“The age-old craft of vinegar making is marked by legacy and patience”

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“The age-old craft of vinegar making is marked by legacy and patience”

Shop Now

Tasting Is Believing Intro Offer

We’d like you to taste this amazing vinegar that is probably like no other you have ever tasted. Buy one Gift Pack (4X50 mL bottles of Fynbos, Lavender, Green Tea, Hibiscus) and we’ll pay the shipping (within Canada).
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THE CRAFT

Our story begins in the 1980s, when Rozendal owner Kurt Ammann was still making wine – and enjoying success with his acclaimed Bordeaux blends. One fortuitous year, Kurt discovered that his 1988 vintage contained slightly too much volatile acidity, and this ‘flaw’ proved a happy accident – providing the perfect opportunity to venture into vinegar making. Intrigued by the quality and health benefits reported by advocates of raw, artisan vinegar; Kurt began his own endeavours with 2000 litres of ‘flawed’ wine and a commitment to time-honoured, natural processes. These were processes so slow that they would span generations – with Kurt’s children now bottling vinegars birthed by their father.

FERMENTATION

We employ the traditional French Orleans method of vinegar making: Wine is cultured by an indigenous “mother” (the acetobacter) from the first vinegar made on Rozendal in 1988, and allowed to ferment naturally in small oak barrels. Select ingredients are crucial to quality – we start with good, balanced red wine (and not the dregs or caramel additives common in the vinegar industry). 

MATURATION

The balsam is then matured for up to 20 years in oak barrels, which allows it to soften in taste. Aging takes place over a solera system; a complex maturation method that relies on fractional blending of old vinegar with the new to ensure that the character of the original vinegar permeates every bottle. Finally, we bottle small batches using a gentle gravity-flow system, leaving the vinegar to evolve and mature further in the bottle.

RAW REWARDS

Our slow processes yield a beautifully balanced, balsamic style vinegar good enough to drink neat – and indeed, a daily shot of the tonic is the morning norm on Rozendal Farm. This invigorating ritual is enjoyed for its taste, but also for its health benefits: Raw, naturally fermented vinegar helps to restore the body’s PH balance, by reducing the excess acid that results from our modern lifestyles.


Having been health conscious for 35 years of long learning I turned our small family wine farm organic (1994) and then bio-dynamic (2001).  In 1995 a Swiss man, Rolf Saxer, came to visit me at Rozendal Farm, looking for red wine made without sulphur.  He started talking with me about the healing potential of certain vinegars and taught me the intricacies of how to make this healing vinegar –a process of 2 to 3 years after which various herbs and plants are individually macerated in the vinegar in separate barrels for another 2 to 5 years. With the 1988 vintage (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc) still in the barrels we began our venture in vinegar.  The resultant vinegar was not the “half vinegar” of sour wine but a rich, naturally made Rozendal raw vinegar infused with the ability to enhance health and food.

Around 2001 I began drinking this vinegar of ours several times per day and measuring my pH (“Power to Hydrogen”, the balance between alkalinity and acid) every morning and, at times, up to 10 times during the day.  I did this to get to know how my body was affected by different emotional, mental and physical states and by the ingested raw vinegar.  What I have been learning is that a naturally made raw vinegar is one of the body’s best pH balancers, with the added benefits that come from the macerated herb and plant ingredients which when macerated, seem to transform the herbs to a higher level where the body can utilize these ingredients.

It seems when ever we are stressed mentally, emotionally or physically (e.g. exercise or injury) the body produces more acid. For example, if you burn yourself the aggravating additional damage seems to come later. The same seems to happen when we do excessive exercise, soreness/stiffness comes to the muscles the next day as the body produces lactic acid.  If you can keep your pH level right there will be no sore body part beyond the initial damage. If you drink this raw vinegar during the stressed period or immediately afterwards you can alleviate some of the damage because the vinegar helps to balance the proper pH level in the body, neutralizing harmful acidic build-up.  We got a glimpse of this when my wife broke three ribs after being kicked by a horse.  While she was still in shock I immediately gave her a large shot of this vinegar.  After two weeks the wounds had healed to the point where she could no longer feel any pain in the affected area – a 4 to 6 week accelerated healing.

Conversely when the body is not under stress it seems to produce fewer acids, i.e. the pH is in healthy balance (the blood should measure between 7.3 and 7.45 pH).  Having been in the food and wine industry since 1957, I have noticed that adverse and relaxed circumstances affect the taste experience. For example, when a person is on a restful/happy holiday he/she has a healthier balanced pH.  This affects the way you taste. A person may drink a particular wine during the holiday and enjoy the wine so much that they buy more to take it home.  Then, when at home where daily stresses are present, they take the holiday wine, drink it, and wonder who changed the wine!  Without realizing it, their body’s pH has changed because of increased acids in their body which now resists the acid in the wine making it taste different.

Excessive acidic build up in our bodies can be long-term harmful (e.g. some arthritis and cancers).  Naturally made raw vinegar assists the body to neutralize excessive acid that the body sometimes struggles to cope with, therefore creating a healthy pH balance.  It never delivers or produces excessive acid.  This is why when someone has angry thoughts one should immediately drink a naturally made vinegar or lemon juice – it counters harmful acids bringing the body back into balance before the anger cycle continues producing yet more acid causing a downward spiral.  So a better pH affects happiness.  An elderly lady told me something her mother had taught her: “Sour makes happy,” and so it does. The word “vinegar” comes from the French word vinaigre which means sour wine.  Please note that absolutely no medicinal use is intended or implied hereby, but rather the optimization of health.  I encourage people to check out various resources about pH balancing in our bodies and about the best ways to work for health in our bodies.

At Rozendal Farm, we now make different blends of vinegar from our wine using ingredients from our farm: aloe ferox, chillies, eggshells, alder flower, carob, ginko, basil, thyme.  We bring seaweed and green tea from elsewhere.  After serving it to our customers for years in the restaurant on Rozendal Farm we began bottling and selling it just last year.

Vinegar has the capacity to kill most harmful bacteria while enhancing the flavour of most foods. It’s a good idea to lightly spray the Rozendal Vinegar on food (including fruit and berries) just before eating it.  This vinegar is, of course, very effective on salads.  You can customize your salad dressing by adding only a bit of salt, chopped fresh ginger and/or garlic, freshly crushed coriander seed and a little olive oil.  Add fresh herbs to the vinegar. When tossing a salad make sure there is no dressing left in the bowl. One can also make a delicious reduction using the Rozendal Vinegar then atomizing/spraying it on meats, pizzas, and rich food that needs balancing with acid. At 6% acid this is strong vinegar. The rich, full flavour of Rozendal Vinegar also makes it a wonderful aperitif that stimulates pancreatic activity and saliva glands.

The Rozendal Red Wine Vinegar tastes good, it drinks beautifully and we have noticed it makes people happy.

About Rozendal

Our story begins in the 1980s, when Rozendal owner Kurt Ammann was still making wine – and enjoying success with his acclaimed Bordeaux blends. One fortuitous year, Kurt discovered that his 1988 vintage contained slightly too much volatile acidity, and this ‘flaw’ proved a happy accident – providing the perfect opportunity to venture into vinegar making. Intrigued by the quality and health benefits reported by advocates of raw, artisan vinegar; Kurt began his own endeavours with 2000 litres of ‘flawed’ wine and a commitment to time-honoured, natural processes. These were processes so slow that they would span generations – with Kurt’s children now bottling vinegars birthed by their father.


  • FERMENTATION

    We employ the traditional French Orleans method of vinegar making: Wine is cultured by an indigenous “mother” (the acetobacter) from the first vinegar made on Rozendal in 1988, and allowed to ferment naturally in small oak barrels. Select ingredients are crucial to quality – we start with good, balanced red wine (and not the dregs or caramel additives common in the vinegar industry).


  • MATURATION

    The balsam is then matured for up to 20 years in oak barrels, which allows it to soften in taste. Aging takes place over a solera system; a complex maturation method that relies on fractional blending of old vinegar with the new to ensure that the character of the original vinegar permeates every bottle. Finally, we bottle small batches using a gentle gravity-flow system, leaving the vinegar to evolve and mature further in the bottle.


  • RAW REWARDS

    Our slow processes yield a beautifully balanced, balsamic style vinegar good enough to drink neat – and indeed, a daily shot of the tonic is the morning norm on Rozendal Farm. This invigorating ritual is enjoyed for its taste, but also for its health benefits: Raw, naturally fermented vinegar helps to restore the body’s PH balance, by reducing the excess acid that results from our modern lifestyles.