Watch a clip from Country Calendar of Jax and Bill Lee speaking about their involvement within the truffle industry. Dec 2016

The Kings Truffles team

The Kings Truffles Story

Kings Truffles was founded by Bill Lee in 2003 off the back of a passion that led him to research and train with some of the worlds best in Europe. Joined by his daughter Jax in 2006 and with the support of an enthusiastic board of Directors, the team constantly seek to innovate and explore the possibilities of supplying stunning fresh Black Truffle to the New Zealand market.

With Jax leading from the front as General Manager and over 6000 trees across Canterbury, they have concentrated the development of their business to offer quality and unique, hands on contact with truffle enthusiasts of all kinds. Not only are they the only NZ suppliers selling in-season, fresh truffle direct via an online store, they pride themselves in cultivating relationships with a myriad of local growers and suppliers to enable the development of more products such as Truffle butter.

Now Truffle Hunters will be welcomed to enjoy a hands on experience with Jax and her dogs,  followed by chef prepared tastings all from the warmth of an open fire and purpose built, rustic tasting shed.

Off the back of their combined experience they also offer an all encompassing service to potential truffle growers. Truffle infected seedlings, site analysis and a full consultancy package for support in management, growth and marketing/sales are available to those interested in their own truffiere.

With hard work, a lot of sweat, a few tears and even more laughs the team at Kings Truffles are proud to be part of the ever growing New Zealand truffle industry. The experience the team brings is essential. Combined with innovation and an open mind to learn more and develop accordingly, Kings Truffles strives to ensure delivery of the best quality black truffle in the world.

“After researching the truffle industry for two or more years and buying our 1.5 hectare block of land in Temuka to join the truffle industry, the consultation we received from Kings Truffle gave Dawne and I the confidence to move onto the next step and make our dream become a reality. From the bare block of land we had to prepare then planting of the trees and getting the irrigation in… We look forward to our future within the truffle industry and our on-going working relationship with Bill and Jax”
Chris and Dawne Tuite, Temuka

Meet Our Team

Bill Lee
Bill LeeFounder and Managing Director
Bill has a Masters degree in Agricultural Science and was a Nuffield Farming Scholar. He has spent considerable time in France and Australia gaining expertise both in truffle-infecting technology and general husbandry of tree and truffle management.

It was a tour to Southern France to look first hand at the industry in 2003 that really hooked Bill on Truffles. He is convinced New Zealand has the potential to become a major world supplier of truffles to an increasingly sophisticated and wealthy base of customers. This potential is enhanced by the fact that New Zealand produces fresh product in the Northern Hemisphere off-season. His vision for Kings Truffles is to become a world renowned truffle producer and exporter, supplying a quality product.

Jax Lee-May
Jax Lee-MayGeneral Manager
Jax brings a strong background in sales and marketing (she has a degree in graphic design and a post graduate diploma in business studies majoring in marketing), along with practical farming and truffle nursery experience, to the team. She has visited France and Spain to observe different growing techniques and the United States and Hong Kong for marketing purposes. She loves dogs and her current truffle dog Freddy is a proven truffle hunter. Snoop and Moose both sons of Freddy are still in training but progressing well.

Jax started in the nursery infecting trees in 2006 and now as well as this, manages all husbandries and harvesting for trees managed by Kings Truffles. Her and her husband have also started to develop their own truffiere and will have 900 trees in the ground. With this experience Jax is able to act in a consulting role as well as being the key person in organising sales and marketing of truffles.

FreddyTruffle Dog
Freddy, a female labrador/pointer cross is the boss of the truffle dog team. 2014 was her first truffle hunting season when she wasn’t even a one year old. After limited training time with truffles she still managed to find a respectable amount of the underground treasures. Now after having a few seasons finding truffle and training in the off season she is an integral member to the team. Not only is she a truffle finding machine but Jax’s running buddy, chief rabbit hunter in the off season and also mother to two new members to the Kings Truffles dog team.
Moose and Snoop
Moose and SnoopTruffle Dogs
Moose (brown) and Snoop (black), are two boys that Jax kept from Freddy’s first litter of 10 puppies. The father, Pluto, is a truffle dog in his own right and offers harvesting services in the South island with his handler, Susan Morton, for other truffle growers. After three years of training these two are showing huge potential and have started to locate truffle, now it is just a case of becoming masters of their new found skills!