Stravecchio Elixir of Maremma Grapes which was once a Balsamic Vinegar of Modena

Elisir Stravecchio d'Uve di Maremma che un tempo fu un Aceto Balsamico di Modena
which was first a balsamic vinegar from Spilamberto in the province of Modena
The history of the Sant'Egle vinegar factory
The battery of barrels of the Sant'Egle organic farm was forged in 1991 by a master cooper from Castelvetro, in the province of Modena.
It is made up of 6 barrels of fine wood such as acacia, oak, chestnut, juniper, mulberry and strawberry tree, plus a chestnut abbess.
They have a capacity of 30, 25, 20, 15 and 2 smaller 10lt containers from which 2 liters of Elixir are taken per year.
In 2022 the owner of this battery, winner of the gold medal for best Castelvetro vinegar at the Spilamberto prize, decided to sell it, this is how it arrived at the Sant'Egle organic farm.
The loss of the prized name, the traditional balsamic vinegar of Modena'
Even though the battery is made of balsamic vinegar from Modena, because it spent the first 40 years of its life in Spilamberto in the province of Modena, by law, when it is taken outside the territory of Modena, it is no longer allowed to be called Balsamic Vinegar.
Even though we follow the traditional processes thanks to the supervision and help of one of the last Standard Bearers and Master Taster of the Spilamberto consortium in the province of Modena, we can no longer call it Balsamic Vinegar.
This is the reason why the 'Elisir Stravecchio da Uve della Maremma Toscana' was born in 2022.
Production, strictly following the traditional method
To obtain 2 liters of Elisir Stravecchio di Maremma per year, 70 liters of hand-selected grapes are needed each year.
The grapes are selected first by tasting them and then picking the best bunches by hand.
The perfect vines for making a good balsamic vinegar are Lambrusco, Sangiovese, Trebbiano, Albana, Ancellotta, Fortana and Montuni.
The quantity of each blend varies based on seasonality. Depending on the sun and rain every year the grape has a different sugar level, flavor and aroma. This is why the proportions vary from one year to the next.
The grapes are pressed, as if to make wine. The grape juice obtained will be cooked, without any additives, for 24 hours at a temperature of approximately 30°, until 30 liters of cooked must is obtained.
The must will be transferred to a glass demijohn where the fermentation of the sugars will begin and the natural yeasts will form which will give aromas and consistency to the vinegar.
After six winter months, at the beginning of spring, respecting the moon, the must will be placed in the abbess, a barrel with a capacity of 150 liters where an acetification process begins, thanks to acetobacteria.
Every year, when it is taken, in jargon it means 'taken' the very old elixir' from the smaller barrel, the same will be filled 'decanted' from the next larger barrel and so on until reaching the top-up by the abbess.
During the storage phase in the barrels, the vinegar will have continuous losses of aqueous volume and become increasingly concentrated.
Estimated losses in larger barrels are up to 15%, while in small ones up to 25%.
The enzymatic and oxidative processes never end, for this reason, the older a vinegar is, the more valuable and good it is.
Our Elixir Stravecchio was born in 1991, it is therefore well over 30 years old and for this reason it is considered a very fine vinegar.
In 2023 our vinegar participated in the 57th edition of the Palio di San Giovanni where the master tasters of the Spilamberto balsamic vinegar consortium rated it as VERY GOOD with almost 300 points out of 400 that the winner received.
All this to tell you how much work and dedication goes into a small bottle of vinegar.
Why does it have such different prices between large retailers and producers?
What you find in the supermarket or on restaurant tables is grape must that is thickened with various types of sweeteners to simulate the density that can only be achieved with dozens of years of aging.
The smell and flavor are camouflaged by added caramel or less noble sugars.
Always remember that a Balsamic Vinegar like our Elisir Stravecchio made from Maremma grapes respects the necessary time and strictly follows all these steps:
Selection of the grape variety based on seasonality
hand harvesting of grapes
pressing of the bunches to obtain grape juice
boiling of grape juice for 24 hours to obtain the cooked must
natural and spontaneous acetification in demijohn then in abbess and aging in 6 barrels of different precious woods
monthly checks of the acidity of the barrels
weekly checks of the temperature and humidity of the vinegar factory
weekly visual checks of the health of each individual barrel
Supervision twice a year by a Master Taster of the Spilamberto Balsamic Vinegar Consortium
patience for over 30 years
all to obtain only 2 liters of vinegar per year.
Does it still seem like a lot to you?
Every year we will dedicate for sale only
10 precious bottles of 100 ml and 14 of 50 ml
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