From a distance there is something different about the stretches of vine across the hillsides. It’s hard at first to work out what has changed – the light? the color? You need to be closer, zooming in from the magnificent landscapes, to see that it is density: the vineyards are having their annual pruning session. Gone are the old leaves, the rough old branches going off in several directions.
Last weekend was a particularly busy one in the Valais vineyards, so many of which are owned by families who can only tend them on Saturdays and Sundays. First they are cut and the rows between the vines are thick with their rusty-coloured branches from the 2006 season. Then the piles are bundled and carried off, sometimes to be used as compost or for fuel.