Bellei Extra Vecchio 25 Year Old Balsamic Vinegar DOP is a vinegar for truly special occasions. Thick, rich and with just the right amount acidity, dot sparingly on canapes or even enjoy a small spoonful as a digestif.
The DOP designation of “Extravecchio” vinegar shows that it is made according to the strictest Modenese method of balsamic vinegar making. Unlike balsamic with IGP status, no wine vinegar is added while the vinegar matures – it is made purely from aged grape must.
The must is obtained from Lambrusco and Trebbiano grapes that are picked by hand, and are softly pressed to extract the juice, or ‘must’. The grape must is slowly cooked until caramelised. The cooking process starts within 24 hours of the grapes being pressed. Any longer, and the must would start to ferment and produce alcohol. Once caramelised, the must is transferred to wooden barrels for ageing.
The balsamic vinegar is aged for at least 25 years in barrels of different woods – oak, cherry, chestnut, juniper and ash. This is according to a centuries-old balsamic-making tradition, and plays a large part in giving the vinegar its complex layers of flavour. The barrels are left open to allow evaporation, which is the natural way to concentrate the grape must and intensify the flavours.
When to move the vinegar from one barrel to another is something that only the master tasters know, and it often changes from batch to batch. And when a vinegar is aged as long as “Extravecchio”, generations of experience go into every bottle.
Pouring spout with cork stopper included.
Ingredients: cooked grape must. Contains sulphites.
Meet the Makers
Acetaia Bellei produces authentic balsamic vinegar following the age-old traditions of Emilia-Romagna, ageing it in unique barrels with various wood.