The Ancient Art of Dry Laid Stone 
                                        with DJ Kitzel

Date & Time:

Friday, September 8, 2023:  Dinner from 6 to 8pm
Saturday, September 9 & Sunday, September 10, 2023:  9:00am-4:00pm


Hunt Country Vineyards, 4021 Italy Hill Rd., Branchport NY


$300 per person - Includes dinner, two lunches, wine, & instruction.

PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED: No walk-ins. Space limited to 14 students.

Registration link

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   We are so pleased to team up with DJ Kitzel for the 5th season of stonemasonry workshops here at Hunt Country Vineyards. 

   Come spend a weekend learning from this talented stone mason, teacher, artist, and renaissance man.  He is  a natural instructor and sharer of talent, creativity, and skills. 

   A combination of some great outdoor comradery, tinkering with ancient stones, house-made yummy meals, and all accompanied by Hunt Country wines. 
                                                   Learn, Eat, Drink...  AWESOME!


Dry Laid Stone: 

Dry-laid stonework is the ancient art of building with stone without the use of mortar.  Common in the United Kingdom and other parts of the world, it is becoming increasingly popular in North America in functional hardscapes.  This two-day course is designed to be a primer in the contemporary skills and applications of this timeless trade.  Currently, there are few dry-laid stone workers in the Finger Lakes and demand is growing.

This course will be a hands-on experience of dry-laid wall construction.  This class will build on skills learned in previous workshops.  Beginners are welcome, but this will be a more challenging build than in previous workshops, in terms of design and precision.  Students who complete the course will be able to build free-standing stone walls, retaining walls, foundations, walkways and stairs.  Hands-on learning will be mixed with direct instruction, discussion and working lunches.  Participants will learn the tools, techniques, materials and traditions of this accessible art form.

This portable skill set is in demand by landscapers and builders alike.  The trade requires few tools to get started.  Other benefits of dry-laid stonework include personal creativity, fitness, and a deep connection to an ancient human experience.

There will be a tent on site to protect students from sun and rain.  All tools and materials will be provided.  Participants should dress for the weather and wear sturdy shoes. Sunscreen, sun hat and a water bottle are recommended. You are also welcome to bring safety glasses, work gloves and any personal tools.


D.J. Kitzel is a stonemason, certified English teacher, and licensed wilderness guide with 33 years of experience in the building trades, including masonry.  He has worked on historic structures and new builds across Rochester and the Finger Lakes region while pursuing a life-long interest in these traditional trades.   


Dinner at 6pm on Friday will include introductions, course overview, expectations, and safety.
D.J. will provide instruction, all tools needed, and work songs. 
Group starts at 9:00 on Saturday and Sunday, end at 4:00
Instruction will be a combination of lecture, demonstration, and hands-on work to construct a functional wall.


DINNER: Dinner on Friday evening ONLY:  Casual, introductive dinner. 
BREAKFAST: Breakfast will NOT be provided.  We encourage you to eat a hearty breakfast ahead of arrival.  
LUNCH: House-made lunches will be provided on Saturday and Sunday by Hunt Country's Farm-To-Table Kitchen. 
- There are picnic items available to purchase in our tasting room, but please feel free to bring your own snacks if you feel you might need them before or after lunch.
- Hydration is a requirement of hard work.  We will have hot coffee, tea, and cold mint water available to you all day.  Please bring a water bottle to refill throughout the day.  We also have refreshing beverage options for purchase in our tasting room. 
- An end of day glass of wine is included in your registration fee.  Wine tastings, wines by the glass or bottle, and local beer are also available for purchase.  

* Please let us know ahead of time if you have any dietary restrictions.  

Registration link

Please contact Tessa with any questions: