Now when in Modena, or indeed anywhere near, it would be a crying shame not to take in one of the temples of that prized condiment known as balsamic vinegar. Or rather, Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena D.O.P, which is of course a whole other story compared to the generic concoctions found on most supermarket shelves. One of those temples is the Acetaia di Giorgio, a micro-producer located just outside the town centre in a rather lovely family home. No fewer than 14 Barbieri brothers and sisters built the villa in 1870, by which time the tradition of pressing local grapes, cooking the must and then aging it in a series of wooden barrels up in the attic for own use had spread from the aristocracy to the bourgeoisie.
It’s an art, one passed down from generation to generation, infused with all the solemnity of an ancient rite. Today’s Barbieri family are Giorgio, Giovanna and Carlotta, who fortunately produce a little more than they consume at their own table and do so according to the strict protocol imposed by the consortium of producers. Be assured, theirs comes in the exclusive 100 ml bottles designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro complete with the impressive seal of quality. Call or email them to book a tour with tasting. After which, a gorgeous little bottle of Carlotta 1986, their special quality aged for more than 25 years, at €130 may not seem so extravagant after all.