Tag: Dézaley

The Notre Dame cross

When heading down from Chexbres, one sees, planted in the middle of the terraced vineyards of Lavaux and accessible from the Route de la Corniche, the Notre Dame cross. It marks the fact that this was a stop for pilgrims for many centuries. The 25th of March, the feast of the Annunciation to Mary, was celebrated in the Lausanne Cathedral with a large gathering. But for reasons of distance as well as safety because the roads were infested with robbers, large numbers of pilgrims came to this high spot, from which they could see the cathedral. Until the 19th century, Protestants and Catholics continued to come here and to pray. In 1975, when the cathedral celebrated its 700th anniversary, the two Churches put up the iron cross that is there today, to honour this spot so symbolic of ecumenism.

Cross, Dézaley, Notre Dame

Vineyards praised by Napolean

Emperor Napolean passed through Lavaux 16 May 1800 during his Italian campaign. It was the value of the work carried out by vignerons that he commented on: “Those who work here with such fervour and courage deserve our admiration and merit an exemption from taxes.”

Dézaley, Marsens, Tour

The capites

Built in wood or masonry, the capites were used as tool sheds at a time when cars did not yet exist. Most of them had to hold a fossoir, a type of hoe used mainly in the vines, that had two or three teeth. This tool is the origin of the word for a unit of measure in Lavaux, used to describe a surface area: it corresponds to the amount of land that a man could work in a day, 450 m2.

Capites, Dézaley, refuge

The World Championship of Tracassets

The steep and winding Creyvavers path, south of the village of Epesses, in all the odd-number years hosts a startling race, the World Championship of Tracassets. This very colourful competition has three events: decoration, speed and gymkhana.

The tracasset is originally from Vaud. The first ones appeared in the area around Perroy in the La Côte region west of Lausanne in the 1950s. The tracasset quickly became popular everywhere on the steep slopes of Lavaux. This relatively recent item is a hybrid that is quite unusual, a cross between a farm tractor and the pétrolette (small scooters) once popular. The tracasset has three wheels, handlebars and a hitch at the back. It is used mainly to haul material in the vineyards in areas where the slope is especially steep. Some women, when they didn’t see their husbands return from the vines at the end of the day would …se tracasset, or worry.

Dézaley, place, views

History of Water

Several waterways cross Lavaux from north to south, to end up in Lake Geneva. The two main ones are the Lutrive and the Veveyse, which run along the border of today’s area of vines.

Between these two streams, running west to east, is the Châtelard near Grandvaux, the Rio d’Enfer in Epesses, the Forestay from Chexbres to Rivaz and finally the Salenche in St Saphorin. In addition to these rivers that run perennially, the Lavaux slopes drain several water corridors whose flows fluctuate rapidly depending on the season and rainfall.

Located entirely on the territory of the commune of Puidoux, the AOC Dézaley Grand Cru’s borders are in fact determined by water: on the west, the Chenalettaz, to the east, the Forestay stream, and to the south, the lake.

In Lavaux this landscape detail is often coupled with others (soil types, aerators). Together, they help to slow down erosion by stopping the water from passing through the vine parcels.

Corridors, Dézaley, streams

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Association Appellation Dézaley Grand Cru
Jean-François Chevalley
Route du Treytorrens 1
1096 En Dézaley