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New Zealand

The New Zealand truffle industry was pioneered by Dr Ian Hall, Alan Hall’s brother, in the mid 1980’s. There were several obstacles to overcome. These were whether there was a demand for such a delicacy in New Zealand, if the truffle could grow in regions of New Zealand and if truffle-infected plants could be imported into the country.

Superimposing climatic maps on France, in particularly south east France, onto a map of New Zealand highlighted the areas where the Périgord black truffle might be grown in this country. These areas however are influenced by the ocean and therefore are cooler in summer and warmer in winter than similar latitudes in France. Alongside climatic conditions to consider was the type of soil that truffles could grow in. The Périgord black truffle prefers a rich alkaline soil – similar to sites, Dr Hall determined, to North Canterbury, Hawke’s Bay, North Otago and the Poverty Bay.

Import regulations meant that it was impossible to import truffle infected plants from Europe but it was possible to import the truffle itself. Dr Hall developed his own methods to infect trees and in 1987 two small experimental Truffières were established in North Otago at 45°S and in an alkaline soil. 1987 was also the year that Dr Hall convinced his brother to plant a Truffière on the Poverty Bay plains and Oakland Truffière was established.

Today, Oakland Truffiere remains the leading  truffiere and nursery in New Zealand and is able to supply the Northern Hemisphere with its internationally renowned truffles.