n Switzerland, the Federal Constitution and the Civil Code protect land-based property however certain succession laws and real estate transactions can cause properties to be progressively divided over time. Even viticultural properties were unable to escape this phenomenon which was the origin of several land alterations in Lavaux. Authorities were also faced with the dilemma of needing to build the A9 motorway right through this sensitive area. In the 1930s, the first trade unions for land conversion were formed. From that date, 14 alterations have been undertaken in a variety of areas covering 2270 hectares from Lutry to Vevey.
Reuniting the Plots
The first Law relating to land development (created in 1907 then replaced in 1961 and periodically updated) encouraged firms that, to facilitate exploitation, mainly resorted to plot modification to significantly decrease land divisions by grouping the plots of each owner through the creation of paths, drainage systems and erosion prevention barriers to define the properties. Apart from any alterations necessary to compliment the steep landscape, other important work was undertaken to unite the rocky cliffs situated in the Eastern half of the region between Dézaley and Corseaux to protect the vineyards, the built-up areas and the various road links.
Source : ANNEN, Jean-Marc, « Améliorations foncières », in Lavaux, Vignoble en terrasses face au lac et aux Alpes, Lavaux World Heritage Site Application File for UNESCO, Cully, January 2006, pp. 122-128.