Balsamic vinegar is a reduction made from grapes, but it is not considered a wine vinegar because the grape juice used is unfermented. The unfermented white sweet grape juice that is used is called must and comes from the wine grapes... and pear champagne balsamic is born.
Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale has been made for nearly a thousand years. It was a family secret to the rest of the world and relatively unknown even to other Italians. Instead families would pass it on as an heirloom, give it away in small vials to friends, or bequeath it to a daughter as part of her dowry.
The first historical reference to balsamic vinegar dates back to 1046, when a bottle of balsamic vinegar was reportedly given to Emperor Enrico III of Franconia as a gift. In the Middle Ages, it had a reputation as a miracle cure -- good for everything from sore throats to labor pains.