As a young man, Fabio Bonini started working at a local radio station in his native Modena, Italy, and soon realized he was destined for a life in the entertainment industry.
He moved to Milan and spent decades in show business as a radio announcer; theatrical performer; event presenter; and a voice, television and film actor, (working with Ornella Muti and Giancarlo Giannini and in Woody Allen’s “To Rome with Love”).
Various acting projects brought him to Florida, and he eventually decided to buy a home in Hobe Sound, dividing his time between his property in Modena.
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He got into the balsamic vinegar business serendipitously. In Milan, he was invited to join a group of professionals from Modena who met regularly to share a passion for their culinary heritage, balsamic vinegar. They invested in barrels, filled them, followed the evolution of the production and bottled small batches of the elixir for their private use.
Bonini became so fascinated with the process and the product, he decided to start his own production. He bought an 1898 manor house and farm in the heart of Emilia- Romagna’s “Motor Valley,” an area that is headquarters for luxury Italian car manufacturers Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati.
He added a luxury bed and breakfast to the property, turning it into an agriturismo. Guests can experience Bonini balsamico production and enjoy in the tranquil Modena countryside.
Bonini will be hosting a tasting of his balsamic vinegars from 3 to 5 p.m. Tuesday at Amici Market.
For more information about visiting the property, contact
A selection of Bonini Modena products is available at Amici Market, 155 N. County Road. Choices include PDO traditional balsamic, 100 ml, $120 or Bonini Modena PDO traditional balsamic extravecchio, 100 ml, $190. There are two others with kosher certification:  Bonini Modena Affinato, 250 ml, $44.99 and Bonini Modena Vivace 3, 250 ml, $39.99.
Restaurants in town with dishes that feature Bonini Modena balsamic vinegar include Sant Ambroeus and Trevini. 
Marco Barbisotti, executive chef at Sant Ambroeus, said the restaurant uses 8-year-old “gustoso,” upon request, for any salad.
Trevini offers fresh California figs with tortino di ricotta and toasted almonds drizzled with Bonini maturo 18.
Artisan balsamic vinegars date from biblical times. They were used medicinally to aid digestion. The finest examples come from Modena, Italy, and are sampled blind by members of the guild of balsamic vinegar makers in order to be approved. .
Like the finest wines, artisan balsamic vinegars are tied geologically and geographically to a specific area.
Balsamic may be made from the must of Trebbiano or Lambrusco grapes. Bonini uses only Trebbiano. The must is a thick liquid that is neither grape juice or wine, but a mixture of grape juice, stem fragments, grape skins, seeds and pulp that comes from the start of the winemaking process.
It is reduced to half by slow simmering and left for a year to ferment. Acidification sets the mixture off on a journey from youthful exuberance to sumptuous maturity. The liquid is siphoned from one barrel to another in decreasing sizes, concentrating the flavors. Approved woods used for the barrels include chestnut, cherry, oak, mulberry, ash and juniper.


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