Thanks to the researchers at INRA (Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique) the secrets of the truffle are better known today.
The truffle can now be inoculated into the roots of young trees, most often oaks. This process is known as mycorrhiza which originates from the Greek word myco meaning mushroom and rhiza meaning root. The inoculation takes place in a nursery and allows for a greater and more regular production of truffles in an agricultural setting.
We have worked in collaboration with INRA for 20 years on the improvement of the truffle plants, the techniques of working the soil and pruning. We participate in research on cloning in partnership with a tree nursery and INRA. Numerous experimental plots are installed on the plantation. We have regular visits from researchers of INRA based in Clermont-Ferrand so that they can take note of both our observations and the quantity of truffles harvested.
Despite the scientific knowledge we have, there remains an element of mystery in the production of truffles. Much like wine production, consecutive years do not resemble one another. Some years are exceptional in terms of quantity and quality while others are less so. Climatic variations like extreme freezing temperatures in winter or prolonged periods of heat during the summer will have an impact on the harvest. This is why the Black Truffle remains a rare and exceptional product.