Expert Tasters Association of the "Ttraditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena"

Our history

On April 17th 2000, the European Union acknowledged the right of the "Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena" to the "Denomination of Protected Origin" (DOP) according to EEC law 2081/82. The Producers Association of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, president Claudio Biancardi, had come a long and winding way to obtain this acknowledgment.


The acknowledgment of DOP imposed the certification, by CERMET of Bologna, of every step of the production and commercialisation process. The Expert Tasters Association provides the greatest guarantee of the quality of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena. In fact, the Expert Tasters Association brings together all the persons qualified by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry to taste all the Traditional Balsamic Vinegar that the producers intend to commercialise. Only the Traditional Balsamic Vinegar that passes this test may be commercialised.


In spring 2000, the Chamber of Commerce in Modena organised a qualification course for expert tasters. In actual fact, the expert taster had already existed since 1986 when the Italian State authorised the commercialisation of the Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena. The course held by the Chamber of Commerce had to check and improve the sensorial skills of the tasters who had operated until this time. At the end of the course, 28 tasters qualified. The expert tasters were enrolled in a special register at the Chamber of Commerce in Modena.


in July 2000, on the occasion of the presentation of the diploma, some expert tasters had the idea of founding an association to protect and develop the figure and the activity of the expert tasters. The idea was immediately accepted.


Over three months of many intense meetings at the stock of vintage wines of Levizzano Rangone all the aspects of the new association were formalised.


On December 13th 2000, the public notary Eugenio Gambigliani Zoccoli founded the "Expert Tasters Association of the Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena". There were 21 members of the 28 tasters who had qualified at the Chamber of Commerce. The first statute was written and the first board of directors was elected: Graziano Corradetti, Mario Gambigliani Zoccoli, Enrico Nasi, Gianluca Trenti and Secondo Vecchi. The first president was Enrico Nasi.


For the first four years, the association worked like a professional order. During this period, advanced courses were organised to better qualify the tasters with an innovative plan of teaching. We used all the experience of the Neotron, one of the leading firms in Europe for sensorial analysis and the CIPA, a school of professional agricultural learning.

The change of path

On December 13th, 2004 the president of the board of directors, Mario Gambigliani Zoccoli, decided to change the statute by opening the association to all those interested to the world of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar. The opinion of the board was that the great number of interested people or lovers of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar were not catered for by those who had been operating in the field of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar for many years. It seems that especially in Modena these people were not followed. The opinion of the board was correct, as was confirmed by its great appreciation and the participation in all the activities organised in 2005.

The present

Now our Association has an important role and high visibility in the world of ABTM. The members are in their hundreds and in continuous growth. As part of the 2005 programme, we held three courses for ABTM makers and tasters entitled "conduttore di acetaia e avviamento all’assaggio" with a hundred new trainees. In All in all, at the end of the 2005/6 programme, our association will have enrolled about 3500 people over the year, 3000 of whom from Modena alone. Our program has obtained widespread support from the Local Administration. We would like to thank the Modena Town Council and the Province of Modena for their support at the first ABTM competition "1st Ghirlandina Prize - City of Modena" (I° Palio della Ghirlandina-Città di Modena), and the Town Centre Administration for their support of our activities.

The near future

Now our Association is entirely absorbed in the organisation of the most ambitious part of the 2005/6 program, the 1st Ghirlandina Prize - City of Modena.