Modena Balsamic Vinegar: price, origin and curiosity

Modena Balsamic Vinegar is a unique product that boasts appreciation from all over the world, but perhaps you have wondered how much an average bottle should cost or how to be sure that the vinegar is original. Here are the answers you were looking for!

Modena Balsamic Vinegar


The Modena Balsamic Vinegar is certainly among the most expensive products in the world. For this reason it is called “Modena black gold”. In 2007 at an auction, a 100 cc bottle was sold for 1,800 euros. Doing a quick calculation, we are talking about 18 thousand euros per liter! Luca Gozzoli, Grand Master of the Consorteria, however, explained: “This happened for an excellent and extraordinary production. Not that all balsamic vinegar has a cost of this magnitude. ” In any case, a 250 milliliter bottle of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena PDO aged 25 years exceeds 100 euros.


Unfortunately, Modena balsamic vinegar is often imitated: let’s clarify the original product. The original balsamic vinegar is produced exclusively in the provinces of Modena and Reggio Emilia, both because the grapes and the climate give particular characteristics, but above all because for centuries, the art of cooking musts and working in the vinegar factories has been handed down. In fact, excellence comes from a mix of factors such as the raw materials, the type of wood used in the barrels, the microclimate of the vinegar cellar, time and the art of ancient traditions.

There are three types of vinegar: Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Reggio Emilia, which are products with Protected Designation of Origin (DOP), and Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, which instead has the IGP quality mark (Indication Protected Geographical).

The DOP vinegars with the term “traditional” are obtained from a single ingredient: grape must. After cooking, it is aged annually in wooden barrels. On the other hand, the process of the IGP product is faster and involves the use of several ingredients: cooked must, concentrated must and wine vinegar. The minimum expected aging is 60 days. So we are faced with different types of preparation and different prices. In fact, if a 250 milliliter bottle of Traditional DOP Vinegar aged 25 years exceeds 100 euros, you can buy a bottle of the same quantity of IGP Balsamic Vinegar for around ten euros or a little more.

Different price = different product: one of the two is not necessarily a wrong purchase, it is simply important to understand the differences and buy with awareness.


Even if the bottling can take place in different formats (50, 100, 200, 250 and 400 ml), usually the Traditional Balsamic Vinegar (of Modena or Reggio Emilia) is bottled in special 100 ml bottles, spherical with a rectangular base, designed exclusively by the designer Giorgetto Giugiaro. This choice was born precisely to limit the multiple imitations of the product. Over the years it has become the brand of the product itself and an absolute guarantee of quality and authenticity.


A Modenese tradition provided that at the birth of a daughter, she was given a battery: a series of at least 5 barrels of decreasing size, in which the cooked must is moved over the years. In fact, the must is placed in the largest barrel and, with aging, is moved to the smaller and smaller one (as the liquid decreases), until it reaches the last barrel from which traditional balsamic vinegar can be taken. The entire aging process can last from a minimum of 12 years and even reach over 25 years in the Extravecchio version. So at the age of 25, the daughter had a barrel of Extravecchio balsamic vinegar as a dowry for her wedding. This tradition is still in use today!

If you want to know more curiosities about Black Gold, take a look at our article 10 Things You Don’t Know About Balsamic Vinegar of Modena


Do you want to know how to best taste it, because it is called “balsamic” or the secret of its thick and creamy texture? Don’t miss our tours! Here are the ones that might be right for you:

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