Organic Balsamic of Monticello

Organic Balsamic of Monticello

"One of the World's Top 100 Products... Worth the splurge!" – Saveur Magazine

Location

Monticello, NM

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Maker Name

Organic Balsamic of Monticello

Location

Monticello, NM

Telephone

5757430200

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Family-Owned, Small Business
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Our family-run organic farm produces the only classic traditional balsamic in the United States.

We use a single ingredient: our organic balsamic grapes. 

Our balsamico is aged in custom casks of 7 rare woods (oak, ash, chestnut, acacia, mulberry, cherry, juniper) -- and the maturing balsamic spends a full year in each, then repeats this aging until nuanced flavors and fullness develop in 21 years.

Extreme aridity here in New Mexico causes slow evaporation and natural concentration. During the years of aging, the juice of 200 pounds of grapes reduces to fill just one of our 4.5 oz. bottles.

This product is unlike anything you've tried before - a finely balanced acidity and sweetness, a viscous consistency, rare wood nuance, and a luminous depth of color.

 

OUR FARM

We founded and operate a group of tiny organic farms in the southern tip of the Rocky Mountains in the historic New Mexico village of Monticello, where the population is fewer than 25 people. It is stunningly quiet. The air is clean and clear. Cell phones don't work here.

When we began our land was fallow, and we make every effort to respect and nourish the land we cultivate, as do other small surrounding organic farms and grass-fed beef and bison ranches nearby. Our water supply is strictly from our own wells. We never use herbicides, pesticides or other harmful sprays, amendments or practices.

 

OUR GRAPES


Italian grapes, those classically used for making traditional balsamic vinegar, are among our many certified organic crops. When we joined Slow Food in Turin, Italy in 1998 during their second Salone del Gusto, we resolved to practice their thesis:

"Patience in preserving and locally producing classic, healthy, tasty things."

 

 

Saveur Magazine
"One of the World's Top 100 Products... Worth the splurge!"

– Saveur Magazine

 

Ruth Reichl - Former Editor of Gourmet & NY Times Food Writer
"Rare and wonderful"

– Ruth Reichl - Former Editor of Gourmet & NY Times Food Writer

 

Paul Bertolli, James Beard winning chef
"The best and most authentic of the New World balsamics"

– Paul Bertolli, James Beard winning chef

 

New Mexico Magazine
"liquid gold... my culinary life changed forever"

– New Mexico Magazine

 

 
 
WE MAKE TRADITIONAL BALSAMICO USING THREE THINGS:
 
1.

GRAPES

Our vineyard's organic Trebbiano and other Roman-era grapes are grown at our mile-high elevation in New Mexico.
 
2.

CASKS

We use world-class Italian balsamico casks. Each barrel is made of one of seven different classic woods: ash, acacia, cherry, chestnut, juniper, mulberry and oak.
 
3.

TIME

We practice the patience of continuous ageing, removing less than 3% of our balsamic per year, while ten times that amount leaves by evaporation. Each bottle contains the climate-condensed juice of enough juice to make 55 bottles of wine.

 

Maker Reviews

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Store Policies

Announcements and Updates


Returns and Exchanges

Sorry, no returns on these food items.


Frequently Asked Questions

HOW DO I USE HIGH QUALITY TRADITIONAL BALSAMIC VINEGAR?

Here's a list of foods, which are greatly enhanced with a few small drops of our traditional balsamic, added just before serving:

( * our recommended favorites )

Cheeses
Parmigiano-Reggiano*
Pecorino Romano
soft goat cheese
mozzarella and burrata
 
Poultry
game birds (pheasant, dove, quail)*
broiled chicken
baked game hens
roasted guinea hen*
 
Eggs
carmalized onion frittata*
spinach timbale
wild mushroom quiche
 
Vegetables
fresh sliced tomatoes*
ripe avocado*
sautéed mushrooms*, wild and domestic
grilled asparagus*
grilled eggplant* or zucchini
steamed fresh green beans
braised broccoli rabe
broiled tofu
grilled or sautéed leeks
sautéed sweet-and-sour red cabbage
fried artichokes
 
Fish
salmon*, grilled, sautéed or broiled
sautéed or grilled scallops
tuna carpaccio
steamed lobster
sautéed sole
grilled or smoked eel*
 
Meats
all dark roasted meats*
rabbit* (prepared your favorite way)
grilled steaks
sauteed or grilled lamb chops
roast beef
sautéed veal medallions
wild large game*, especially wild boar and elk
long-roasted bison*
beefsteak tartare*
sautéed fois gras
 
Fruit
strawberries*
raspberries*
figs*
white (or yellow) peaches*
melons
blackberries
 
Desserts
apple tart*
baked or poached pear*
zabaglione
crème caramel
panna cotta
gelato
ice cream
 
Drinks
Added to a Martini before shaken
Strawberry & Balsamic Shrub (See Edible Magazine)
Invent your own cocktail and/or non-alcoholic drink
 
 
Alone
have a small sip after dinner as a liqueur*
(serve with soda water on the side)
 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

What is balsamic vinegar made from?

Real, traditional balsamic vinegar is made only with sweet, white grapes. We use the classic Italian grapes, Trebbiano and Occhio di Gatto, plus a proprietary blend of others, most of which date to the Romans. Our traditional balsamic has only one ingredient - organic grapes.

  --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

What is 'industrial balsamic vinegar'?

Remember, Italians call balsamic made in a slow, minimum 12 year process, using small casks of rare woods, 'traditional'. The most commonly used balsamic on the market is called 'industrial' since most are made in a factory in as little as a day. To be fair, for what they are and what they cost, they are fine.

(It's like the difference between herring roe and quality caviar. Each are fish eggs, yet each is quite different in appearance, taste, rarity and price.)

So-called 'industrial' balsamic is made of many things, usually starting with various forms of any grape juice, probably from many sources and often from a 'low cost producer'. This mix usually includes coloring, caramel (or other sugar sources) for the "right" look and sweetness—and sometimes preservatives are added.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

How does traditional balsamic differ? How does it work?

The long, slow concentration of the original grape juice in traditional balsamic can be better understood as slowly packing flavors into a smaller and smaller space—with years of long exposure to rare woods. When the balsamic makes contact with your tongue or with the food you put it on, it unpacks with great power, projecting the fullest flavor of these foods. So, food doesn't just taste like it has vinegar on it; taste is much more fully expressed, whatever the food happens to be.

(Another useful food parallel is in the use of salt, which roughly functions similarly. It is added to enhance food taste, not make the food taste salty.)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

What is the best way to use high quality traditional balsamic?

Never cook the real stuff. That's a waste. Put it on food that's been plated to serve. A few dots will spread out and deliver a whole new set of flavors in the food. Often, these are flavors in the food itself you otherwise would have missed.

Try any great balsamic all by itself. First, try the smallest drop to adjust your mouth, then in another a minute or so, try another small amount. You will experience a long series of differing tastes, each one a separate wood or grape flavor, woven into a changing pattern of sweet and sour expressions. All of these resolve in the back of the mouth, mid-tongue, into a long, woody conclusion. As with fine wines, each traditional balsamic will present its own character in a unique, pleasing and memorable way.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

How is your balsamic different from others?

Our very low humidity near the end of the Rocky Mountains of southern New Mexico drives evaporation more quickly than most places, even the original and fabulous classics made in Modena, Italy. For its age, ours is more viscous than most.

Also, our sweet/sour balance tends very slightly more to acid (which is usually in the range of 8%+), yet it never tastes vinegary like those with typical 6% acidity. Also, our grapes are grown in a stressed environment of high heat, high altitude with early spring frosts reducing our fruit set. This seems to increase the grape plants' energies directed to a smaller number of grapes. So, ours tastes unique to our place and truly like no other.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Some Additional Facts about our Balsamic

It is organic. The single ingredient is organic grape juice from classic Italian balsamic grapes grown on the same property "a certified organic farm” where the acetaia (vinegar loft) is located. It is a sanitary, licensed, government-inspected building, dedicated to this sole function.

The product is produced in Italian casks of 7 rare woods: oak, chestnut, ash, acacia, mulberry, cherry, and juniper. The cask maker in Modena, Italy is Francesco Renzi, the unequaled master of the craft.  His family has been leading the industry for over 500 years.

Extremely low humidity in New Mexico (6-10%) much more rapidly produces viscosity, so the thick pour of this balsamic closely resembles the Italian "extra vecchio" product (25+ year age), though our product is in its 21st year of aging in 2021.

Each small bottle contains the climate-condensed juice of 200 pounds of estate grapes. Or it holds the viscous remnant of enough free-run juice to make 55 bottles of wine.

Like wine, there is no single best balsamic product, no matter what age or production site. Each varies and each appeals differently to subjective tastes. However, extensive blind taste tests (comparing Traditional Balsamico of Monticello with various 25+ year old Italian "extra vecchio" products) show regular, strong preference for this product. It's made in America. And it is believed by most informed third parties, including famed food expert, chef and writer, Paul Bertolli, to be the best traditional balsamic made here.

It is rare: as few as 700 bottles per year are made, depending on results of the high altitude (5,440 ft.) grape crop. The grapes always struggle, then add character. 


Payment


Shipping

Flat fee shipping and handling

Store Policies

Announcements and Updates

Frequently Asked Questions

HOW DO I USE HIGH QUALITY TRADITIONAL BALSAMIC VINEGAR?

Here's a list of foods, which are greatly enhanced with a few small drops of our traditional balsamic, added just before serving:

( * our recommended favorites )

Cheeses
Parmigiano-Reggiano*
Pecorino Romano
soft goat cheese
mozzarella and burrata
 
Poultry
game birds (pheasant, dove, quail)*
broiled chicken
baked game hens
roasted guinea hen*
 
Eggs
carmalized onion frittata*
spinach timbale
wild mushroom quiche
 
Vegetables
fresh sliced tomatoes*
ripe avocado*
sautéed mushrooms*, wild and domestic
grilled asparagus*
grilled eggplant* or zucchini
steamed fresh green beans
braised broccoli rabe
broiled tofu
grilled or sautéed leeks
sautéed sweet-and-sour red cabbage
fried artichokes
 
Fish
salmon*, grilled, sautéed or broiled
sautéed or grilled scallops
tuna carpaccio
steamed lobster
sautéed sole
grilled or smoked eel*
 
Meats
all dark roasted meats*
rabbit* (prepared your favorite way)
grilled steaks
sauteed or grilled lamb chops
roast beef
sautéed veal medallions
wild large game*, especially wild boar and elk
long-roasted bison*
beefsteak tartare*
sautéed fois gras
 
Fruit
strawberries*
raspberries*
figs*
white (or yellow) peaches*
melons
blackberries
 
Desserts
apple tart*
baked or poached pear*
zabaglione
crème caramel
panna cotta
gelato
ice cream
 
Drinks
Added to a Martini before shaken
Strawberry & Balsamic Shrub (See Edible Magazine)
Invent your own cocktail and/or non-alcoholic drink
 
 
Alone
have a small sip after dinner as a liqueur*
(serve with soda water on the side)
 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

What is balsamic vinegar made from?

Real, traditional balsamic vinegar is made only with sweet, white grapes. We use the classic Italian grapes, Trebbiano and Occhio di Gatto, plus a proprietary blend of others, most of which date to the Romans. Our traditional balsamic has only one ingredient - organic grapes.

  --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

What is 'industrial balsamic vinegar'?

Remember, Italians call balsamic made in a slow, minimum 12 year process, using small casks of rare woods, 'traditional'. The most commonly used balsamic on the market is called 'industrial' since most are made in a factory in as little as a day. To be fair, for what they are and what they cost, they are fine.

(It's like the difference between herring roe and quality caviar. Each are fish eggs, yet each is quite different in appearance, taste, rarity and price.)

So-called 'industrial' balsamic is made of many things, usually starting with various forms of any grape juice, probably from many sources and often from a 'low cost producer'. This mix usually includes coloring, caramel (or other sugar sources) for the "right" look and sweetness—and sometimes preservatives are added.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

How does traditional balsamic differ? How does it work?

The long, slow concentration of the original grape juice in traditional balsamic can be better understood as slowly packing flavors into a smaller and smaller space—with years of long exposure to rare woods. When the balsamic makes contact with your tongue or with the food you put it on, it unpacks with great power, projecting the fullest flavor of these foods. So, food doesn't just taste like it has vinegar on it; taste is much more fully expressed, whatever the food happens to be.

(Another useful food parallel is in the use of salt, which roughly functions similarly. It is added to enhance food taste, not make the food taste salty.)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

What is the best way to use high quality traditional balsamic?

Never cook the real stuff. That's a waste. Put it on food that's been plated to serve. A few dots will spread out and deliver a whole new set of flavors in the food. Often, these are flavors in the food itself you otherwise would have missed.

Try any great balsamic all by itself. First, try the smallest drop to adjust your mouth, then in another a minute or so, try another small amount. You will experience a long series of differing tastes, each one a separate wood or grape flavor, woven into a changing pattern of sweet and sour expressions. All of these resolve in the back of the mouth, mid-tongue, into a long, woody conclusion. As with fine wines, each traditional balsamic will present its own character in a unique, pleasing and memorable way.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

How is your balsamic different from others?

Our very low humidity near the end of the Rocky Mountains of southern New Mexico drives evaporation more quickly than most places, even the original and fabulous classics made in Modena, Italy. For its age, ours is more viscous than most.

Also, our sweet/sour balance tends very slightly more to acid (which is usually in the range of 8%+), yet it never tastes vinegary like those with typical 6% acidity. Also, our grapes are grown in a stressed environment of high heat, high altitude with early spring frosts reducing our fruit set. This seems to increase the grape plants' energies directed to a smaller number of grapes. So, ours tastes unique to our place and truly like no other.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Some Additional Facts about our Balsamic

It is organic. The single ingredient is organic grape juice from classic Italian balsamic grapes grown on the same property "a certified organic farm” where the acetaia (vinegar loft) is located. It is a sanitary, licensed, government-inspected building, dedicated to this sole function.

The product is produced in Italian casks of 7 rare woods: oak, chestnut, ash, acacia, mulberry, cherry, and juniper. The cask maker in Modena, Italy is Francesco Renzi, the unequaled master of the craft.  His family has been leading the industry for over 500 years.

Extremely low humidity in New Mexico (6-10%) much more rapidly produces viscosity, so the thick pour of this balsamic closely resembles the Italian "extra vecchio" product (25+ year age), though our product is in its 21st year of aging in 2021.

Each small bottle contains the climate-condensed juice of 200 pounds of estate grapes. Or it holds the viscous remnant of enough free-run juice to make 55 bottles of wine.

Like wine, there is no single best balsamic product, no matter what age or production site. Each varies and each appeals differently to subjective tastes. However, extensive blind taste tests (comparing Traditional Balsamico of Monticello with various 25+ year old Italian "extra vecchio" products) show regular, strong preference for this product. It's made in America. And it is believed by most informed third parties, including famed food expert, chef and writer, Paul Bertolli, to be the best traditional balsamic made here.

It is rare: as few as 700 bottles per year are made, depending on results of the high altitude (5,440 ft.) grape crop. The grapes always struggle, then add character. 

Return and Exchanges

Sorry, no returns on these food items.

Payment

Shipping