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06 December 2022

Condimento Balsamico Etrusco | Castello Banfi Wine Resort

Condimento Balsamico Etrusco: history, production, characteristics and trivia about Banfi-made balsamic vinegar.

Condimento Balsamico Etrusco: characteristics and production

Staying at Castello Banfi Wine Resort, in the romantic hamlet of Poggio alle Mura, will be an unforgettable experience to the discovery of the beauty and history of the Tuscan territory, filled with priceless art treasures, evocative views, and unforgettable flavors. Among these, the Condimento Balsamico Etrusco - a fine nectar similar to balsamic vinegar - stands out for its uniqueness, perfect for enhancing the finest Italian dishes.

In our Balsameria, located in the Poggio alle Mura Castle, we passionately and carefully produce the Condimento Balsamico Etrusco, using fine grapes cultivated on our territory and following ancient Etruscan methods.

How the Condimento Balsamico Etrusco is produced

The production technique for the Etruscan balsamic condiment is long and complex, with a maturation that reaches 12 years. The result is a balsamic vinegar with a complex, spicy scent and unique flavor, with the perfect sweet and sour balance.

Traditional Montalcino white grapes (Moscadello and Trebbiano) are harvested late and then pressed to obtain the must. The must is filtered and then cooked. In this way, a thick, dark must is obtained, with a higher percentage of sugar. Once it cools down, the cooked must is then placed in wooden barrels for variable periods, between 4 and 8 months. During this time, the aging process begins.

The traditional balsamic vinegar production process, partially followed also to make the Banfi’s Condimento Balsamico Etrusco, entails the preparation of a “batteria”, that is, a set of small barrels made of different woods of decreasing size (from 60 to 25 liters).

The barrel material varies and is the main item responsible for the varied aromatic bouquet of the Etruscan balsamic condiment: oak, chestnut, cherry, ash, and mulberry release their aromas and help make the olfactory complexity of this peculiar condiment richer.

Only three liters of condiment are gradually decanted from bigger to smaller barrels, with different dwell times. The entire aging process lasts approximately 12 years for a simply unique balsamic condiment.

Characteristics of the Condimento Balsamico Etrusco

The Condimento Balsamico Etrusco has a vivid and shiny dark brown color with an intense viscosity. Its scent is spicy and inebriating, with pleasantly balanced acidity. Its unique and complex scent is the result of its aging process in fine wood barrels and also of the quality of late-maturing grapes typical of the Montalcino territory.

Its flavor is also unmistakable, with an expert mix of sweet-and-sour and a full, rich taste.

The Balsameria: where the Condimento Balsamico Etrusco is made

The sophisticated Condimento Balsamico Etrusco signed by Banfi production is done in Castello Banfi’s Balsameria, a place of times gone, which you can visit if you choose to stay at Castello Banfi Wine Resort.

Castello Banfi’s ancient warehouses, located underneath the building’s north wing, have been transformed into this condiment’s production place, due to their climatic features. They look like miniature cellar, where barrels of different sizes and the materials used to age the must are displayed.

A linen cloth with a metal chain is placed on each barrel, arranged in orderly rows between the red brick columns. Tradition has it that this cloth prevents dust and insects from contaminating the product.

Visiting our Balsameria is not just a gourmet experience; it is also an enchanting dive into Montalcino’s traditions, which, such as the Condimento Balsamico Etrusco dates back to Etruscan times.

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