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Chanterelle mushroom found on Spring Mountain

Nancy Walker brought these huge Chanterelle mushrooms to the St. Helena Star offices on Monday, showing what her husband, John Gantner had found the day before.

On Sunday, John Gantner, co-owner of Spring Mountain’s School House Vineyard, found one of the largest and likely the most beautiful Chanterelles he or his wife, Nancy Walker, have seen in years.

Gantner found it under an oak tree on their property on Spring Mountain. Walker brought the Chanterelle mushroom to the Star office on Monday in two pieces, each larger than 5 inches across, and weighing some two pounds. “We’ve been getting lots of Chanterelles for years, but never found one as big,” Walker said. “We used to take them to Cindy Pawlcyn for her to use, when she had a restaurant in town (Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen),” she added.

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Walker said Gantner’s father bought a 160-acre property in 1940, although now they own 55 acres, with some 17 or 18 acres of vineyards. Their first vintage of wine was in 1957.

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