New love affair. Il Borgo del Balsamico
The story about Il Borgo del Balsamico balsamic vinegar and Le Dimore guesthouse (the beautiful story here) is not just another story about a product and place to stay. It is story about respect, patience, peace, quality and passion. It is story about a family that has dedicated their present, and I believe future life, to creating something that makes us happy and proud – Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Reggio Emilia, Aceto Balsamico di Modena IGP, Condimento del Borgo and saba.
This place, this beautiful and graceful guest house and the people who work there is something that we all should learn from. It is a place that not only leaves a great taste in your mouth, but also gives pleasure to eyes. It was the father of sisters Christina and Sylvia, who one day decided to leave the fashion business and turn to something more delightful – balsamic vinegar. He saw and fell in love with this property and bought it. He still lives in one of the houses, and he greets guests with the warmest and loveliest smile with his beautiful wife by his side. With this step away from fashion, they have created something much more beautiful – a true treasure that has no connection with haute couture, but with real traditions.
Both Cristina and Sylvia live on the property, guarding the gates to heaven, and keep an eye on everything – balsamic vinegar, guesthouse and property. And, I believe mum and dad do as well. They are the heart and soul of everything nowadays, taking care of the guests, holding the only keys to the beautiful and amazing house, and the balsamic vinegar cellar. It’s not a cellar in the most traditional sense (as we imagine with wine), since balsamic vinegar must be aged in barrels that lie silently in an attic soaking up warmth of the sun, heat of summer days, and cold breezes of winter that run around the fields of Reggio Emilia. It takes 12 years, five or more different kinds of barrels (cherry, oak, chestnut and others), and, most importantly, patience to make something that we like to enjoy drop by drop – balsamic vinegar. The “sauce” (I don't think that sauce is the right name, as it is something much more) is somehow syrupy, but still liquid, and tastes like heaven. A balsamic vinegar that is best eaten on its own or with some aged cheese or figs.
But be careful – their Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Reggio Emilia is not the only thing you can spend money on while at their place or going online, because there is much more to it. Something more affordable, but surely as good as everything else is Condimento del Borgo Satin (I especially like the rose bottle), Aceto Balsamico di Modena IGP (three colors, three levels), Condimento del Borgo, Condimento Bianco (white vinegars with different tastes – the rose is to die for) and saba – slowly-boiled grape juice. It seems that everything the sisters do just turns out perfect – starting from packaging and, most importantly, the product itself. And that slowly boiled grape juice (saba) is another thing that knocked me off my feet – yoghurt is not the same anymore without this syrup.
IL BORGO DEL BALSAMICO
Via Chiesa, 27
42020 Botteghe di Albinea
Reggio Emilia – Italy
Story and pictures: Signe Meirane
Pictures taken with Sony alpha 7s