Three generations who strongly believe in nature, respect for the land and the farmers, today keep the tradition alive thanks to this powerful belief and modern technology based on a natural and biodynamics process.

Acetaia Guerzoni from Modena, Italy, is a family-run company based in the lower Modenese countryside.

Their story begins with Arduino and Zina, the first Guerzoni generation – who bought a cottage and a vineyard. In 1970, their son Felice and his wife Iride converted the vineyard to organic and biodynamic, following strictly the rules.

Today, Lorenzo, Felice, and Iride, proudly represent the third generation of Acetaia Guerzoni, the first organic and biodynamic Vinegar from Modena, certified Demeter and organic.

A modern company with its spirit rooted in deep tradition and artisanal work.

Acetaia Guerzoni products, organic and biodynamic, are a niche in both the domestic and international markets.

Even if they got damaged after the last earthquake in 2012, which hit the Emilia Romagna region, they worked hard to save their company and keep going.

Probably Acetaia Guerzoni from Modena is the only Italian producer to export mosto d’uva to the Northern American market, certified as both organic and sustainable in its production. This is a niche product you can find in some U.S. gourmet stores that are starting to gain some traction because of its simple message: this is not simply any old grape juice!

Since the time of the Romans, Italians have been preparing mosto d’uva: a healthy, delicious juice that can be enjoyed on its own or as an accompaniment to recipes for some natural sweetness. The first written record for this recipe comes from Apicius in a 4th-century collection of Roman recipes, “De re coquinaria”. In this Latin manuscript, mention is made of defrutum (meaning grape in English) which must be cooked and reduced to a syrup-like consistency during the autumn vendemmia, or grape harvest. Since then, this syrup (which goes by many names in Italy, including mosto and sapa) has been used for a variety of culinary purposes but overseas, it still remains relatively unknown.

Grape mosto or as it’s called in Italian, mosto d’uva, is a boiled-down juice extracted from clusters of the fruit with a variety of versatile uses in the true Italian culinary traditionmosto d’uva was the original sweetener for food before cane sugar was readily available. “Mosto d’uva is a product of first squeezing the grapes and, according to Italian law, it may also contain a little alcohol but our mosto is totally non-alcoholic,” explains Lorenzo Guerzoni, owner of Acetaia Guerzoni.

We keep the name mosto d’uva because it is more easily recognized abroad where they often confuse it with wine or grape fruit.” “Our mosto is made by following an ancient recipe from our ancestors called carpada, which means cracked peels. We cook the peel and juice together at about 60°C. Originally, our mosto was born in order to make typical pudding with flour, but now we sell it mainly as a drink,” continues Guerzoni. “American people really like it for its body and sweetness and because it is not alcoholic.”

Acetaia Guerzoni uses two varieties of grapes known as Ancellotta and Salamino. For their mosto, the first (the Ancellota grape) is the darkest grape in the world and it features a very sweet taste.

The second, the Salamino grape, is the typical variety used to make Lambrusco wine. It gives acidity and flavor to the product. Mosto d’uva maintains all the antioxidants and beneficial properties of the grapes and wine – all without the alcohol! For this reason, it is considered very healthy, even medicinal. While it’s time that more Americans discover this delicious Italian product, those who have already tried it confirm the benefits of getting antioxidants in a pleasant drink without drinking alcohol.

All over Italy, the mosto d’uva follows the traditional ritual of harvest time during early winter and it’s always been present as an accompaniment to festivities. The famous culinary writer, Pellegrino Artusi, often recalled how children in his home region of Emilia-Romagna would mix sapa with freshly fallen to snow to make impromptu sorbetti.

During St. Martin’s Day (November 11), the peak of harvest time in Italy, farmers and winemakers drink mosto d’uva as the first wine of the season. Perhaps the best-known example, however, comes from Modena and Reggio Emilia. In this part of northern Italy, people have been producing balsamic vinegar from aged mosto cotto since the Middle Ages.

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Article by Liliana Rosano

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