Truffle harvest newsletter #2 (June 2013)

Winter is here: Ground frosts are crisping up the morning grass but the sun is still shining and early winter is looking green and pleasant in the Waipara Valley. Truffle dogs are out and working in the region’s truffieres, but Rosie the truffle machine still finds time for a little rest and recreation:

RosieBlack 1
(Rosie reviews the valley from the steps at Black Estate)

Our Burgundy truffles are back in production, with a very nice 240 gram truffle delivered to Saggio di Vino in Christchurch last Friday, and a 38g truffle despatched in a slice of ripe brie and in breakfast scrambled eggs for visiting friends. Gareth has counted a further 19 truffle “push ups” — truffles pushing up through the soil surface — so there will certainly be more available over the next couple of months. If you are interested in sampling our Burgundy truffles as they ripen, please email Gareth and he’ll add you to the list. First come, first served, as always…

Bianchetto truffles: We’re hoping to start harvesting good ripe truffle very soon, and expect to be able to despatch existing orders in the next week or two. Once again, let us know if you want to add your name to the list.

Périgord black truffles: Rosie’s sniffing around on a weekly basis at the moment, but as yet we have no sign of ripe truffle.

Restaurant news: We hope to start a midwinter truffle menu at Amberley’s premiere fine dining establishment, the Nor’Wester Café, in the near future. And with über chef Jonny Schwass expecting to launch his Harlequin Public House in the next week or two, we’re hoping to be able to put Limestone Hills truffles on his (and your) menu.

Wine: We harvested our syrah in mid May: great fruit but in tiny quantities. The 2012 pinot noir will be bottled soon, and released towards the end of this year on Theo Coles’ The Hermit Ram label. More details nearer the time. The 2013 is in barrel and tasting good…

Olives: There’s a good crop hanging in the trees, and if we escape the sort of damaging frost that hit this time last year, we may harvest and press some oil. Fingers are crossed.

[This newsletter was first posted on June 11th, 2013.]