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17 Aug 2016 By

The Truffle & Wine Co. in Western Australia is the largest single producer of black truffles in the world. If that accolade wasn’t enough, they also produce some of the best wines in the world to match truffles. We know – we tasted it.

Here’s what you need to know about The Truffle & Wine Co. (TWC) in Manjimup, Western Australia:

Their truffles are simply among the best, served by some of the top restaurants around the world; in Singapore you can find it at Tippling Club, were chef Ryan Clift is also their “ambassador”, or evangelist.

The TWC truffiére estate (where you can sign up for truffle hunting and tours) has 13,000 trees, a mix of hazel nut and oak; grape vines are grown between the trees. It’s 53 hectares of picture postcard land surrounded by Karri and Jarrah forests.

The company throws some serious scientific might into their R&D, but in the end are still dependent on the whims of nature and the work of a few dogs. 

Three dogs do the work that pigs in France do: Gunnar, Bella and Rosie are trained to hunt truffles, and not to harm it. The labradors will sniff for the fungi, and when they sense any, they will paw the ground and wait patiently for workers to dig it out. They only work three months a year during harvest season, and spend the rest doing, well, what dogs do – chillaxing and eating treats. Good work if you can get it (if you’re a labrador).

TWC produces 6000kg of truffles annually, more than half the total of Australia’s 11,000/year. The US is their biggest market, with 1200kg exported to the yanks. 2016 was their best season ever – generous rainfall, fecund soil conditions – and their biggest haul was 100kg on a single day.

Regions and even different restaurants have distinct preferences: The Koreans like golf-sized truffles, as perfectly spherical as possible; the French care not for shape, and hanker more for strong pungent truffles (this from the country with 600 types of cheeses). TWC’s truffles cost $2,500 per kg, and you can buy 50g pieces ($125) at …, comes with beautiful packaging and acts as a great gift as well. (In Singapore, get it at Le Bon Marche).

Truffle Wine Company

Their wines are exclusive as well, and only 200-300 cases of each vintage is produced. Winemaker Ben Haines was tasked with producing the best wines in the world to have with truffles. These vintages can sit comfortably alongside its gourmet truffles in any top restaurant.

I wanna highlight the Truffle Hill Cane Cut Riesling 2015 (S$46, 375ml), which has gorgeous aromas of lime, apricots and honeysuckle. The palate is rich with intense acidity, its concentrated flavours will complement any truffle and dessert. Quite possibly the best riesling I’ve ever had.

And that’s because…The canes are cut with the fruit still on the cut canes, and left on wires for a drying out or dessication period of around two weeks. This concentrates the flavours, sugars and acidity.

The only problem with the wines…they’re hard to get hold of, what with its limited supply and all. The restaurants that serves its truffles will likely carry it. Good luck hunting for it, maybe the labradors can help.

Truffle Dog Manjimup WA

More info at The Truffle & Wine Co.

Like this? Check out this other champion Australian wine company

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