After a great deal of research we decided to use a traditional artisan method to produce our vinegar. It’s known as the “truciolo” or wood shavings system and it’s great advantage is that it manages to maintain the original quality of the wine used.
Although only very good quality wine must be employed, an alcohol content of over 10% would interfere with the vinegar bacteria’s action.
In order to preserve the wine’s bouquet, for each new batch a specific bacterium has to be selected. Once chosen the bacteria are reproduced by gradually adding wine up to a maximum of 300 litres. This process takes from 20 to 30 days. At this point the vinegar is moved to a 2000 litre tank containing 3 stainless steel perforated baskets covered in freshly chopped shavings from well seasoned oak and chestnut.
A slowly rotating arm stirs the wine very slowly over the shavings where the vinegar bacteria develop. The wine percolates through the shavings and falls to the bottom of the tank. It is then pumped to the top to percolate again. This process is repeated until all the wine has fermented and turned into vinegar. The rate at which the transformation takes place is governed by the amount of air into which the bacteria come in contact and the temperature. The longer the process takes, the better the vinegar will be. And that is why we only allow very little air to enter the tank and keep the temperature constantly below 27°C. We take between 20 and 25 days to transform wine into vinegar, thus safeguarding both the original scent and that of the fermentation.
After experimenting at length, we decided that the ideal aging periods were 10 to 12 months for the red vinegar, while the white requires only two or three.
We start aging the vinegar in large chestnut and oak vats. The former reinforces its structure and the latter confers a very pleasant spicy note. The vinegar is later transferred to small barriques from which it absorbs the tannin and acquires an extraordinarily elegant bouquet.