Last year while in Bologna for my language study, my instructor, Andrea, took me to visit a Balsamic tasting at Acetai di Giorgio. It was all in Italian with Giorgio, the dad, explaining how they have made balsamico for years in his family. I very much enjoyed learning the process and tasting the vinegar. I bought a bottle that was aged in cherry wood with a wonderful sweet cherry flavor. I arranged for a tasting for our group, thinking, I would be translating everything Giorgio said in Italian to our guests. Giorgio greeted us warmly outside of their beautiful villa.
On my last visit, I thought it was very cool, that when Giorgio's daughter, Carlotta was born in 1986, she was given her own "battery" (all the barrels made of sweet woods because she was a baby girl). Giorgio proudly showed us the "Carlotta wall" and her battery of vinegar barrels.
As our group gathered to begin the tour, out walked lovely 25 year-old Carlotta, who spoke perfect English. I didn't have to translate anything!
This year I purchased a bottle of the special "Carlotta" edition of 25 year-old balsamico, as well as a 12 year-old balsamico aged in juniper wood which is delicious with meats. I also bought a little "house" for my balsamico.
After our balsamico tasting, we had lunch in Modena at Caffe Concerto. This trendy bar/caffe/restaurant serves a buffet lunch with many appetizers, several types of pasta, pizza, meat and seafood entrees, and a huge table of desserts. Something for everyone!