Where there's wine... there's vinegar.
In the Languedoc Roussillon southwest of France, nestled in the steep, ancient terraces is a small Mediterranean seaside town called Banyuls-sur-Mer. In Banyuls sur Mer, they produce the AOC Wine of Banyuls. So, it's no wonder that the grapes grown on the region's ancient vines also yield one of the world's finest vinegars: Le Vinaigre de Banyuls. Made from the naturally sweet wine of Banyuls, the grape base for this very small production of "vin doux natural" (no sugar added) is 50% Grenache noir, 40% Grenache gris and 10% Carignan.
From wine to vinegar in 5 1/2 years.
The wine begins its first year of aging in huge oak "foudres" (barrels) stored in cool cellars. It is then transferred to smaller 60-liter oak barrels and stored outside, where it will spend the next four years. The exposure to the Pyrennesian elements - the hot sun of summer and the cold winds of winter, accelerates the aging process. The progress and quality of the fledgling vinegar is constantly monitored by an enologist: just like a fine wine! During its fifth year the new vinegar gets a jump-start from an older brother - a 20% solution of Vieux Vinaigre de Banyuls , which inoculates the Banyuls wine and turns it into full-fledged vinegar. An additional six months of aging in cool cellars is still required before it is filtered and bottled under the Le Vinaigre de Banyuls label.
We took this fabulous vinegar and blended it into our coarse grained mustard. Fantastic!
6 ounce glass jar