• Tesoro Mio Truffle Farm California
  • Cal Truffle Farm Tesoro Mio
  • Cal Truffle Farm Tesoro Mio
California Truffle
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.

The Truffle Huntress Mille Fiore (Million Flowers) and her hunting partner Panettone (Italian Christmas Cake) aka Tone. As we gear up the dogs for the hunt we will share some tips on training and motivating truffle dogs. The team will be very enthusiastic and excited as we head out to the truffiere. We will start off the hunt by hiking through the hazelnut grove. During our search for the elusive black truffle we will share with you the history of truffle cultivation, the use of pigs and now dogs for harvesting and the processes involved in truffle farming. You will watch the dogs nose to the ground, as they sniff for the ripe truffle hidden under the ground. Upon discovering a truffle the dogs will paw at the ground and begin digging for our culinary prize. You will have the opportunity to sniff the soil for the mouthwatering smell of the unearthed truffle. We will then move to the oak grove to search for more truffles before heading back to the covered patio where we will taste delicious black truffle hors d'oeuvres, or call ahead to upgrade to a gourmet truffle dining experience with wine pairings from local award-winning wines of the region. Tesoro Mio is a gastro tourism destination! Contact us to design your own personal truffle filled experience. We specialize in personalized events for corporate retreats, holiday parties and special occasions. Our goal is to make Tesoro Mio Truffle Ranch a Treasure of Yours. To Book Call Us at: 1-650-533-9900
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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,

as you learn about the interaction between hunter and handler. These cues, clues and alerts that will provide the ground work of the skills that we will share with you and your dog during your visit at Tesoro Mio. Our positive reinforcement training focuses upon reward based methods; to include clicker training, verbal reward markers and toy based motivation. This play based program will strengthen the bond between you and your dog while building confidence. The hands on training will take place in workshop environment with a focus on your teams goals from recreational and fun to professional and profitable. We will start with basic Truffle scent training and move towards hunting in the orchard based upon ability and drive. We will teach you how to teach your dog to imprint scent and name objects. Once mastered we will move on to basic box work, alerts and hides with the objective of transitioning to the Truffle Orchard. We use real truffle scent and offer training kits to help you continue your progress. Beginning, Intermediate, advanced private class are available upon request.
To Book Call Us at: 1-650-533-9900
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Truffle Dog Training
Domestic & Imported Truffles, Salts & Butters, and Gastro Tourism Events

Tesoro Mio Truffle Ranch is proud to offer gourmet truffle products direct to our visitors.

We offer Imported Truffles(Based on season.), Domestic French Perigord Black Truffles. (Based upon season.) Black Perigord Truffle butter (Made with high quality Irish butter and fresh local Perigord Truffles from Tesoro Mio Truffle Ranch), and Truffle Salt (Made with French coarse sea Salt and fresh Black Perigord Truffles.). You can sample our salts and butters at our gastro tourism events! Contact us to design your own personal truffle filled experience. We specialize in personalized events for corporate retreats, holiday parties and special occasions. Please Call Us for price, availability, and ordering at: 1-650-533-9900
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ca Truffle dog
Truffle Surveys

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.

We have successfully unearthed cultivated and wild truffles in Washington, Oregon and our home state of California. In addition to “hound found” truffles we can provide soil and root sample collection for field and laboratory analysis.

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.

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California Truffle
Truffle Farming

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.

We are one of the very few Truffiere’s in California that is producing the French Perigord or Winter Black Truffle aka “Black Diamond” of the kitchen. It is prized by connoisseurs and four-star chefs for its flavor which is almost exclusively determined by its intoxicating, musky, mouth watering fragrance.
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.

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Truffle Dog Training
Truffle Dogs

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.

Italy’s oldest and rarest dog breed was kept from extinction due to its distinction of hunting truffles. http://lagottous.com/History In the mid 1970’s Dr. Antonio Morsiani, breed expert started a campaign to save the breed.

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.

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Truffle Huntress In The Press

Luxury Media

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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Ca Truffle dog
Ca Truffle dog

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
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Original Fare

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