Viticulture is landscape maintenance
The winemakers in Rheinhessen are not only cultivators of the vine, but also creators of a diverse landscape. An important and extensive task in nature.
In order to compensate sealed (paved or concrete) paths natural areas with meadows and hedges are created. On the sidelines of the vineyards, flower strips and bushes are important habitats for insects and birds. Dry walls, piles of stones and other retreats dominate the landscape and form biotopes for lizards, beetles, toads or wild bees. Hollow trails, in Alsheim for example, are a habitat for many different species, some of which are endangered, such as the dusky sallow (butterfly) and the orobanche purpurea (plant).
Nature reserves and vineyards often are direct neighbours here in Rheinhessen. The vines are rooted in a landscape that already has a distinctive origin. Examples are the Geotop Trift in Alzey-Weinheim or the fossil sea cliff in "Rheinhessische Schweiz" near Eckelsheim.
A prime example of how landscape management and nature conservation work out together is demonstrated in the "Gundersheimer Höllenbrand land consolidation". There, in a historic vineyard, almost 10 kilometers of dry stone walls were preserved, renovated and renewed, so that the breeding grounds for the wheatear and the "residential areas" for the sand lizard and the little owl could be obtained.