Amazing view, an intense blue lake, high mountains. A terrace overlooking this wonderful panorama and a tasting of 0-km products seasoned with tasty balsamic vinegar? Do you know where? At Acetaia del Balsamico Trentino in Cologna di Tenno, at Garda Trentino.
A modern location smelling of tradition
The keyword to describe this restaurant is wholesomeness. Here, they produce every or almost every raw materials – they buy the others not far from here. Freshness is their cornerstone. Acetaia del Balsamico Trentino is much more than a restaurant, much more than a farm: it is a real experience we want to tell you.
When we got there, Ivo welcomed us. He is the soul of Acetaia, he knows how to welcome his guests. With his kind and passionate glaze, Ivo explained us how both the restaurant and the king vinegar were born at Acetaia.
The balsamic vinegar of Trentino
The main protagonist of this farm is the balsamic vinegar Trentino, the only one produced in this region.
Everybody knows the balsamic vinegar of Modena IGP but his, how Ivo said, is not the traditional balsamic vinegar. The two products are different.
The balsamic vinegar of Trentino has honoured the tradition of Emilia Romagna and they made it theirs; the results is a gently-cooked balsamic vinegar from the grape must of Gewürztraminer (local grapes). The process to get the balsamic vinegar of Trentino is long, but shows the love and car given to this seasoning. Ivo told us the definition by law; it is aged in barrels of 8 different woods – oak, mulberry, cherry tree, acacia, chestnut tree, ash, juniper, pear tree and of decreasing size. It is decanted and topped up with cooked must only, once a year for about 11 years. The vinegar gets sweet, gentle, able to intensify any dish.
Wine and Co. All the delicacies of Acetaia
They do not produce only the balsamic vinegar, but also cheese of the raw milk they deliver every week and that the cheesemakers transform in fresh ricotta, bonomì cheese – white crust, soft and yummy compactness – Tofino cheese, aged for 100 days at least in a tiny room we visited. There, the temperature is regular and the natural humidity is perfect to season the cheese. The other great product here produced is the extra virgin oil of Garda Trentino.
In Tenno, and thanks to the exposition to the sun and the ventilation, they can produce an oil with fresh but intense flavour, perfect to season the carne salada, a local product you can taste here at Acetaia. The carne salada of Cologna di Tenno is a food delicacy whose Ivo’s mother family members have handed down since 1767. Try it at Acetaia, but do not forget to pour some balsamic vinegar on it!
Tasting overlooking the lake
Luca kindly welcomed us to taste the incredible balsamic vinegar of Trentino.
On our table – look at the view over the lake – carne salada, locally-produced cold cuts and cheese, delicious breadsticks and toasted bread, then picked vegetables cultivated in their vegetable garden and excellent wine. And, of course, the King balsamic vinegar. Luca showed us their three different types of balsamic vinegar – the Balsamico Trentino aged for four years in oak barrels, the Cru aged for seven years in six different barrels and the Gran Cru – yes, my favourite one!. The packaging is captivating – it looks like a bottle of perfume – and the flavour is simply mouth-watering. Sweet, delicate, you even want to drink it.
Our tasting ended with a unique dessert. A vanilla semifreddo with liquorice sauce flavoured with Balsamico Cru with caramel almond brittle.
While my teaspoon sank into the semifreddo, I gave a look at Lake Garda through the hug glass wall. Goodbye Acetaia, will see you soon again. Yes, because taste is a synonym of beauty – the beauty of the lake, but also of the walls some Mexican artists painted – of wholesomeness – they produce the 90% of the products – and especially of love, their love. Come and feel it, you will understand I am telling the truth.