Pigs wandered among the vines in the Middle Ages
Before 1820 it was common for pigs and sheep to wander freely in Valais vineyards, which are spread out at the time, often bordered by fields that hold animals. The vineyards are a natural place for the animals, especially in communes that have little grazing land. A ban on letting animals graze in the vineyards is issued in 1820, prompting an outcry. Communes fail to see how it can be legitimate to stop such an ancestral right. For them, this land use has always been admissible and doesn’t bother the neighbours. In addition, sheep don’t in any way disturb work in the vines because they eat only useless vegetation. But in the end, 12 July 1821, the Diet legislates: “The leaves of the vine, which fall when they are shaken, are a nutritive substance for the following season, thus the Diet pronounces and declares that circulation in the vineyards must end.”
Source: Histoire de la Vigne et du Vin en Valais, «Animaux dans les vignes : adieu veau, vaches, cochons», Cristina Buchard, historian Bureau CLIO.