“California’s Truffle Paradise is in Sonoma Wine Country“– Paul Ebeling
Périgord’s Black truffles can range anywhere from $250 to $900 lb, whereas white ruffles go up to $1,000 lb. And now a Sonoma County winery is producing prized Périgord black truffles.
The most sought-after fungus in the world, Périgord black truffles make a brief appearance in late Fall to early winter, and are otherwise pretty hard to come by, driving the price per pound well into the $900 range.
Native to Southern Europe, the tubers have only recently taken root in the US, and are grown in farms in Oregon, North Carolina, Washington, and California. In Sonoma County, the mild climate and rich soil that’s ideal for grapes is also great for truffles.
Founded by the late Jess Jackson in Y 1982, Kendall-Jackson is a family-owned winery based in Sonoma, while it may be most well-known for making a popular Chardonnay, the winery also boasts extensive culinary gardens, cultivated by Tucker Taylor.
The idea of truffle hunting might conjure up images of sniffing pigs, it’s actually much more practical to use dogs, specifically the Italian Lagotto Romagnolo breed, known for its excellent nose. They are easier to train and less likely to devour the delicacy they found.
Mr. Jackson’s dream of creating a thriving truffle orchard on the family’s property became a reality in YY 2017, making the winery a pioneer in successfully growing and harvesting truffles in Sonoma County. Last year, they totaled over 30lbs of Périgords, significant both in its market value and usefulness to nearby Bay Area restaurants. Truffles begin to decay the moment they are pulled from the ground, so freshness and proximity are incredibly important.
Truffles sourced stateside present significant advantages over those flown in from Italy or France. European truffles might be a week old by the time they reach restaurants, while in California, your truffle may have been dug up just a few hrs. ago.
A portion of the winery’s truffle harvest goes to the on-site culinary team, led by Chef Justin Wangler, where the truffles’ pungent, musky aroma and flavor is celebrated at the property’s various wine events and estate dinners.
Like most luxury items, truffles enhance an experience, but are not a requirement for survival!
Have a happy, prosperous weekend, Keep the Faith!