Italian balsamic vinegar, otherwise known as Aceto balsamico in the Italian language, is an aged vinegar that is made from white grape must, typically made with Lambrusco or Trebbiano grapes. However, some producers also use Ancellotta, Berzemino, Sauvignon and Sgavetta, Spergola, and Occhio di Gato.
Production of Italian balsamic vinegar goes through several processes. First, the white grape must (which consist of pressed grapes complete with skin, seeds, stems, and juice) is cooked over a direct flame and must be allowed to evaporate until it becomes concentrated and lose about half its original liquid content. Then it goes through an initial natural fermentation process of up to 3 weeks. After that, it is stored in a series of barrels made of different types of wood, and aged for at least 12 years.
Authentic traditional balsamic vinegars are only produced in the cities of Modena and Reggio Emilia, both of which are in the Emilia-Romagna region.