Discover the world of Balsamic Vinegar of Modena

Discover the world of Balsamic Vinegar of Modena

Italy is one of the most popular countries to visit by whoever loves good food. Each corner has its own traditional ingredients, its way of cooking and mixing flavors, and an impressive number of food-related events.

Modena is no exception.

And what has made Modena famous on the map that foodies and aficionados like to follow in Italy (but also worthy to anyone interested in how food and history are related in this beautiful country, or simply wondering about a very unique product and how is made), is their Balsamic Vinegar. Just like with wine, there are very old traditions in the production of Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, all of which are best discovered in a Modena Balsamic Vinegar tour.

A tour of an Acetaia

If you’re interested in wine, you visit a vineyard. With balsamic vinegar, the place where it is produced is called an Acetaia.

It wouldn’t make it justice to call it simply a factory, since it is much more than that. Acetaias are places with a long history, usually passed on generation after generation, where tradition and quality are the rule. Producers of balsamic vinegar in Modena are proud of their work and their product and many Acetaias offer tours around the facilities.

Taking a tour of one of these producers is taking a step into a complex world of delicate flavors mixed in a particular way to create the glossy syrup that we all know and that enhances our dishes. So many aspects must be considered to create Balsamic Vinegar of Modena and the families that own these places will be able to walk you through all the steps involved in making their famous dark gold (which in Italy is known as AcetoBalsamico, a word that establishes a massive difference with vinegar and it feels a lot more specific).

Tours usually include tastings and some even include cooking lessons where Balsamic Vinegar of Modena is the main character of typically Italian dishes.

One of our favorite tours is at the LeonardiAcetaia. This family business was founded in 1871 and since then the secrets of the production of Balsamic Vinegar of Modena have been handed down through 4 generations.

The farmhouse is surrounded by vineyards where the Lambrusco and Trebbiano grapes grow lavishly. These types of grapes are what the family uses to make the grape must, the base of Balsamic Vinegar of Modena.

One interesting aspect of the LeonardiAcetaia that makes it worth a visit is the fact that the whole operation of production of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena is on site, from the grapes that grow on the property, to the processing, aging, and packaging.

Tours in LeonardiAcetaia

This Balsamic Farm offers a variety of tours, fitted to your interests and available time.

They have a basic tour, an immersion experience of half an hour that will stimulate your senses. Walking around the barrels, your guide will tell you all about the phases involved in producing Balsamic Vinegar of Modena and the visit will include 2 tastings.

LeonardiAcetaia also offers other kinds of tours, a typical tour, a bit longer experiencing the flavors and perfumes, learning about the history of the place, and having a chance to taste 3 different kinds of Balsamic Vinegar of Modena produced on site.

Finally, for those interested in a much more comprehensive experience, they have a tour that can be as long as 100 minutes, a truly original learning experience, including walks around the property, detailed explanations, and a delightful tasting of 4 different ageing of Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, including a 100 years aged special reserve.


If you find yourself in Modena, a visit to an Acetaia is a must that will not only enrich your understanding of a country’s culture and traditions surrounding food but will maybe have an impact on how you use this precious ingredient at home.

Edward Powell