Experience No.071 in Australian Traveller Magazine’s 100 Greatest Australian Gourmet Experiences.

Which is the sentence that sets foodies around the world packing their bags for the fertile fields of southwest WA? “We’re going on a truffle hunt and you can come too.”

Watching the dogs snuffle piles of leaves and twigs is exciting stuff.

It turns out we aren’t just a sun-blessed country; we’re truffled blessed too. The man to thank is Nick Malajczuk. A decade ago he planted a truffière in Manjimup – 13,000 oak and hazel trees inoculated at the roots with spores from black Perigord truffles. Money doesn’t grow on trees but the goods coming up from underneath the ones at the Wine and Truffle Company are literally called black gold.

You can go to Ballarat to fossick but in Manjimup you can forage for gold and the odds are a lot better. The Wine and Truffle Co runs hunts with their specially trained truffle dogs, champion canines that have been known to sniff out a truffle from 50m away.

Watching the dogs snuffle piles of leaves and twigs is exciting stuff; once they pick up a scent, the master truffle hunter comes in and gently checks the soil. The black, muddy gems are then placed in canvas bags and brought back to the warehouse for cleaning and storage.

Truffle and wine tasting concludes the hunt, but unfortunately finders-keepers doesn’t apply. However, you can try or buy a range of truffle products at the cafe onsite.

Where: 7 Day Rd, Manjimup WA. (08) 9777 2474, www.wineandtruffle.com.au

Did you know: The Wine and Truffle Company is the largest producer of fresh truffles in the southern hemisphere and 100 grams of fresh truffle sells for $300.

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