Yesterday was a perfect spring day. Sunny skies, 20 degrees (Celsius not Fahrenheit) and a light breeze. Unfortunately a fake. This morning I went out with the dogs, after it stopped raining, into clouded 4 degree with a cutting icy wind, happy not to have forgotten my gloves. I hate that. Thanks god I had used the perfect weather the previous day for a long walk through the vineyards. The swiss canton Valais I live in is a winegrowing district as well as a producing area of different kind of fruits. Mainly apples, pears, plums, cherries and the famous Valais apricots – they are sweater and more juicy than any other apricots I have eaten, ever. Despite that the locals prefer to convert them into hard liquor.
Anyway, the vineyards are special because they are located on the mountain sides which had to be terraced therefor and – due to the fact that the soil is a very thin layer before it turns into solid rock – needs a special watering system.
These terraces are formed and bordered by dry stone walls build with local material in a technique used in this way for centuries.
There is no filler or cement in between just different sizes of stones and the structure of stacking keeps them solid. The highest dry stone wall in Valais is about 17 meters high. And they are full of lizards what keeps my dogs very busy.