August 28, 2013

Trufflin', trufflin'

Over the weekend I had a short getaway with a friend of mine; we were in pursuit of truffles! What, you might say?! Okay, let me backtrack a little.

About three weeks ago I was flipping through a magazine and saw a small piece written about The Wine & Truffle Co, which is a trufferie in Manjimup, and it mentioned the truffle hunts they conduct during the season. As luck would have it, at that time we still had a couple weeks left of the season and I had the bright idea that we had to do this. I've spent time in the Perigord region of France so truffles are my thing.  I made the phone calls, booked us in and found what seemed to be the only available room left in that area. Not bad work considering it was the week prior to when we were set to head down there.

Packed and ready to go!
Manjimup is just over a three hour drive from Perth.  The weather was perfect as we set off on Saturday morning. We passed through the towns of Harvey (yes, where the juices and milk come from), Donnybrook (apples as far as the eye could see) and Balingup, where they appeared to be holding a medieval carnival that weekend. 

The Big Orange at Harvey
Apparently you get sexy ice cream and camels in the South West
We stayed at a small B&B in Dingup, named Dingup House. It was a converted homestead set on a very large property with a small orchard of fruit trees planted.  The fruit from these trees go into making the various jams and preserves served breakfast time. 

Gardens at Dingup House
Dingup House
That evening the perfect weather made way for the rain and continued into the next day. When I booked the truffle hunt I was told that we'd be provided with gumboots which I was glad of considering the weather and my lack of appropriate footwear. 

We arrived at The Wine & Truffle Co, which is not only a trufferie but also has a cellar door where you can purchase their Truffle Hill wines, delicious truffles and truffle products. A short presentation educated us on truffles and the background of the company, then to my surprise, we were served a small snack of truffle scrambled eggs and hazelnut bread, made with the hazelnuts that grow on the property. 

We then got on our boots and made our way out to meet our hardworking truffle dog. That day we had Lola. She was a gorgeous dog and helped us to snare an impressive amount of approximately 500 grams of the black gold! 

We walked amongst the rows of hazelnut and oak trees and let her nose lead us to what we came for. 

And just because she's such a beautiful creature and the real star of the show, one more photo of Lola:

After the hunt we returned for wine tasting, and as a fan of sweeter wines (pass me the Sauternes please) I loved their cane-cut Riesling, which derives its sweetness from drying the fruit to concentrate the sugar rather than by botrytis. 

I left with a few purchases to restock my pantry. They make a delicious truffle butter, which is better than other truffle butters I've purchased and I was intrigued by their hazelnuts in truffle honey. 

There's also a cafe onsite, and if we had the time would have stayed longer for lunch as we'd heard great things about the food and the menu was very appealing. 

I plan to return next season to the region, specifically at the time of the Truffle Kerfuffle which I wasn't able to attend this year. 

Even if you're unable to visit in person, The Wine & Truffle Co has a website through which you can purchase their fine goods.

The Wine & Truffle Co
 +61 8 9777 2474

Dingup House
+61 8 9772 4206

Wine and Truffle Co on Urbanspoon

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