In theory, making vinegar is very simple. Wine vinegar is produced from grapes or rice through fermentation, which is activated initially by adding yeast. Later, to give vinegar its characteristic “sour” tartness, a second fermentation is brought about by exposing the wine to acidic bacteria. The key to producing fine wine vinegar begins with the quality of the wine. All Pompeian vinegars are made of wines imported from Spain, giving our products superior flavor and aroma.
Production of balsamic vinegar is slightly different. It begins with crushing the grapes, then slowly reducing them in large copper cauldrons into a thick syrup called “grape must.” The must is then allowed to ferment and acidify into vinegar. Next, it is mixed with select red wine vinegar and aged in large wooden casks. This aging in wood casks imparts to the vinegar the dark color, proper pouring consistency and rich flavor for which balsamic vinegar is known and valued. These additional steps needed to create quality balsamic vinegar is in part why its price is generally higher.