HomeFood & BeverageThe future of the Alba white truffle in the age of climate...

The future of the Alba white truffle in the age of climate change

There is a new “truffle factory” in the Langhe. named after Vanity Fair, for the attention that was given to the topic of truffles and their sustainability. The 2023/2024 Alba white truffle season in Piedmont has just ended and during the closing ceremony 250 truffle plants – including oaks, poplars, willows and hornbeams – were delivered to the Truffle Hunters Association by the Langhe Monferrato Roero Tourist Board, the National Truffle Research Center and the Alba International White Truffle Fair.

The saplings were purchased with half of the proceeds from two tourism experiences advertised during the fair’s nine weeks:Alba Walking Tour – Truffle Editionin collaboration with the Truffle Hunters Association of Alba (over 230 participants in 18 dates) andsensory analysis of Alba white truffle with judges from the National Truffle Research Center.

Alessandro Sgarito-LMR Tourism Board Archives

How the Alba white truffle season changes

For the world of Piedmont truffles, however, the main news is different. From next season, according to regional law, only from October 1 will you be able to go in search of the precious Alba white truffle and not from September 21, as was done until now. Climate change is there for everyone, summers are getting hotter and longer the nine-day delay is now considered more than necessary by experts, hoping for the temperatures to drop a bit and some more rain to fall. The international fair will start on October 12 to December 8.

The future of the Alba white truffle in the era of climate change
Alessandro Sgarito-LMR Tourism Board Archive

Already last March, on the occasion of a meeting in nearby Santo Stefano Belbo, organized by the tourism board, the meteorologist Luca Mercalli reiterated the importance of evaluating alternative measures and paying more attention to climate signals. “For the foreseeable future,” he said, ” in this time of little rain and very hot summer there are now very few roads to travel. On the one hand, understanding how to save resources and how, for example, to optimize water collection while avoiding waste. On the other hand, understanding how to adapt, choosing new, more sustainable crops and exploiting land that – perhaps on slopes once considered less profitable – is now more favorable because it is less exposed in the open air”. It is during these days that the Barolo Consortium also assesses, together with all the producers, whether to propose a change in regulations to allow Nebbiolo vines to be grown for Barolo even on the cooler northern hillsides: something unthinkable just a few years ago.

The value of forests

“The future of the truffle,” he explains Antonio DegiacomiPresident National Truffle Research Center – will depend on many aspects that can be observed and studied, such as the possible alternation of more drought-resistant plants, able to adapt better to the coming climate. Obviously, human behavior also has a big impact.” Avoiding the felling of other plants and indeed encouraging the spread of trees remains a priority for large truffle areas. How to think about a truly sustainable development of tourism. “With the project to finance the planting of truffles – concludes Mariano Rabino, president of the Board of Tourism Langhe Monferrato Roero – let’s look at the topic of legacy, the legacy we leave to future tourists and citizens. We did it by relying on those who work 365 days a year on the subject, and therefore the National Center for Truffle and Trifulau Research. With the director, Bruno Bertero, we want to imagine more and more that the presence of tourists can contribute to the protection and conservation of the territory.”

Source: VanityFair

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