What is PGI status?
PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) are three letters that mean a lot to makers and producers all over the world.
They’re proof that at least one stage of a product’s production is intrinsically linked to a particular geographical area. This mark of excellence speaks to the cultural significance, historical importance and overall quality of a product.
To achieve PGI status, the part of the production process that gives the product its individual, unique, inimitable characteristic must take place in the designated area. It's acceptable for other less differentiating, aspects of the production to take place elsewhere.
What makes Balsamic Vinegar of Modena a PGI product?
So what makes our Balsamic Vinegar of Modena a PGI product — and what part of its production qualifies us for PGI status?
In our case, Modena’s climate is vitally important.
It’s the variation between the region’s hot summers and cold winters, together with the year-round high humidity that comes from being beside the slow-flowing Po river, that helps make our Balsamic vinegar so special.
The vinegar ‘rests’ during the chilly winter months and then evaporates and concentrates in the intense summer heat, helping the vinegar to better absorb the complex woody flavours of our large barrels.
It’s that patient and singular process, shaped by the Modena climate and monitored, managed and perfected over decades, that qualifies our Balsamic Vinegar of Modena for PGI status, which we achieved at last in 2009.
How does a product become PGI certified?
There’s a long and stringent application process to complete before becoming an official PGI product.
All requests for PGI status need to be made by a consortium of producers, not an individual business — so in collaboration with other producers in the area, our consortium submitted an initial certification application to the local government in Italy, who reviewed and edited the submission, before submitting it to the European Union (EU).
The EU’s job is to review whether all the relevant conditions for PGI status have been met — and those which have are published in a publicly-available document called the ‘Disciplinary’, which lists those products which are officially PGI certified.
And today, you’ll find tangible proof of the PGI status on every bottle of Mazzetti Aceto Balsamico di Modena — in the shape of the distinctive blue and yellow badge below.