I have the kind of job where I am ‘forced’ to go to Europe every week whether I want to or not. The good news is that 99.99% of the time the work routine falls into the ‘want to’ category. On one of those trips back in 2013 I visited a winery north of Venice, Italy on the Strada del Prosecco. While this region is known primarily for its DOCG level of prosecco production it wasn’t the sparkling wine that got my attention; it was the balsamic vinegar production. The vintner brought me into his acetaia, a small room with stone walls and a couple of windows to allow for some fresh air to circulate. In there were several racks of barrels all different sizes but much smaller than the wine barrels he had in the rest of his winery. The barrels were arranged on wooden racks where groups of five were positioned next to each other in descending order of size; 50 liters down to 10 liters. The room had an awesome fragrance of fermented grape juice with a touch of refreshing mustiness.
It was in this Italian vintner’s own little sanctuary where my brilliant (at least in my mind) idea was hatched. More later … or as they say in the old country, seconda parte