Unlike modern vineyards, a peculiarity of traditionally cultivated vineyards is the use of dry stone walling in the construction of their terraces. These are an outstanding biotope for reptiles which are dependent both on the areas exposed to the sun as well as on the gaps in the dry walling which provide them with shelter. This structural richness also particularly benefits rare reptile species such as the smooth snake which is still to be found in large numbers on the Schwanberg, Bird fauna such as the protected ortolan also benefit from the natural diversity.
Photo: traditionally cultivated vineyard in Gambach.
As part of the LIFE+ project an area of 0.5 hectares was restored in the Schwanberg region with traditional vineyard structures and an orchard. The first step was to clear the old vineyard in spring 2012. This was followed by the building of the dry stone walls and the planting of vines starting in the early summer of 2013.
The vineyard in April 2013
Start of ground works in June 2013
The first wall erected (April 2013)
The first terrace (September 2013)
The walls and terraces are finished; the steps to provide access to visitors and particularly for the cultivation of the vineyard are constructed. This was followed by the removal of the access roads for construction traffic and the formation of the embankments (October 2013).
"The snake pit": An old land slip which was filled with rocks and turned into a biotope for smooth snakes.
Newly formed terraces which were prepared for planting with vines in spring 2014.
The vineyard after planting and complete with shelter in summer 2014.