Ark of Taste
Wine Vinegar, Orleans Method
Though scientific advances have made large-scale production of vinegars fast and easy, it is the handcrafted Orleans method that allows for the most full-bodied and nutrient-rich wine vinegars. This rare artisanal technique originated nearly 200 years ago in France. The transformation of fruit into vinegar starts with grapes that have been left on the vine for at least a monthto ensure a high concentration of sugar in the fruitand a starter, called the “mother” culture. Unlike most modern vinegar making, which is based on rapid, forced fermentation, and flushing the wine with oxygen, the Orleans technique requires the vinegar to age for ten months in small French Oak barrels. As a consequence of this extensive process, very little commercial production of the vinegar exists in the US. The taste of this vinegar is described as bright, smooth and fruity.
Photo: Katz and Company’s Vinegar House, a 1865 Carriage House