One of the most amazing memories from Tuscany last November was our truffle hunting expedition with Valentino Berni of Loghi Farm & Vineyards (Azienda Loghi) near Montalcino. Cool brisk autumn morning walk in the woods (that smell of the forest after rain!) followed by delicious lunch (by the fireplace) with fresh truffles accompanied by world class wine and great conversation. Does it get any better? You could probably ask Cameron Diaz, who’s one of the many guests who’ve gone truffle hunting with Valentino. Nick and I were glad to count ourselves among the people who’ve had the pleasure to take part in this unique activity.
Winter is the white truffle season in Tuscany. These expensive fungi (their market price runs around $150 per ounce!) grow on roots of trees (underground) and are sold to high-end restaurants around the world, making it a desired and pricey menu item. Finding truffles in the wild is no easy feat, but for someone as experienced as Valentino Berni (who learned this skill from his father) and his very active dogs, Mara and Sally, it’s a daily walk on their reserved truffle grounds.
As we were telling friends we were doing a truffle hunt, most asked if it were done with pigs. While in the past that was indeed the best way to locate these very sought-after fungi, nowadays it’s done with trained dogs (who often want these truffles for themselves, haha).
I was 4 months pregnant and was a bit worried sliding on muddy hills in my rain boots (thanks to Valentino and Elena for lending us these boots!), but it all worked out and we loved every minute of the 2 hour experience.
After we came back to the farm, Valentino’s partner Elena made us pasta (tagliolini) with freshly shaved truffles. Complimented by Valentino’s incredible wine (Rosso di Montalcino and Brunello), bread and extra virgin olive oil of their own production, this was one of the best lunches Nick and I have ever had. A lunch like this would have easily cost us a couple of hundred dollars at a restaurant. But sitting by the fireplace in their cozy kitchen after a rainy November afternoon outing was more special than any restaurant. Valentino and Elena, who clearly care about everything they do, made us feel like we were long time friends.
I highly recommend trying their wine, olive oil and going on a truffle hunt with Valentino. Make sure to tell him and Elena that I sent you!
Want to see the video we made? https://youtu.be/Ksv6kSH7VqY
and.. photos below!! Click on the first one and go next.
I hope you enjoyed! I can’t wait to return to Tuscany and see Valentino and Elena again! While our experience was complimentary, all views and photos are entirely my own. I stand by every word – as always.
Any comments and thoughts? Any cool places I should see while in Tuscany next time? Please let me know so I can mark it on GoogleMaps for future travels! Also.. if you find any typos, please let me know. I am obsessed with proper grammar and spelling but…. I type too damn fast and sometimes simply space out:)