Delicacies from deepest south

SHARE

Queenstowner Graeme Rodwell claims to be the world’s southern-most truffle producer. 

A truffle hound recently sniffed out 110 grams of the pungent and elusive delicacy below an oak tree on his Lower Shotover property. 

Rodwell planted 195 truffle-infected oak and hazelnut trees eight years ago but says “the thought of the truffiere actually producing truffles was stored well in the background”. 

Last month, a Christ-church truffle grower and his dog came down to check out six Central Otago truffieres. 

Truffles were found only on his property and another at Hawea – both growers had established Bianchetti white truffles rather than the more common black ones. 

“I went for white as I knew they were a lot more aggressive and hardier for marginal areas like this,” Rodwell says. 

Truffles sell for about $3700 a kilo to top-end restaurants but Rodwell says he’s only ever been an enthusiast. 

“As a student, I travelled to Italy on a truffle research trip but nothing eventuated due to lack of resources and funding.” 

Rodwell believes he’s the 11th truffle producer in New Zealand.