I’ve bemoaned the loss of stone and brick as building materials due to earthquakes. We end up with a lot of faux walls where a thin stone veneer is glued to wood framing. This Freestone property has always had one of the most beautiful wooden fences in Sonoma County. They are in the process of adding a stone entrance to the property and we can see the solution for an earthquake resistant stone wall.
If you look carefully at the large image you get from clicking on the thumbnail, you’ll see that the stone being used here is real, and almost half a foot thick. You’ll see the reinforcing steel emerging from the earthquake resistant reinforced concrete block wall that becomes the bond that ties the rock and concrete block together. It’s not cheap to build this way, but it’s the only way to get an authentic stone wall that will pass building codes and remain standing when the next big one rumbles by. I tip my hat to the V bar C folks for doing it right, and for keeping that beautiful fence intact.
One other facet of the changing face of Sonoma County emerged when I was taking a picture of the wooden fence. If you look carefully at the upper right corner of the image (click to enlarge), just past the stump-sliced V bar C sign, you’ll see some of the most westerly grapevines in Sonoma County marching down the hillside. Ten years ago this would have been considered outside the range of grape growing climate. Now it’s home to the lovely Pinot Noir.