At Rozendal they follow the traditional French Orleans method of vinegar making. Vinegar is made from a blend of red wine cultivars and activated by an indigenous “mother” culture originating from the farm’s first vinegar of 1988.
The balsam is naturally fermented in small oak barrels, the outcome perfected by extended oak maturation over a 12 year solera system. The result is a Balsamic-style vinegar; balanced in sweetness and acidity and offering a robust tonic and chef’s essential.
But the real character of this vinegar range lies in the botanical infusions, carefully selected for their culinary and health-enhancing properties.
We employ the traditional French Orleans method of vinegar making: Wine is cultured by an indigenous “mother” (the acetobacter) from the first vinegar made on Rozendal in 1988, and allowed to ferment naturally in small oak barrels. Select ingredients are crucial to quality – we start with good, balanced red wine (and not the dregs or caramel additives common in the vinegar industry).
The balsam is then matured for up to 20 years in oak barrels, which allows it to soften in taste. Aging takes place over a solera system; a complex maturation method that relies on fractional blending of old vinegar with the new to ensure that the character of the original vinegar permeates every bottle. Finally, we bottle small batches using a gentle gravity-flow system, leaving the vinegar to evolve and mature further in the bottle.
Our slow processes yield a beautifully balanced, balsamic style vinegar good enough to drink neat – and indeed, a daily shot of the tonic is the morning norm on Rozendal Farm. This invigorating ritual is enjoyed for its taste, but also for its health benefits: Raw, naturally fermented vinegar helps to restore the body’s PH balance, by reducing the excess acid that results from our modern lifestyles.