Valter, Leda and the truffles

This story is about a 6 years old boy, who discovers a precious treasure and a love and who feels an intense and real passion, as only childhood passions could be. The little’s guy name is Valter and one day he felt in love with truffle hunting. Truffle is one of the most precious and mysterious product of the ground. This love will continue all life long.

Now Valter is a grown man, who built his life and his family on a piedmontese winery, in Santo Stefano Belbo, a hilly area, covered by vineyards, in one of the most beautiful place in Italy. In this area vines have been cultivated for centuries and many of the best wines and spumanti in the world are produced. This is such a beautiful place, that in 2014 Unesco listed it in the World Heritage Sites because of its art cities, ancient villages and amazing landscapes.

Wines Truffle hunter Leda
Wines Truffle hunter Leda

Well, the main question is: how was Valter’s passion for truffle hunting born?
The answer is easy: it was love at first sight. It was a neighbor that brought Valter hunting truffles for the first time.
He was only 6 years old, but he had a lot of fun looking at the dogs sniffing the ground, running around the truffle hunters and getting crazy when they find the treasure, that is born and grown under the ground: Tuber Magnatum, it’s his scientific latin name.

Valter grows and he keeps going hunting truffles. Meanwhile Valter receives a dog from his family, which he has to take care of; his name is Bill and he is a crossbreed dog.
Bill is very smart and understands right away what Valter wants from him. He finds a lot of truffles, one of which weighed almost 7hg and was also prized at Alba’s Truffle Show.

This is the way how Valter’s love for truffle hunting grows. Valter and his dog are now real friends. When Valter comes home from school, he rushes into the woods with Bill looking for truffles, instead of doing homeworks. Their friendship lasts 14 years, but one sad day Bill close its eyes and say goodbye to Valter.

After few months, Titta joins the family. It is a female , crossbreed dog as well. For 12 years she will find many truffles with Valter. The same will do the third dog, Bill, named after the first one.
When also the third dog passes away, it's time for Leda, another female dog. Lagotto Romagnolo is the breed, one of the most famous and well known for hunting truffles. She will stay with Valter for 15 years. A wonderful, strong and kind dog. The relationship between Leda and Valter is so strong and passionate that when she passes away, he asks his friend to bury her in a vine far from the Winery, where the ground is always quiet. He puts on her a blanket: “so she won’t be cold”. This is the symbol of the relationship that connects truffle hunters with their dog forever. A relationship built on loyalty, friendship and love that is much more than a simple friendship between dog and man.

Valter chooses to devote to Leda a Barbera d’Asti, which is one of the most typical wines of the Langhe area. Valter says to his winemakers:“Barbera reminds me of Leda: it’s loyal and strong, it never betrays you and it stays always close to you”

“Truffle Hunter LEDA Barbera d’Asti “ is so appreciated not only in Italy but also around the world, that a whole line, including the most important wines from Piedmont, such as Barolo, Barbaresco, Nebbiolo, Gavi and Moscato d’Asti, is named after it.
Wonderful wines, to be paired with the King of the ground and to the Queen of truffle hunters, LEDA.