This very unassuming name is probably the oldest commercial vinegar available in California. It is produced by Brad Alderson, an old friend who was the first general manager of Robert Mondavi winery in Woodbridge, CA. I have known Brad since his school days at UC Davis. He has always had a interest in making “real” barrel aged, Orléans style, red wine vinegar and sells us a small amount from time to time.
Vinegar is a true project when viewed from a winemaking point of view. You have to begin with good wine and then acetify it, then age it. It takes a yeast fermentation and then a bacteriological fermentation to produce vinegar. It is not just spoiled wine! Traditional Method Red Wine Vinegar has been some 20 years in the making. It has 7.5% acidity, and should be used sparingly since it is pungent. But this is what aged vinegar should be like. When we ran out just before the holidays 2018, a customer was almost hysterical trying to get it. Her holidays would be ruined if she did not have her vinegar. It came back in. The holidays were saved. It is really good.