Hiking Highlight (Segment)
Steinriegel are layers of picked stones and shape the image of many southern German vineyards. Depending on the region they are called stone rattles, stone slides, rolling walls or Karmauern
From the late Middle Ages onwards, more wine was grown in Germany even on less favorable locations. This was only possible if the vineyards (often shallow shell limestone soils) were always hacked. Larger rocks that erupted from the ground due to soil erosion and freezing were hacked out and piled up in the fall line of the slopes along the property lines. These often several meters high and wide accumulations had the welcome side effect, to regulate the climate. The stones heated up during the day, storing the heat and releasing it at night. In addition, they kept cold winds off the land. Occasionally, there are also stone walls of about 1 m in height at right angles to the stone bars and running parallel to the slope. These also served as barriers against the cold air from the plateaus, which otherwise would have flowed into the valleys due to their higher weight. On the sides of the stone bars, there are less often ditch-shaped ditches for the draining water to prevent flooding of the valuable soil in heavy rains. One of the longest stone bars was measured at 234 m in the Pfitzinger valley near Niederstetten. It is unclear why the ramparts were laid out in this form and the "wengers" did not use their work force in terrains that run across the slope, as is usual in steep slope vine growing.
March 19, 2017
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