5 May 2016

Midolini – traditional blasamic vinegar production

Design, top products and homemade delicacies in Friuli Venezia Giulia.

Do you remember the lunch I had with my blogger friends? On that occasion Alessandra, with her blog “Una Casa in Campagna” (a Country house), invited me to an event in Manzano, in the province of Udine, and I obviously couldn’t miss it!

Usually, I run to event after event like a flipper ball, I often even have 4 consecutive appointments in the same day and I even dream about being able to split apart to take part in all events.

Thanks to this experience I’ve learnt to capture the most critical and important facts and in about an hour I’ve covered all the essentials. So when I step into the Acetaia, seeing the location and the careful exposition of all the different products I know I’ll need to spend much more than an hour of my time here to visit it all…

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The Midolini Vinegar farm is in the middle of the vineyards, it’s the only one that in 1998 made it to the Guinness World Records as the largest in the world, with 2.600 barrels! The particular thing of the balsamic condiment is that it’s produced in the Region of Friuli with Refosco and Friulano grapes and it’s not original from the area of Modena

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As soon as I enter I see Alessandra arrive and she introduces me to the GURU of balsamic vinegar, Mr Ranieri, an exceptional guide in this journey of senses and tastes.

In seeing these groups of 8 barrels gradually sized, all filled with wonderful vinegar, a wave of balsamic scents intoxicates me, and even if I was suffering from an embarrassing cold, I could still smell the perfume of this black gold that surrounded me.

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The barrels are set in a "tidy line of soldiers", that’s how Lino Midolini likes to define his barrels, that are made in seven different precious woods: chestnut wood, cherry wood, oak, ash, juniper, locust tree and mulberry, all of which contribute to make the strong unique flavour!

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With great attention to detail Ranieri starts telling me his story, but there’s no time to lose because there’s a line of people all the way to the parking lot that are waiting to see the place

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He explains how from the wine must, cooked at 80° for 36-50 hours, you fill the 75 litre mother barrel and slowly, over the years you pass on towards the smallest barrel made of harder wood (as I explained earlier the barrels are in groups of 8 and are made out of 7 different woods) until you reach the 10 litre barrel from with you extract only 100200 ml at a time!

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They also make up some reserves with the Solera method, just like Marsala and Port is made, but I don’t want to go into details too much, I’d like to leave you a few surprises: you really must go and visit so Ranieri himself can explain the entire process.

I left Midolini takung their 3 balsamic vinegars with me:

  • ASPERUM V, aged 5 years - a blend of cooked must and 30% of wine vinegar
  • ASPERUM IV, aged 15 years in barrels of different wood
  • ASPERUM, aged 30 years in barrels of refined wood with cooked must from Refosco and Friulano

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But this fantastic day of the 1st of May isn’t over yet!

I go back downstairs towards the entrance where Mrs Gloria Midolini, that now manages the company, is waiting for me with Giulia Godeassi, an incredible Food blogger from Friuli (Juliet’s Belly) and with a wonderful cookbook dedicated to balsamic vinegar: “Gocce magiche in cucina” (magic drops in the kitchen).

Inside you will find the combined work of Gloria and Giulia, where taste meets vinegar as well as the Region of Friuli Venezia Giulia, with magnificent photographs of this region.

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I bet you think I’ve finished now, but no!

I still need to tell you about the designers that were at the event, but I’ve already kept you too long, so wait just a few more days and I’ll tell you about all the “treats” that Gloria selected for her guests!

Meanwhile have a look at the opening hours of Midolini, to have the opportunity to visit the company and buy great balsamic vinegar MADE IN FRIULI VENEZIA GIULIA!

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