Truffle Hunts and Gastro Tourism
Upon your arrival to Tesoro Mio (Treasure of Mine) Truffle Ranch we will welcome you with a complimentary glass of bubbles from one of our local Sierra Nevada Wineries. You will then meet our amazing Truffle dogs - the ancient breed of Lagotto Romagnolo or Italian Truffle Dogs.
Truffle Dog Training
Your visit will start with a meet and great with our dogs Mila the Truffle Huntress and her hunting partner Panettone (Tonne). They will search for the winter black Périgord truffle, one of the worlds rarest gastronomic joys,
To Book Call Us at: 1-650-533-9900
Domestic & Imported Truffles, Salts & Butters, and Gastro Tourism Events
Tesoro Mio Truffle Ranch is proud to offer gourmet truffle products direct to our visitors.
Truffle Huntress dogs are specifically trained to detect mature edible truffle species those which are deliciously ripe and ready for harvest. We perform Truffle Surveys providing identification of fertile host trees in both cultivated Truffle Orchards (Truffiere’s) as well as native truffle patches.
As truffle farmers ourselves we are committed to respecting and honoring your property and investment. To that end, we practice bio security controls to protect against contamination and introduction of competitive species and we utilize mycorrhizal friendly soil reconstitution procedures during digs. It is our objective to safeguard your success with our time tested knowledge and understanding of truffle production and harvest. We want to share with you the expertise that you need to realize your truffle filled dreams! For additional information about our services, fees, resources and schedule Check Out Our Contact Page!
In addition to the survey process we also can provide assistance with Truffle harvesting. The age old question in Truffle Harvesting- Pig, Dog or Man? The perfume or aroma that is emitted by a ripe truffle is hard to describe and without its scent, there is no allure, culinary or otherwise. This elusive scent is due to in part to the chemical compound Androstanol a sex pheromone of man, dog and boar. This scent attracts and motivates the female pigs to dig up and often eat the tasty tubers. Obviously eating expensive truffles is problematic, but the real damage is done during the rooting when they go hog wild tearing up the terrain, destroying the truffles’ host and the mycelia. It’s not surprising that Italy banned pigs for truffle harvest in 1985. It is no wonder that Truffles are considered an aphrodisiac with their human sex pheromone connection. This same scent can be used to train dogs much like the training used for bomb or narcotic dog training. Dogs are trained not to eat the truffles or dig destructively, this makes them a more appropriate choice for Truffle Hunters across the world.
Since ripe truffles ready for harvest can only be distinguished by the aroma or perfume that they emit a mass harvesting approach is not viable. Unfortunately this does not stop some from raking indiscriminately, raking up all truffles found without regard for ripeness or maturity. Truffles harvested before or after their prime have very little value and are responsible for the poor reputation that the Oregon Truffles have experienced over the past decade. Through education and the recent phenomena of “hound found” truffles, this Oregon Fungi is now starting to have a resurgence and live up to its recommendation as proclaimed by James Beard, the culinary Icon, over 30 years ago.
Tesoro Mio (Treasure of mine) is a producing truffle farm in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountain’s of Northern California. In an industry that is still immature, growing truffles reliably is still considered by many as experimental farming in the New World.
California Perigord’s unlike their French counterparts don’t have to make the transatlantic journey ensuring that they are fresher and more aromatic. Our local black diamonds can go from farm to table in mere hours vs days.
Locavores can enjoy a personal guided truffle hunt with Truffle Huntress dogs followed by a local chef’s truffle gourmand delight, whilst unwinding in the Truffiere at the foot of the Cork Oak and Hazelnut trees indulging in award winning local wines. This culinary destination is centrally located in the Wine Country of the Eldorado Appellation, known for its Italian varietals of Barbera and Sangiovese, in addition to Cabernet Sauvignons and home to more than 60 wineries and growing. www.Eldoradowines.org
We look forward to sharing Tesoro Mio Truffiere with you. To learn more about ordering local Perigord truffles or scheduling a truffle dog hunt and culinary experience please contact us.
Truffle Huntress has the priviledge of raising and training Truffle Dogs in our producing truffle orchard Tesoro Mio (Treasure of mine) Truffiere’. The Lagotto Romagnolo is the only dog specifically bred to hunt the underground tuber known as truffles.
The breed has made a strong rebound and its popularity continues to increase in the US due to its amazing characteristics http://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/lagotto-romagnolo/detail/ and recent recognition by AKC in the sporting group in June of 2015.
Discover California’s truffle dogs that are making their mark digging up culinary black gold only miles from where gold was first discovered. Truffle Huntress’ dogs are unique in that addition to breeding for Health, Temperament and Confirmation, we selectively breed for the necessary characteristics of Working Hunting Dogs. Our foundation stock is built upon working Truffle dogs from Italy, that have been screened for all known health concerns; Storage Disease, Juvenile Epilepsy, Hip Dysplasia, Elbows, Patellas, and Eyes. Our Breeding practices meet or exceed the standards of the Lagotto Romagnolo Club of America.
Truffle Huntress dogs are bred to fulfill their need to work hard and please their masters. They are a combination of brains and beauty holding to the ancient traits and characteristics of the breed. Please contact us if you are interested in finding out more about trained truffle dogs or puppies from our next litter which is scheduled for Spring of 2017. We occasionally have mature trained Truffle dogs for placement and expect to have the new puppies trained and ready to work the fall 2017 Harvest.
Truffle Huntress In The Press
The Nose Knows: Inside The Art of Truffle Hunting Fall, 2019
It’s morning in Placerville California, and Staci O’Toole is up with the sun. Coffee cup in hand, dogs at her side, she heads out onto her sprawling property, ready to great with a whiff of soil. This is how O’Toole, plus Mia and Toni, her Lagotto Romagnolo dogs, start every day – at least between November and March, winter season for the truffle stateside.
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San Francisco Chronicle
A Nose for Luxury March 27, 2019
As California’s truffle industry grows, so does the need for trained hunters. In Placerville, Alana McGee trains dogs bred for centuries to sniff out the luxury ingredient. The workshop was held at Staci O’Toole’s Tesoro Mio, one of three Northern California truffle farms to produce the prized black Perigord truffle (Tuber melanosporum). Many other state farmers, who have planted hazelnut and oak trees with roots inoculated with the tuber spores, are eagerly awaiting their first discovery.
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The Sacramento Bee
This trained dog digs up buried treasure worth as much as $900 a pound.
Staci O'Toole, owner of Truffle Huntress, owns a truffle orchard in Placerville, Calif. She and her dog, Mila, hunt for truffles in their orchards and in other orchards in the area. They have found truffles on their property but are still waiting for more to come into production. Truffles are a growing, potentially lucrative, niche market for agriculture in California. Video made Dec. 18, 2017 in Placerville. Autumn Payne The Sacramento Bee
The Truffle Hunt Aired: 02/05/15
Mila The Truffle Huntress was featured in the television show Original Fare. The episode was called The Truffle Hunt. This episode focused on truffles and shows footage from the Oregon Truffle Festival where The Truffle Huntress Mila placed 4th. She was the only California dog to make the finals out of 30 dogs competing in the final event to hunt Tuber Oregonense in the wild.
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See California, The Ultimate Vacation Guide
Truffle Huntress Hits Paydirt
Staci O’Toole and her trained Lagotto Romagnolo dog, Mila, uncovered a prized 1.2-ounce black Perigord truffle in El Dorado County. It is believed to be the first European black truffle of culinary value successfully cultivated in Northern California in at least a decade. Read Full Article