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Our Truffle Partners

King Valley Truffles

Location: Whitfield Victoria Elevation: 450m
Tree Species: English Oak (Quercus robur)
and French Oak (Quercus ilex)
Number of Trees: 1009

Established in 2011, King Valley Truffles is situated in the eponymous King Valley, a rich viticultural and agricultural region centred on the King River between Wangaratta and the Alpine National Park in the north-eastern part of Victoria.

Tucked away behind the terraced vines of King Valley Vineyards, the truffère was established by viticulturists John and Helen Cavedon with the assistance of their son Johnny. The Cavedon family originally grew tobacco after migrating to the area from northern Italy.

Later John and Helen transitioned to viticulture. The first vines were planted in 1977 but three decades later a small pocket of soil remained untouched.

It was Helen's idea to see if truffles would grow on the frosty hillside, 450m above sea level. 400 French and English oak trees were planted in 2010 and the first truffle was unearthed five years later. With John and Helen's son Johnny at the helm, the truffère has now doubled in size and the yield continues to grow each year. The site was chosen because of the soil's naturally high pH and its position in a little pocket which experiences frosts regularly.

With successive plantings the site now boasts over 1,000 established trees. Typical of an alpine valley, King Valley has slopes and narrow valleys shaped by the erosive forces of the King River, which flows through, carving out gorges and valleys over time. Precipitation is relatively high, particularly during the winter months when frontal systems from the Southern Ocean bring moisture-laden air masses inland. Located within the Australian Alps region, King Valley experiences a temperate climate with cold temperatures, often dropping below freezing throughout winter, and relatively moderately warm temperatures throughout the rest of the year.

Agriculture in the King Valley is primarily focused on viticulture. The cool climate and fertile soils of the valley make it particularly suitable for growing grapes, and, as it turns out, truffles: the valley's elevation and topography provide ideal conditions for truffle cultivation, with stones offering good drainage and a microclimate that welcomes winter frosts.

The truffles are unearthed by two brilliant Koolies, Kyra and Luca, and an adorable Labrador family led by patriarch Odin. Truffle hunting season and salami making are the highlights of winter in the Cavedon family, and there is always a truffle saved for one of Helen's homemade pizzas.