Travelling back to Perth from Pemberton and wanting to delay the transition into civilisation again after a weekend by the beach miles away from people, work and traffic, we stopped by The Truffle and Wine Co vineyard located off the main strip of Manjimup, on Seven Day Road. Even in the middle of winter the sun was out giving us a little warmth from the chilly air, hard to believe from my photos that it is even winter! The working property was a picture of beauty, I was tempted to skip the cellar door and take a seat on the picnic bench overlooking the lake.
Formed in 1997 by a group of shareholders, the winery and truffière consists of 12 hectares of vines and 13,000 hazelnut and oak trees. Every season perigold truffles and wine are produced.
I find the truffle a fascinating thing, it is an edible fungus that grows underground and in order to successfully flourish into a fruiting truffle the fungus requires a suitable tree. The truffle has historically been a European delicacy, attracting a price tag of thousands of dollars per kilo. In the south of Western Australia, the timber town of Manjimup has been thrust into the international culinary world as a place where you will find this intensely smelling gourmet delight. Truffle season in Manjimup occurs between June to August every year and visitors can take part in a truffle hunt every weekend until the end of season. Highly skilled dogs are used to forage out the truffles. Pigs were traditionally used however they seemed to love the truffle and ate it before anyone could get in there and take it away.
On the Manjimup property hazelnut and oak trees are used for inoculating the truffle spores. The 21 hectare truffle orchard is the largest of its kind in the southern hemisphere; a great achievement for the quiet township of Manjimup and state of Western Australia.
The cellar door is open 7 days a week and it is the perfect way to discover the product range and participate in some free tastings in a welcoming environment. Apart from a winery tour, visiting the cellar door is the next best thing when it comes to ‘getting to know the producer’.
Upon entering, we were welcomed and offered a chance to try the Truffle Hill wine range. Our guy was incredibly informative, eagerly divulging details about the history of the company, the truffles and the profile of the wines.
We tasted our way through the wine list of whites, reds and sparkling. The 5 star James Halliday recognised winery has consistently produced a number of award winning wines and were able to try 4 of them.
I am still learning in the way of wines and developing my own palate style. I can say, I am definitely a dry sparkling lover and I find reds very strong. Some say the bubbles of Champagne go straight to the head, for me the red wine knocks me out!
The Chardonnay ($17.00) and Sparkling Pinot Noir NV Brut ($28.00) were my favourites and I took home a bottle of each. The Chardonnay was very smooth with a slight hint of butterscotch. The sparkling is made using the traditional Methode Champenoise method so although we cannot call it Champagne it pretty much is in the way of taste and bubbles.
At the cellar door there is also a tasting corner showcasing most of the gourmet truffle products. There is quite a range of products to choose from and if you cannot buy all of them at least one will make a worthy addition to the kitchen. Truffle aioli, truffle mustard, truffle infused natural atlantic sea salt slakes, truffle honey, hazelnut dukkah, truffle oil and finally my personal favourite, truffle butter.
I went home with a truffle butter jar, not just for the ingredient of the truffle but also for the fact that the butter was unbelievable!
The cafe is open for lunch Thursday through Sunday from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm, open Monday of long weekends
Address: 490 Seven Day Road, Manjimup
Telephone: +618 9777 2474
Fax: +618 9777 2820
If you happen to be travelling through the South West, a stop at The Wine and Truffle Co is a must. Nearby to the vineyard is Fonty’s pool and accommodation and a chestnut farm.
James Halliday 5 Star
Outstanding winery capable of producing wines of very high quality, and did so this year. Also will usually have at least two wines rated at 94 points or above