Taking a trip to the Peninsula in winter? Consider spending a day hunting for truffles with Jenny McAuley and her Springer Spaniel, Thomas. McAuley runs Red Hills Truffles, which spans 45 acres. It’s been in her family for more than seven generations, passed down since 1886.

When McAuley inherited it in 2003, it was an apple orchard. These days, it’s a truffiere: a parcel of land filled with oak and hazelnut trees. Those trees’ roots, combined with the Peninsula’s rich soil, are the perfect environment for high quality truffles.

Between June and August, McAuley runs group harvesting tours. McAuley will lead your group through the truffiere. Watch the dogs as they sniff the truffles out, then it’s your turn to get your hands dirty and have a dig for them – they grow around 20 centimetres beneath the surface.

Once you’ve found one, get up close and give it a whiff. Truffles are ready to harvest when they have an aroma.

Red Hill Truffles are organic and have a distinctive aroma and taste. Like apples and cherries, they grow in clusters. If they grow really close together, the truffles can fuse into one, resulting in a “super truffle”. Most truffles you’ll find will range in weight between 30 to 60 grams and visitors are welcome to buy their finds at $1.50 per gram (compared to $2.50 per gram at retail).

You’ll find Red Hill Truffles on the menu at top-end restaurants such as Tedesca, Montalto and Polperro. As the fungus only has a 12-day shelf life, McAuley unearths them to order.

Because Red Hill Truffles is a private residence, it’s essential to book prior to your arrival.

Updated: June 7th, 2021

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