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Woodford showcases SA truffle orchard establishment in Cahores (France)

By 2016, a total of 60 Hectars of orchards have been established by Woodford Truffles SA, containing Tuber melanosporum, the Black Diamond of Truffles. In October of 2016, Woodford Truffles was asked to showcase its etablishment of Commercially Productive Truffle orchards in South Africa. The information was presented by Proffesor Allesandra Zambonelli and Dr Ian Hall who are both instrumental in advancing truffle research worldwide.

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Woodford's biggest JV Partnership - KZN

On day three of Woodford's Truffle Orchard Inspection Tour 2015, we arrived in Kokstad, KZN.

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The long-standing family farm was a three hour drive in the Woodford Truffle Bus - from the Durban airport we drove up into the mountains and then into the snow line. The first question potential partners ask us when inquiring about the suitability of their farm location for growing a truffle orchard is "Do I have the right climate conditions for growing truffles". 

One of Woodford Truffles first orchards established with a passionate farmer who informs himself with solid research and so is able to contribute to research as well as ask us great questions. With his sound base of knowledge about truffle production and with our regular visits and tests, we anticipate an excellent truffle future.  Now this farm has grown to three 10 hectare orchards, a total of 30 hectares.

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The first of two Orchards installed.

The farmer has trained his own dogs to be a truffle hunters. 

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Preparing a truffle meal together.

We feel that Kokstad is a prime truffle growing hot spot for the Eastern Cape. And, the more farmers we can encourage to produce truffles in this area, the better! 

Truffles are coming to Kouwdouw


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Volker Miros and Professor Alessandra Zambonelli excited to be visiting what Woodford Truffles considers to be a prime South African Balck Perigord Truffle growing hot spot. 

Volker Miros; "We have a lot of hope for this area to become a Truffle hot spot for farmers in the region. Of course, the more farmers in the area that are growing truffles, the better it is for all. We already have 20 Ha planted and another 12 Ha in the pipeline in this area alone"

Woodford Truffle Team at the Rosa Blú Café in Kouwdouw

Next stop on our Truffle Inspection Tour 2015 was a visit to the farm owned by Ansius Lategan and family.

As Professor Zambonelli had brought with her several of the freshest Black Perigord Truffles from Bologna for our inoculation purposes, we happily packed away a couple of the primest truffles for a truffle tasting with local friends and farmers.

And what better local restaurant than La Rosa Blú Cafê on the Rosenhof Rose-farm to treat the success of their truffle venture?


Our truffle tasting menu was skilfully executed and beautifully presented by Chef Peter-John Snyman. We started with Chef Snyman's creamiest of eggs made special with generous shavings of black truffles. Only the glorious steamed Kabeljou on mash with creamy truffle dressing could have topped that. And it did!

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Our partners Lategan and de Kock are taking delivery of their first inoculated truffle trees in September.

We look forward to many more of our inspection tours to this area. Partner de Kock says that truffle farming can do for the Southern Cape what vineyards have done for the winelands of the Western Cape:

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Riaan Van Zyl talking about orchard setup

"Truffle tourism is huge and truffle products like truffle butter are extremely popular. Chefs are also keen to use it in their dishes and, although we will concentrate on the export market as our seasons differ from that of Europe, we hope to be able to provide the local market with truffles at affordable prices"

Truffle success story

Truffle Farmers orchard shows good micorrhizal inoculation.

Our Joint Venture Partner,  farming with 10 hectares of truffles near Kokstad is delighted with the mycorrhizal development of his trees. Trees are growing well as shown in this photograph.

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Ultra close-ups of root sections of his trees and the Melanosporum mycorrhizae were identified by Professor Alessandra Zambonelli of Bologna University. With good mycorrihzae developing on the tree-roots, truffles are usually not far behind.


                            Melanosporum Mycorrhizal infection

Published - "Private Edition Article" courtesy of Private Edition

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Private Edition2
Private Edition3


Newsletter 02

THE WOODFORD NEWS  no. 2       2012-08-12         


We thought we should let everyone know that things at Woodford Truffles continue to progress well and that in the last year or two a number of farsighted people, from all over the country, have bought into Woodford’s Joint-Venture.


There can be no doubt that Trufflemania has hit South Africa.

With computers, the Internet and E-mail, the world has shrunk completely, truffle growing in the Southern Hemisphere is definitely not an unknown business.  New Zealand, Australia, Chile, are already harvesting good crops under conditions identical to those we have in our country, and locally Woodford Truffles, under the enthusiastic guidance of Volker Miros and his team, who have studied the subject extensively for more than ten years, and invested millions of Rands in putting Woodford Truffles into production on their farm Groenfontein in the Kouebokkeveld, are perhaps only a year or two from their first harvest.


We can be sure of this because in his usual thorough way Volker Miros has on board as advisors, Dr. Ian Hall, mycologist in New Zealand’s truffle growing industry and creator of a truffle grower’s bible,  Professor Alesandra Zambonelli, professor of mycology at Bologna University in Italy, co-author of the truffle bible, and who visit us regularly to assess Woodford Truffles’ progress, as well as that of all the partners  orchards who have bought into the Joint-Venture. 


I was privileged to be present during their most recent visit late last year, when, in Woodford’s laboratory at Groenfontein, they inspected the mycorrhizal development on roots taken from the Groenfontein orchards. Groenfontein management could not help but be very impressed and excited by their ecstatic reports; “The best I’ve ever seen” was Professor Zambonelli’s delighted comment.


This just goes to prove that if you follow the rules, progress is ongoing and one can look forward to a bumper crop when the time comes.


The knowledge is available, and just as when one plants apples or pears, if you follow the rules, if your land is in the correct temperature zone, and you prepare the soil, and provide enough water, there “WILL” be truffles.


The demand for truffles gets greater all the time,  Woodford Truffles have been told by overseas buyers, over and over again, that they will take everything that South Africa can produce. 


Meanwhile it’s a fact that now, and for the foreseeable future, there is a worldwide market waiting to pay top dollar for whatever we produce.

It’s just fortuitous that we in this country are gearing up for truffle production at this particular juncture, but rest assured that there has never been a better time to be in the truffle business.


An interesting recent development for Woodford Truffles has been the acquisition of our first truffle dogs.  Trevor Norris, a well known animal trainer working in the film business, was brought onboard a year or so ago to train up specially bred dogs to sniff out and harvest truffles.  Early last year, Woodford sent Trevor and his wife Marda, to Italy to witness truffle dogs at work, and to be introduced to the long established training methods in use in Europe.  As you probably know, in the old days pigs were used for the harvesting of truffles, and very good they were too at finding them.  However the pigs always wanted to eat the truffles, and sometimes in the ensuing scuffle the pig handlers would lose a couple of fingers, so they eventually changed to dogs.  Groenfontein has “two” to begin with, and as they will be Truffle Hunters, it has been decided to call them Bonnie and Clyde.  They are still puppies so it will be a while before we see results but we will keep you posted as to their progress.


Meanwhile, for further information about Woodford Truffles you can go to the website at  or mail:   or phone Volker Miros on 083-2251179  ;  (+27)021-7913953



Well that’s all for now,

All the very best,


Gary Haselau, for Woodford Truffles. 

Published - Landbou 16/10/12


A South African First - Trufflers

We are pleased to announce our first Trufflers"

As we had announced some time ago to all our Joint Venture Partners, Marda and Trevor our animal handlers studied in Italy how to train "truffle dogs" are now ready with the first litter of "TRUFFLERS".They are a cross breed we selected to become our preferred truffle hunters. Trained dogs will become available for purchase when our orchards have the truffle aroma exuding from the soil. Trevor is also an animal handler in the Cape film industry.