Frequently Asked Questions... Answered!
Is there any sugar added to your balsamic?
NO! THE SWEETNESS OF OUR BALSAMIC IS DUE TO THE HIGH CONCENTRATION OF GRAPE MUST IN OUR PRODUCT. WITH OUR FLAVORED BALSAMICS, OUR ARTISANS IN CALIFORNIA USE ALL-NATURAL FLAVORINGS WITH NO ADDED SUGARS.
What is Balsamic Vinegar?
Produced in Modena, or the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, the product is obtained by cooking the juice, or 'must' of high-quality Trebbiano and Lambrusco grapes. This cooked must in then aged in old wooden barrels following the Solera Method. This method, also known as 'topping up' involves each barrel being blended with the youngest cooked must from the previous barrel. The barrels each hold progressively smaller capacities and are left open to allow for evaporation. Over the years, as the vinegar moves down the barrels, it absorbs the flavors and aromas of the varying wood. The result of this aging process is a delicious, sweet, thick and rich balsamic vinegar that's incredibly complex.
How old is your Balsamic Vinegar?
As our balsamic is produced using the Solera Method, there is aging involved, however, we cannot claim 18 years. All vinegars using this method are using an AVERAGE age and not a total age as the method constantly blends new harvests, which explains why the legislator in Italy forbids any aging claims for this item. In Italy, the only balsamic that is allowed to state an age is a DOP product. To obtain DOP status, the balsamic must be aged a minimum of 12 years and is controlled by the Consortium for approval and bottling into a unique 3.4 oz. bottle. These bottles usually cost between $75 and $120 each.
What is the shelf life of Balsamic Vinegar?
Never! It's already 'gone bad'! Think of wine...
Is your extra-virgin olive oil 'first cold-pressed?'
Our extra virgin olive oils are produced using the modern technology of centrifuges to separate olive pulp, water and oil. Traditionally, olive mass was first pressed through fiber mats (first cold press) and then subsequently heated water was introduced for further extraction on the same mass (second press). This process is now inefficient and out-dated. Today, centrifuges provide an oxygen deprived environment for quick, single step extraction preserving the freshness of the fruit.
What is the shelf life of Olive Oil?
All of our oils are unrefined and are therefore best consumed within 9-12 months of being opened. Over time, the oils will gradually lose their flavor, and the antioxidants will decrease, so don't wait too long! Make sure to store your olive oil in a cool, dark place and don't keep it too close to a stove-top or heat source, so not to speed up the process!
How do I refill my bottles?
The easiest way is to remove the cork and place your bottle upside down in the dishwasher. Let it completely dry as we don't want any condensation. You can also clean them with hot, soapy water. Bring your cleaned and dry bottle in to our store for 10% off any flavor! We will provide you with a new cork and relabel your bottles.