Settled on a roman age’s ancient decumanus, the Azienda Agricola Raimondi is surrounded by one of the most picturesque and typical rural areas of Nonantola.
It was founded in early 60s, thanks to Vilio’s initiative, who carried on the Raimondi family’s traditional viticulture activity. As an expert viticulturist, he passed on us his authentic passion and deep knowledge, from grape growing to wine and vinegar production’s secrets. Our farm has been producing “Lambrusco di Sorbara D.O.C.” and “Trebbiano di Spagna” grapes for decades and owns a little vinegar cellar, initially used to meet family needs. The true passion for this local tradition continues with the production of “Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena D.O.P.”, as well as of balsamic dressings, which have been recently added to our collection. We’ll have the pleasure to welcome you in our farm to taste and discover the ancient and genuine flavours of our generous land, on a cozy countryside environment.
What we know today as Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale (traditional balsamic vinegar) derives from a millenary history, probably starting during the Roman Age in the first Century A.D. and arriving to these days. Its existence comes from particular historical and geoclimatic peculiarities that characterize the ex Este Duchy region, and that influenced the life and habits of its inhabitants. The good viticultural productivity of the area was well known already by Romans, who cooked musts turning them into a very sweet and dense syrup, called ”sapa” in Latin (from which saba), which was long conserved and gradually used, gaining both a great military and economical importance. We can find many references to this beverage in different Latin authors, such as Cicerone, Plinio and Virgilio. In particular, in the first Century A.D. Columella described a particular phenomenon that characterized the musts of the region; even after cooking, they continued to ferment and acetify.
After Roman time, the first written sources concerning this ancient and precious seasoning go back up to Middle Ages. The monk Donizone tells that in 1046 A.D. the king Henry II of Franconia appreciated the vinegar of the Marquis of Canossa. The naturalist doctor Antonio Vallisnieri in the eighteenth century writes that, in the Este court of Obizzo II were kept many vinegar barrels. During the Renaissance, fragmentary sources tell about a curious classification of vinegars according to the different uses they were intended to in the Este ducal Register of 1556. to 1747 goes back the first documented note concerning the adjective “balsamico” related to vinegar in the ducal registers. It’s between the end of the eighteenth century and the beginning of the nineteenth century that we assist to the definitive affirmation of the wedge method in the Modenese area.
Considered as an effective part of family property, Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale was mentioned in testamentary legacies and represented a prestigious dowry for young aristocratic brides. It was jealously conserved in attics and lovingly attended from generation to generation, and it was considered as a sort of panacea to cure all evils. It was a suitable present for kings and princes, and since the Renaissance on the Balsamic Este vinegar has become very famous around European aristocracies. In 1792 a small bottle of Balsamic was given from Duke Ercole III to Francesco I of Austria for his coronation as emperor. In 1859 king Vittorio Emanuele II and Camillo Benso Count of Cavour visited the vinegar cellars of the Duke of Modena.
The use from a gastronomic point of view is testified by recipes handed on from father to son, and traditions jealously conserved among family secrets. In 1863, for the first time, also official science was interested in this noble product, modern analysis of Prof. Fausto Sestini pointed out in his publication “sopra gli aceti balsamici del Modenese” (over balsamic vinegars of Modenese area) the big differences between traditional Balsamic vinegar and other kinds of vinegar. In 1839 Count Giorgio Gallesio was fascinated by the characteristics of Balsamic vinegar and described the production procedures in the vinegar cells of Count Salimbeni, and the lawyer Aggazzotti in 1861 explained in the letters to his friend Fabriani the ancient and secret procedures of his family. Since 1967 an association of passionate and lovers of this precious vinegar, the “Consorteria dell’Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena”, has been playing a very important role to divulgate the product and for its qualitative selection. Traditional balsamic vinegar has therefore come out from secret attics to address the world as a representative of culture, history and gastronomic tradition of ancient Este region, the actual provinces of Modena and Reggio Emilia. Today balsamic vinegar of Modena and Reggio Emilia is still the pride of the two towns.