Truffles can and do grow naturally in many types of soil and in a variety of climactic conditions and global regions from China, Europe, USA and Canada and Australia and New Zealand among others. However, this breadth is based on the fact that there are many different types of truffle.
Even where it would be economically viable, cultivation has proven not to be so successful. In fact, the Alba White Truffle (Tuber Magnatum) easily the World's most valued truffle, with a world record price being paid for one weighing 1.5kg was £165,000 in 2007 has not been successfully cultivated.
In terms of value and volumes, the market for cultivated truffles is dominated by Tuber Melanosporum - The Perigord Black Truffle. However, as explained in About Us maximising crop levels and quantities can be very location specific.
Our region is dominated by large tracts of limestone (critical for succesful truffle growth) running under and towering over soil sufficient in organic matter to support vast quantities of fruit and vegetable cultivation. For water supplies, rivers are commonly dammed where they cut gorges through such limestone ridges. A classic example of this being the Barrage de Vinca, 15 minutes drive from us. Add to this over 300 days of sunshine per year and an enormous network of irrigation canals and you have perfect conditions for truffle growth.
It's true to say and many established Truffieres have admitted that their plantation locations, plant sourcing, husbandry and densities have not been conducive to production maximisation. This may one day in the future be said of or by us, as the world of truffle knowledge moves on. All we can do is apply the latest understandings that we have in the best locations, with the best science and management. If we can do this successfully, we can achieve the maximum plant health and truffle yields that are sustainable for in excess of 40 years.
Where we are Planting
There has been a tradition of plantation location protection and this is as much a security issue, given the prospective value of the crop and a tradition of secrecy that follows from the wild sources still prized and protected by truffle hunters.
We also, have pursued a strategy of risk minimisation with our plantations, whereby we secure small parcels of land 3 - 5 hectares initially in locations where options for more to be added is possible. This also avoids the all-in-one-basket approach and allows us to expand our plantations, where growth and yield is maximised over time. We do not plant for convenience of management but for maximisation of return. Plantations will be protected from both wildlife and human interference via appropriate security.
You will of course receive full notification of our plantations when you buy and where your tree(s) are located prior to planting. We can say that our initial plantations are located in the coastal part of Department 11 - the Aude, in the famous Corbieres wine lands and in the Tet Valley the "Aspres" in 66 - the Pyrenees Oriental Department.
Information & Visits
An information booklet (pdf) on our plantation activities including soil preparation, planting and husbandry is provided when you buy from us. You can of course visit us. We have some accommodation in Le Soler, where we live which, is available outside the July and August period.A view of Mount Canigou from our roof terrace - waiting for your eyes every morning