From Sour Wine to Vinegar
The “sour wine”, as called by the Ancient, fuels the history of mankind. We know that vinegar was made 5000 years ago in Egypt and in Mesopotamia and we also know that, lengthened with water, this was the drink of legionaries.
However, it was not until after the 19th century and Pasteur’s work on micro-organism that we understood the phenomenon of acidification: in the presence of air, the acetic acid bacterium sets the atmospheric oxygen on the alcohol and thus turns it into vinegar.
The vinegar does not contain any alcohol. The percent mentioned on the bottle refers to the measure of acidity. The percentage of acidity of wine vinegar is 6% to 7% while cider vinegar is 5%.
The production of vinegar is a natural process that can be summed up roughly in two steps: the alcoholic fermentation and the acetic fermentation, under a constant control.
Raw materials are selected with the greatest attention for this is what makes the greatness of a vinegar.
Our vinegars are the result of a natural fermentation: it’s the “Mycoderma Aceti” bacteria which will transform the alcohol contained in the wine or in the cider in vinegar.
We have chosen an immersed fermentation because this is the best technique to use to keep all the wine flavours in the vinegar.
The filtration, storage and packaging are subjects to very strict rules, ensuring an optimal preservation for our vinegars.
In order to determine the best flavour profiles, our Research & Development department is always working on the flavour harmony.
To produce spirit vinegar, we mainly use pure beetroot alcohol usually from France, as well as grain alcohol (corn, wheat…) and sugar cane alcohol.
Originally, alcohol vinegar was used for pickling but today, we can use it in many different ways. As a matter of fact, you can use it as a household product for everyday use.
- Red wines
- White wines
These two vinegars are traditional wines, whose acidity percentage cannot be under 6% (it is usually 6-7%).
- Normandy Cider
Normandy Cider is a PGI, Protected Geographical Indication, and thus always comes from Normandy.
- Ungraded cider
Unlike the Normandy cider this cider can come from everywhere, there is no PGI.
Vinegars with protected designation
- Reserva Sherry vinegar (PDO)
The PDO, Protected Designation of Origin, is the European equivalent of the AOC designation (Controlled Label of Origin). When a product is certified PDO, it means that all the manufacture, production and processing stages take place in the same geographic area. In the Sherry vinegar case, it means that it is produced in the South of Andalusia, near Cadix. This designation testifies a product of quality, made with a recognized know-how and it also marks a strong connection between the product and the terroir.
The Sherry vinegar is thus one of these products imported from Spain. A Sherry vinegar called “Reserva” means that it has been aged in casks for at least two years.
- Young Sherry Vinegar (PDO)
Just like the Reserva Sherry vinegar, the young Sherry vinegar is imported from Spain. The only difference is that this one is aged in casks for 6 months instead of 2 years.
- The Balsamic Vinegar of Modena (PGI)
The Balsamic Vinegar of Modena is a Protected Geographical Indication. This means that the manufacture, the production or the processing take place in a specific geographic area. In that case, the balsamic vinegar of Modena must be produced in the region of Modena and Reggio Emilia, in Italy.
Matured vinegar (at least 2 months)
The difference between a matured vinegar and an aged vinegar is the time they spend in oak barrels. Therefore, a matured vinegar spends at least 2 months in a cask to be named as such.
Vinegar aged in oak barrels (at least a year)
On the other hand, an aged vinegar is a vinegar that has spent at least a year in an oak barrel. For instance, Reims vinegar, which is a registered trademark of Charbonneaux-Brabant, is a vinegar from Champagne-Ardenne, aged twelve months in oak barrels.
Vinegars of varietal wines (Merlot, Chardonnay)
- The flavoured vinegars
Just as the mustards, the vinegars can be flavoured in many different ways with: natural aromas that can be sweet (raspberry, fig…) or salty (shallot, nut…), with sweet, concentrated juices (raspberry, grape, lemon…) or salty (shallot…), with spices and herbs (herbes de Provence, tarragon, garlic…) manually added, as well as with fruit and vegetable purees (mango, tomato, pepper) for the specialties “vinegars and pulp”.
- The organic vinegars
The organic vinegars have been designed to meet the needs of consumers. As a matter of fact, in a constant concern of eating healthier and local, it was crucial to develop products for all gourmets who want to enjoy good food and still be respectful of their consumption mode. There are various types:
- Red wines
- White wines
- Balsamic of Modena