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Home Traditional artistic handicraft Wood manufactured Modena. Barrels for the ageing of balsamic vinegar

Modena. Barrels for the ageing of balsamic vinegar

Province of Modena

balsamic vinegar barrel

The barrels used for ripening and ageing are fundamental for the economic system around balsamic vinegar.

Traditionally, the wood uses for manufacturing barrels are those typical of the valley and hills around Modena, like oak, mulberry, oak chestnut, juniper and cherry tree, chosen according to precise features.

The oak chestnut, for example, is excellent as regards its holding capacity and contributes to the colouring of the products through the tannins, while wood like the one of the cherry tree or mulberry favour a quick concentration of the products.

The barrels with different capacities of one battery are generally made of different woods; however the skills of the barrel-maker are fundamental to guarantee the best results. The wood must be perfectly aged in a natural way, without the use of a drier. Moreover it must also have the right porosity and allow a good evaporation and concentration of the product.

The thickness of the stave is important, too. If they are too thin, they speed up the acetification process, but do not guarantee a good holding capacity, if they are too thick, the acetification process becomes too slow.

Barrel-makers still work in San Prospero sul Secchia. Here they show they skills in the assembly of staves. After being boiled, they are folded and subject to the ageing process for three years, then they are united with temporary iron rings.

Once the process of internal smoothing, preparation, blocking in the bottom parts and turning have been completed, these iron rings are replaced with stainless steel rings.

Traditionally, a battery comprises barrels with about ten different capacities: the lowest one is 10 litres, the highest one is 75 litres.

 

Locality:

San Prospero sul Secchia

 

Museums:

Museo dell’Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena

Last modified Mar 31, 2011

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