The boulders–the largest totalling 300 cubic metres (more than 14,000 cubic feet)–demolished a barn and stopped just a few feet from the 300-year-old farmhouse which they lease from the Servite Order convent of Maria Luggau. The Servite Order is one of five original mendicant (begging) religious orders in the Catholic Church, and members have a special devotion to Mary under her title of Our Lady of Sorrows.
Three enormous boulders as well as smaller stones careened down the mountainside, crushing grapevines on the Freisinger Hof vineyard estate, one of 280 small growers which produce grapes for Cantina Tramin. The grapes are made into a variety of wines including Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, Lagrein and Gewurztraminer.
Baron Philipp von Hohenbuhal, manager of the estate, reported that four hectares (nearly ten acres) of mature vines were destroyed, with early estimates of damage reaching into hundreds of thousands of euros. Von Hohenbuhel seemed resigned following the catastrophe, saying that his team would simply roll up their sleeves and begin to clean up.
It might be prudent to wait a while to begin that clean-up: Italian geologists predict that another 500 to 600 meters of rock could still break loose from the cliff.
Early reports showed photos of the destruction; but now, a camera mounted on a drone has captured some incredible close-up shots of the scene.