When I went to Italy I was introduced to a world where balsamic vinegar was thick and complex.
I tried vinegars that didn't just taste acidic but instead welcomed me with the various flavors of the grapes and wood barrels that nurtured the vinegar for many years.
When I came back to the US I made sure to bring a few bottles home knowing how difficult it would probably be to find anything of this quality.
Time passed and my family and I were running out of our coveted balsamic vinegar.
We resorted to stashing it away for only special occasions but it seemed that everyone wanted to sneak a bit here and there.
I went and did what most people would do in this situation. I went on Amazon and searched "real balsamic vinegar" and was in a bit of shock when I saw the price. Most bottles were around the $150+ range. Anything cheaper than that tended to have some questionable reviews.
I asked someone to buy a couple bottles in a store in Italy and ship it directly to me. I did the math and this backwards process was still more affordable then buying it from Amazon or any other site I could find it on.
Eventually I decided to do it myself.
Picture of my first shipment back in 2020!
There was a small vineyard that came to mind. I had met the owner in Florence before, where he sold his product in a small stand and allowed me to try each of his balsamic vinegars that were aged anywhere from 12 - 40 years.
While the company was small this was was no reflection of the quality of the product. As the owner Anselmo has said to me before "quantity is not the synonym of quality" however this was in Italian so more like "la quantitá non é sinonimo di qualitá"
After a bit of searching, I was able to find Anselmo on Facebook and I sent him a message with my idea. The mission to make authentic balsamic vinegar available in the US at a reasonable price became a reality at that point in time.
Since then I've visited Anselmo at his farm and have come to appreciate the work he does to preserve the traditional methods used by his family for generations. Behind every bottle is the work of a man with passion and dedication to make the best product possible.
Every step in the process is done by hand from harvesting the grapes to filling up each bottle. He is dedicated to continuing his family traditions and delivering the best experience in every bottle.
While authentic balsamic vinegar is never going to be inexpensive, I take pride in making it much more available for others then it was for me when I first returned from Italy.