This fine produce of the Cavazzone Vinegar Farm comes from a centuries old tradition, experience, care and passion with roots that are far back in time and are closely connected with the history of the territory. The production of this nectar starts in barrels of the ancient Vinegar Farms belonging to the Terrachini and Sidoli families that are still in charge of the production; these barrels so rich in fragrance and history are up to 200 years old. The production has developed to over 200 barrels, with also a commercial purpose.
The product obtained is a thick dark brown translucent liquid, with a very pleasant acidity degree, a sweet and sour taste and a pleasant lingering scent.
The production starts with the grape harvesting, its pressing and then the cooking of what we call the ‘must’ or the product obtained from the crushing of the grapes which is let to simmer until the water has evaporated and the right sugary concentration is reached. The must is then cooled off and put in barrels with a wide opening where the alcoholic fermentation takes place; after this, it is placed in 100/200 liters durmast barrels that we call ‘Badesse’ (in English ‘Abbess’) where the acetic fermentation takes place thanks to the bacteria contained in it. It remains there for years until it reaches an acidity of at least 6 degrees.
After this it is transferred from the biggest to the smallest of the batteries of barrels each of different fine precious woods (ash, mulberry, cherry, acacia, juniper and chestnut) and each of different decreasing sizes where a long seasoning starts to last many years. Each of these woods gives its specific characteristic to the vinegar: the chestnut is rich in tannin and gives it the brown color, the cherry gives its sweetness and so on…
The Vinegar Farmhouse is located in an ancient airy loft where the temperature range produces evaporation and sugar concentration during our hot summers and a sedimentation of the suspended substances during the chilly winters of the Po Valley. Each year, during the autumn a sample of product is taken from the smallest of the barrels.
A maximum quantity of 1/3 of the barrel is drawn when it is ready to be bottled and this quantity is immediately replaced with the vinegar from the bigger barrel which is closer in size and the quantity drawn from this last one is taken from the bigger one closer to its size and so on up to the biggest of the barrels; then the opening at the summit of the barrels is closed with a bung and a gauze to prevent the dust or insects from falling inside. This procedure is repeated every autumn in the same way.
The extraordinary blend of fragrances that make this balsamic vinegar so special is a real must in the kitchen as it suits every kind of dishes, from the simplest to the most elaborate. Therefore, here are some practical tips:
- never use more than the quantity which is necessary, just a few drops can enhance the flavour of every dish.
- Never use the oldest of the three kinds of vinegar during the cooking of the food; the heat of the flame could affect its sugary part ruining it.
- Put the cork back on the bottle immediately after using it to prevent further evaporation making the product thicker than it should be.
- If used with vegetable olive oil, this should be sweet and not too strong as this could cover the taste.
- At the CAVAZZONE Farmhouse Restaurant it is used in many dishes such as; pumpkin or chicory risotto, roasted pork, tenderloin, veal cutlets, omelettes, many kinds of cheeses, sweet and sour pickled onions, on many boiled and raw vegetables; some people even like it on strawberries and ice cream.