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Our Artisan

Our commitment

(tasting what they should taste)

(real, natural and rigorously selected ingredients)

(differing from what is made elsewhere)

(allowing for simplicity in the kitchen)

Our Expertise

Essentially and quite simply, vinegar is an acidic wine (“vin aigre” in french). This condiment has been accompanying humanity for millenniums and is used to complement or preserve foods. Producing it necessitates an alcoholic liquid such as wine or beer that is obtained by fermentation to transform it into vinegar with the action of acetic acid bacteria.

At first sight, all this is quite simple: we make alcohol (from fruits, maple, honey, etc.), then we add bacteria, and it turns sour. For our part, we also wish to translate every wine’s flavour as faithfully as possible and create vinegar that is elegant, refined, with depth and complexity.

Learning to master the various aspects of that double process in order to elaborate world-class handcrafted vinegar is a rich and fascinating activity that represents an incomparable opportunity for creativity.

We produce them from scratch, in small batches, mostly from organic or foraged ingredients. Fruits, honey, maple syrup and others are first transformed into wine (alcoholic fermentation). This wine is then put in contact with certain strains of bacteria to convert alcohol into acetic acid. Acetic transformation is a biological process that the vinegar artisan will accompany by offering quality wine and a livable environment to bacteria. It is often referred to as acetic fermentation, but in reality it is not a fermentation process, rather the oxidation of ethanol into acetic acid, also called acetification)

After the acetification process, vinegar is aged in oak casks or in neutral recipients (that do not modify the taste profile, such as demijohns or stainless steel tanks), depending on the nature of the product. They are then assembled or infused with fruits or aromatics in order to give them a distinct character – a unique personality. The bottling is done without any fining, filtration or preservatives.

From the fruit to the bottle, the process takes years. Patience and a long-term vision are necessary to bring such a project to fruition.

Our Methods

Alcoholic Fermentation

We strongly believe that high-quality vinegar is made from high-quality wine, and that also means high-quality wine needs high-quality ingredients to start with.

Fruit wines contain a high amount of fruits, water from our artesian well, organic cane sugar (if needed) and yeast. Adding sugar is often required to reach the ideal level of alcohol, especially with small fruits. When there is cold maceration, we use a slight amount of sulphites (maximum 30 ppm, which complies with natural wine regulations).

Honey or maple wines contain honey or maple syrup, water from our artesian well, nutrients (which are certified organic) and yeast.

We use the same winemaking techniques as the best winemakers, which may include cold soak, temperature control, extended maceration, punchdowns or pumpovers, depending on the nature of the ingredients and the result we wish to achieve

Acetic Fermentation (or Acetification)

Many methods exist in order to change wine into vinegar. They are essentially categorized into two groups: submersion processes and surface processes.

Submersion processes allow for fast production by vigorously aerating an alcoholic solution rich in bacteria. They are used in the industry, and the products made that way may lack finesse and subtlety.

Artisan vinegars are mostly obtained with surface processes, which require more time and patience but make them tastier and distinguished. The traditional Orleans method is the main one. In its simplest expression, the wine is placed in a recipient and bacteria feed on the oxygen available at the surface of the liquid where it forms a mass of cellulose commonly referred to as the mother.

Another surface process is the German method (or Schützenbach), which was perfected by Karl Sebastian Schützenbach in 1823, although it was originally developed by a Dutch man named Herman Boerhaave. In this method, vinegar circulates on beech chips, supporting bacteria and optimizing its contact surface with oxygen. This method is faster than the traditional one while still offering a high-quality result.

Since we handcraft to get the best vinegar, we use both the traditional method and an improved version of the German method, conceived to fulfill our needs. We especially and carefully ensure to monitor the transformation process with physicochemical analysis.