Mussini: Origin Story

The Acetaia Mussini has a rather long history, even though it was incorporated in the current LLC form only at the beginning of the 21st century, in the spring of 2001. However, within the family of the two founders and current owners (Gabriele and Giorgio), the tradition of balsamic vinegar goes all the way back to the end of the beginning of the 20th century. 

According to the family history, it was Guido Mussini, born around 1885, who started the tradition of balsamic vinegar production. We don’t know much, only that he married during the very first years of the 20th century and proceeded to build a family with Cesira Braglia. Their family was – like almost all of the households living at the foot of the Apennines – a traditional peasant family, who gave birth to ten children. They worked both their own small plot, where they grew grapes and made wine, as well as for nearby landowners and lived a simple, but decent life. According to the oral tradition – which has been passed down from one generation to the next – the first barrels for vinegar aging were purchased in early 1909. For several decades, Guido and Cesira developed their own knowledge and procedures, first restricting the vinegar to just relatives, later extending its use as a gift to the friends of the family, thereby helping the passion for balsamic vinegar to spread even further.

Mussini Family

This picture was taken in 1933, with Guido and Cesira surrounded by their surviving children: sitting in the foreground is Elena (mother of Giorgio), while Ido (grandfather of Gabriele) is not visible, because he was the one shooting the picture. 

Due to worsening economic conditions, connected to WWI and the emergence of the fascist history during the early 20’, it took a long time before the Mussini family was able to increase its vinegar production further. This happened only after WWII, towards the end of which the family home near Magreta was partially destroyed by an allied bombing. However, they had the foresight to hide the barrels underground, thereby saving the precious heritage from destruction or confiscation by fascist forces. Furthermore, during the reconstruction, the attic of the house was expanded as to accommodate a larger number of barrels.

And so it was that Guido and Cesira decided to expand the family’s small vinegar-making capacity, acquiring new barrels. By combining the increase in production with experience that they had already garnered in vinegar-making, as well as with access to top-of-the-line grape musts which they themselves produced on their own land, the circle of enthusiast takers of the Mussini balsamic vinegar grew even further

Despite being ever more successful and appreciated, all of the children followed different life and career paths. This led, according to local customs, to a gradual fragmentation of the heritage, by passing some of the barrels to each of the children as they build their own household. This phase lasted for most of the second half of the century, until Gabriele and Giorgio– after several years spent working for other business – came together at the turn of the millennia and started reuniting as many pieces as possible of the heritage of Guido and Cesira.

The MUSSINI company was incorporated soon thereafter.