The vineyard cabins

These cabins in the vines...

Witnesses of a laborious past, these modest and strictly functional buildings of a vernacular architecture are located in the middle of the vineyards. They were used to shelter from the bad weather, store tools and sometimes spend the night.

These vineyard cabins mark the landscape of the Valais. They brighten and add colour in white, brown, pink, grey or even in “vine colour” (i.e. treated with copper sulphate) to the well-structured terraced vineyards. They are very pleasant to look at.

Translated extract of the book : Guérites, Ces cabanes dans les vignes.
©   2007 Éditions du Musée valaisan de la vigne et du vin, Sierre-Salquenen

Dry stone walls – terraced vineyards

In the Valais, dry stone walls were largely used to make very steep plots of land arable. This is easily noticeable between Martigny and Leuk on the right bank of the Rhone; it is called the “Wall of China” of the Valais. As these walls were built with stones found on site, they also served to clear unnecessary stones from the Land. No binding materials were used to build these impressive walls. Some exceed 17m in height and others have an area of stone larger than the area of land supported. However, they are not the result of some architect’s brilliant work but from the hard work of brave men trying to earn a living. Brought together, these walls extend for about 3000 km, support about 1500 hectares of crops and contribute to the beauty of the Valais landscape. They house unique and abundant fauna and flora and thereby contribute to the biodiversity of our vineyard.