional vinegar, which alone is obtained by the fermentation of cooked must over a period of no less than 12 years. Other balsamic vinegars are obtained by mixing various ingredients (cooked or concentrated must, wine vinegar, caramel and other substances).
Curator — Consorzio Tutela Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Reggio Emilia