Italian vinegar producers are fighting a battle with their Slovenian competitors over balsamic vinegar. The Conservation Union of Aceto Balsamico di Modena, a traditional balsamic vinegar made in the Emilia Romagna region of northern Italy, is feeling attacked by vinegar makers in its eastern neighbor.
The government of Slovenia has applied to the European Union to obtain the so-called national technical standard for the production of balsamic vinegar. Italian producers do not see this. For them, the use of the term is very close to their protected regional brand Modena, which can lead to confusion.
The controversy over the vinegar is not just about ingredients and names, but about $ 1 billion in sales, the Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore writes. Federico Desimone, director of the consortium, said that if the Slovenes succeeded, it would state that “all grape-infused wines should call themselves“ aceto balsamic ”or balsamic vinegar.
Italian balsamic vinegar traditionally comes from Lambrusco, Sangiovese, Trebbiano, Albana, Ancellotta, Fortana and Montuni grape varieties. At least 10 percent of wine vinegar and an amount of at least 10 years old vinegar should be added to the grapes.
Slovenia thinks it is right because the issue of vinegar is not regulated in the European Union, which means, according to Ljubljana, each country can adopt its own regulations. Slovenia sent the plans to the European Union Commission at the end of 2020.