By Ann Carranza

Cultivating truffles in Sonoma County? It has been an intriguing idea since Henry Trione first explored it with his friend J. Ralph Stone in the 1970s. But growing truffles in Sonoma County didn’t gain much traction until now.

Serendipitously, Fran Angerer, 68, and his son, Nathan, 36, became intrigued by the idea at about the same time a few years ago. Fran saw an article in a local paper about William Griner, who had planted truffle trees in Mendocino County, at the same time that Nathan was intrigued by an article on the subject in GQ magazine. After much exploration and study, in 2011 they planted hazelnut trees inoculated with truffle spores on a parcel of land in Geyserville.

Fran Angerer trains his dog, Tuber, a Lagotto Romagnolo, to smell truffles in the ground attached to the roots of the hazelnut trees at the Angerer Family Farm in Geyserville. (BETH SCHLANKER/ The Press Democrat)

Fran Angerer trains his dog, Tuber, a Lagotto Romagnolo, to smell truffles in the ground attached to the roots of the hazelnut trees at the Angerer Family Farm in Geyserville. (BETH SCHLANKER/ The Press Democrat)