The largest truffière in Australia, Oak Valley Truffles is a leading supplier of quality product throughout the southern hemisphere winter.
Located in Manjimup in the cool southwest of Western Australia, Oak Valley is one of the world’s largest truffle plantations, with over 75 hectares of oak and hazel planted in the some of the richest and most productive truffle regions on earth.
On land originally used for livestock and root crop rotations, the Manjimup area was first identified by microbiologist Nick Malajczuk and businessman Wally Edwards as having the characteristics necessary for successful truffle cultivation. After preparing the ground with lime and installing irrigation systems, the first oak and hazel saplings were planted out in 2006 at Oak Valley.
From these small beginnings, Oak Valley Truffles has become the nexus of an industry that supplies top restaurants and restaurateurs around the world.
Region and Climate
The southwest of Western Australia is a land of large forests and frosty winters, of rolling limestone hills covered with a rich loamy soil. There’s a distinctly European feel to this part of the country – autumns are cool and damp as the moisture-laden winds sweep in from the Southern Ocean, and on winter mornings the mist lingers in sheltered hollows, typical of a Mediterranean climate.
The true truffle, Tuber melanosporum, isn’t native to Australia, but just as imported grape vines have flourished in California’s Napa Valley, so saplings inoculated with truffle spores obtained from Europe have proved remarkably successful in producing large quantities of high quality black truffles in Manjimup.
Oak Valley Truffles now supplies local truffières with saplings inoculated with truffle spores, so continuing to grow the local industry and maintain the Manjimup area’s reputation as the southern hemisphere’s dominant production region.
Site Development & Project Infrastructure
Oak Valley Truffles came into being in 2006, as a result of a managed investment that attracted investors from around Australia, excited at the prospect of being invited to participate in what was beginning to look like a very attractive investment proposition. By now, other truffières were being established in the region, but businesses were all rather boutique — a few hundred trees, a sideline in cellar door wines and perhaps a shop selling hand-knitted scarves and chocolate. Oak Valley was destined to change all that.
The selected property comprised two lots, totalling 128 hectares in area, with a magnificent freshwater lake to supply irrigation water through the dry summer months. Here, over 38,000 oak and hazel trees were planted, a quantum leap in size from other, more homespun enterprises.
Oak Valley represents the realisation of what a true commercial truffière in Australia needs to be. Large enough to be a reliable and consistent supplier of quality black truffles to international buyers, with the experienced management and leadership necessary to guide the growth and development of the venture.