In the last few vintages in Piedmont it has been incredibly hot during the autumn months which has not been good news for the truffle season. In 2015, '16 and '17 white truffles were incredibly rare in the region and the prices went through the roof. Thankfully 2018 has seen a return to more normal weather producing high quality of truffles, as well as healthy quantities compared to recent years.
Prices have also returned to less eye-watering levels. We caught up with Truffle Hunter Renzo Cardelli for his insight on the vintage...
Truffle Hunter: Renzo Cardelli
Dog's Name: Pepa
When does the truffle season start?
"The White Truffle Season officially starts on Sept the 21st and ends on the 31st of January, however it appears that after the 15th of January it will be very difficult to find any white truffle left in the land. Each truffle hunter is registered and has to adhere to strict timings on picking. Their registration can be withdrawn if they are caught hunting truffles outside the season."
We heard that this is a good vintage for truffles but also for wines, although there is an expression that says a good vintage for wines, it’s not a good one for truffle. Can you tell us your thoughts?
"2018 has been a favoured vintage for truffles as we had a very hot start to the truffle season (Sept) and eventually the rain came after the 15th of October and helped the growth of truffles. The quality is high this year, although the truffles are not extremely big in terms of dimensions."
Alba has experienced a lot of rainy days lately, do you think this positively impacts on the growth of truffles?
"Absolutely yes. The wet soil is great for the truffles. Wet soil causes the dimensions of the truffles to increase. Drought is a big damage for truffle hunters."
What are the characteristics of this years truffles?
"This years truffles are characterised by great perfumes."