Acetaia Leonardi – Azienda Agricola Leonardi Giovanni

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)

Leonardi Farm is a family-run business with a short supply chain. It is located in Modena, in the area known as Campi Macri, which was famous during the time of Anciant Rome for the quality of its agriculture and livestock farming. The business was created in 1700, but it began only during the 19th century to dedicate exclusively to the production of high quality balsamic vinegar (Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena D.O.P:), using only raw materials coming from their production. It is formed by a magnificent courtyard of the 18th century, which is completely surrounded by 10 hectares of vineyards, cultivated mainly with Trebbiano di Modena (white grape) and Lambrusco (red grape) quality Sorbara, Castelvetro and Ancellotta. Dark brown colour, velvety, scented, sweet and sour taste are the characteristics of balsamic vinegar, which is also called “Oro Nero di Modena”. It is a unique dressing produced in limited quantities, since its history binds it to the provinces of Modena and Reggio Emilia, whose microclimate is characterised by thermal shocks, since there are hot summers and freezing winters, which allow an optimal fermentation and ripening according to the traditional manufacturing process.

The collection of grapes is done manually in Leonardi farm by selecting the best bunches during the months of September and October, when the ratio between sugars and acidity is at its highest levels, which is needed in order to produce balsamic vinegar. The pressing of grapes is done according to “soffice” system, to avoid the excess of polyphenol contained in peels, stalks and grape seeds which slow down the process of becoming vinegar and might confer a bitter taste to the final product. Must is filtered to eliminate impurities and it is cooked in the following 24 hours, to avoid fermentations, in open-air steel boilers by direct heat for 36-48 hours. Then, it is boiled for half an hour to sterilise it, after that it is cooked for 85°C. Cooked must is left to cool down and then it decants till January. After it is put in arrays of 9 wooden barrels of descending sizes from 180 to 10 litres, each barrel is made of different types of wood (es. durmast, cherry-trees, ash trees, chestnut trees, mulberries, junipers, acacias ..), filled till the 75% of its capacity. The barrels are then located in attics, where there is a higher level of temperature range, and are left opened to allow liquids to evaporate and concentrate. In Winter times, when balsamic vinegar is “in lethargy” because of the cold and so does not ferment, people pour (transfers from a bigger to a smaller barrel) and level the quantities of the product inside the new barrel. The aging process lasts for many years, during which olfactory, visual and gustative exams are made.

Acetaia Leonardi offers each day guided tours in English, French, Italian and in German, Spanish and Portuguese only with previous reservation. The tours show the different phases of the manufacturing process and include the degustation of the products directly from barrels or in the showroom area together with their combination with other regional products (cold cuts, cheeses and wine) and dishes of local cuisine.

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)


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