The "Baliatico" System
Having a certified barrel battery in ownership? It is possible!
In order to be certified for the production of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena P.D.O., a battery or barrel must be registered in the supply chain, located in the province of Modena and owned by an individual responsible for its management.
Unfortunately, today’s homes tend to be small and ill-suited to keeping and properly maintaining a battery of barrels. On the other hand, a “battery” represents a wealth of emotions, memories, pride and passion that make it a highly desirable object, and it is considered a status symbol even far beyond its area of origin. It is common for visitors from around the world, but also Italians living in different parts of the country and Modenese seeking to mark a milestone moment, to express the desire to purchase a battery of barrels in order to produce their own Balsamic Vinegar for family use or for high-level gifting. However, it is a well-known fact that as soon as the product is taken outside the province of Modena or a certified environment, it loses all claim to the product name, the right to be bottled in the official bottling centre and, most likely, its intrinsic quality.
This is nothing new: following the annexation of the Este Duchy to the Kingdom of Sardinia, Victor Emmanuel II, King of Sardinia, and the Count of Cavour visited Modena on 4th May 1860, and were so astounded by the Modenese elixir that they resolved to transfer the Ducal vinegar loft to Moncalieri. Yet with nobody on-hand in possession of the necessary experience to maintain it, the vinegar loft was doomed, explaining why no trace of it remains today.
Such is the power of attraction of vinegar lofts nowadays that those who wish to buy a certified production battery often go down the route of stipulating a bona fide contract with their trusted producer, who undertakes to maintain and certify the battery on their behalf. Sometimes barrels or batteries are purchased to leave the usufruct to someone with the wherewithal to maintain and manage them, as has happened on countless occasions in the case of youngsters of the “La Lucciola” school in Stuffione - Ravarino.