SEDIMENTARY- Soils Made Up of Other Pieces of Rock, Shells of Other Dead Organisms/  Creatures.  These Soils Forms Where Rocks Are Weathered by Wind, Rain, Ice, and Created by Layering In Lakes, Rivers, Sea.

  • General Types of Sedimentary Rock- Limestone, Sandstone, Silex/Flint
  • Examples of Mother Sedimentary Rock.
    • Coral Reefs

PARTICLE GRAIN SIZE (Largest to SmallestBoulder, Cobble, Pebble, Gravel, Sand, Silt, Clay, Loess.  If You Have a Dominate Grain Size That Gets Solidified Into a Rock is Referred to as a Soil.

  • Mud- Which Accumulate as Mudstone
  • Sand- Which Accumulate as Sandstone
  • Silt- Which Accumulate as Siltstone
  • Clay- Which Accumulate as Claystone
  • Lime- Which Accumulate as Limestone, Organic Skeleton Material

It’s Important to Note That These Are Grain Sizes of the Material That Make Up the Soils and Not the Soils Themselves.

FLUVIAL- Pertaining to Rivers, Sediment or Soil Deposits Produced by the Action of a Stream or River.

ALLUVIAL/ Alluvium- Pertaining to Sediment or Soil Deposits From Running Water, A Deposit of Clay, Silt, Sand or Gravel Left by Flowing Stream In a River Valley Or Delta.

  • Alluvial Terraces- Formed by a Combination of Geologic Uplift and River Down-Cutting.

COLLUVIUM- Material That Accumulates at the Foot/ Base of a Steep Slope.

MORAINE- Pertaining to Sediment or Soil Deposits Formed From Accumulation of Unconsolidated Glacial Debris.

LACUSTRINE- Soils Relating to or Associated With Lakes.

FERRICIETE- Hard Erosion Resistant Layer of Sedimentary Rock That Has Been Cemented. Sedimentary Soil Classification…is it Shell/ Creature, Wind or Water Based.

  • Sedimentary(Shell), Sedimentary(Water), Sedimentary(Wind)

**Refer to TERROIR/ Water, Floods For Additional Information On Sedimentary Rocks.


Limestone is a Sedimentary Rock Composed Primarily of Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3) In the Form of the Mineral Calcite.  Limestone Mostly Forms In Warm, Shallow Marine Waters.  Limestone is Primarily Composed of Organic Matter Accumulated Over Time.  After Water Receded From Presently Dry Seabeds Different Shells, Coral and Other Debris Accumulated in the Form of Calcified  Sediments.

  • There Are Different Classes of Limestone That Behave Differently.  Different Sea Creatures That Died and Have Accumulated Over Time Leave Different Hardness Layers That Soil Reacts to Differently.
  • Limestone is Generally Composed of Shells, Coral, Algae, Fossils, Fecal Debris.  Over Time These Animals/ Organic Matters Die and Their Shells and Skeletal Accumulate Into a Sediment That Gets Lithified Into Limestone.
  • Limestones Soils Are Naturally Alkaline With High PH..  Limestone Has Great Water Holding Capacity.
  • Types of Limestone.  Different Periods or Ages of Time Have Different Organic Matter That Get Fossilized or In Turn Different Periods Have Different Types of Limestone.
    • Chalk, Coquina, Fossiliferous Limestone, Lithographic Limestone, Oolitic Limestone, Travertine
    • Chalk- A Deeper Water Equivalent of Limestone. The Calcium Carbonate Skeletons of Planton That Lived In the Water.  As They Died They Rained Down and Formed a Layer of Very Soft, Porous Limestone Rock.
    • Limestone is fossils of Plankton, Diatomaceous Earth is Fossils of Algae.
    • Chablis   |   Cote d’Or
    • Macconais   |   St. Emilion
    • Santa Rita Hills, California   |   Paso Robles, California
    • Chalone AVA., California
    • Ontario, Canada   |   Verde Valley, Arizona


  • Formed During the Cretaceous Period.
  • Burgundy is an Old Sea Floor That Sank Beneath Shallow Seas. Shells-Skeletons of Oysters Crinoids, Ammonites, and Coils Piled On One Another and Compacted Together to Form Petrified Remains Which is Limestone.
    • Younger Than Kimmeridgian Period.
    • Hard, Resistant to Weathering.
    • Lower In Clay.
    • ~Etymology~ Portland Refers to the Named of a Island In the English Channel Where the Limestone Formation Begins.


  • Formed During Mesozoic Period,150 Million Years Old.
    • Older Than Portandian…150- 157 Million Years Old.
    • Higher In Clay and Limestone(Exogyra Virgula/ Small Oyster Fossils)
    • Softer Limestone, More Breakable.
    • ~Etymology~ Kimmeridge Refers to the Named of a Village In Dorest, England Where the Limestone Formation Begins.
  •  Kimmeridgian Crescent- Contiguous-Limestone Basin
    • Crescent That Runs From Southern England, The White Cliffs of Dover Through France.(Burgundy to Sancerre)
    • Calcareous Clay, Marine Fossilized Shells, Chalky, Light Clay Marl


ARENACEOUS Containing or Made of Sand or Sandlike Particles.

  • Clay Sedimentary(Arenaceous)     @St. Emillon AOC., France
    • Qualities…Brings +Porosity -Permeability to the Soil’
      • Brings Color Bouquet and Texture(Fine Grain/Heavy Texture) to the Wine.
  • Gore Sedimentary(Arenaceous)     @St. Joseph AOC., France
    • Qualities
  • Loam  Sedimentary(Arenaceous)      @Rutherford AVA., Califronia
    • Qualities… Generic Term For Sand, Silt & Clay
    • 3 Sub-Classifications…Gravely Loam, Sandy Loam and Silty Loam
  • Sand  Sedimentary(Arenaceous)      @Kitterle
    • Qualities…Grains of Sand, +Permeability, Retains Heat
  • Silt  Sedimentary(Arenaceous)     @Columbia Valley, Washington
    • Qualities…Fine Sand, Clay, or Material Carried by Running Water and Deposited.
    • Sand is Heavier Than Silt and Clay…Silt is Heavier Than Clay

ARGILLACEOUS Containing or Made of Clay or Clay Mineral.

  • Greywacke Sedimentary(Argillaceous)      @Marlborough, New Zealand
    • Formation…Formed In Submarine Shelves and Trenches
    • Qualities…Hard, Sandstone
  • Marl Sedimentary(Argillaceous)       @
    • Formation…Non Consolidated Rock/ Soil of Limestone, Clay, Calcium, Magnesium
    • Qualities
  • Molasse Sedimentary     @St.-Emillon AOC., France
    • Qualities…Sub-Soil Consisting of Soft Rock Mixed With Clay
  • Shale Sedimentary(Argillaceous)      @Finger Lakes, Montalcino
    • Formation
    • Qualities… Layers of Clay-Like, Fine-Grained +Heat, AKA=Galestro, Mudstone

CALCAREOUS Containing Limestone, Chalk, Calcium Carbonates.

    • Formation
    • Qualities…Low Temperature, +Water Retention, +Drainage
  • Albariza Sedimentary(Calcareous)      @Jerez, Spain
    • Formation…Diatomaceous Deposits
    • Qualities…Dry Top-Soil, +Permeability
  • Argovian Marl Sedimentary(Calcareous)     @Cote de Beaune, France
    • Formation
    • Qualities
  • Aubuis Sedimentary(Calcareous)     @Touraine, France
    • Formation
    • Qualities
  • Boulbenes Sedimentary(Calcareous)     @Grave, Bordeaux, France
    • Qualities…Mix of Sand, Gravel, Light Clay
  • Caillottes Sedimentary(Calcareous)     @Loire Valley, France
    • Qualities…Small Limestone Pieces, Flint
  • Chalk Sedimentary(Calcareous)      @Champagne, France
    • Formation…Fossilized Shells, Limestone
    • Qualities… +Porosity
  • Diatomite Sedimentary(Calcareous)      @Sta. Rita Hills AVA., California
    • Formation…Compressed Fossils of Algae and Other Creatures, a Limestone But One of Fossilized Algae
    • Qualities… AKA= Diatomaceous Earth
  • Dolomite Sedimentary(Calcareous)     @Alto Adige, Italy
    • Formation
    • Qualities
  • Entroquese Sedimentary(Calcareous)     @Montagny AOC.
    • Formation
    • Qualities
  • Limestone Sedimentary(Calcareous)      
    • Geography- Cote d’Ore(Burgundy), Jerez(Andalucia), Adalaide(Paso Robles)
    • Formation…Fossilized Shells, Plankton, Calcium Carbonate
    • Qualities…Calcium From Limestone Helps Raise PH. In Grapes/ Wine, AKA= Albariza, Kimmeridgian
  • Marl Sedimentary(Calcareous)      @
    • Formation…Fossilized Shells
    • Qualities… Clay, Calcium, Magnesium Carbonates, +Acid
  • Ponca Sedimentary(Calcareous)      @Fruili, Italy
    • FormationCompacted Marl, Sandstone and Marine Fossils Once In Adriatic Sea)
    • Qualities… High PH. and Water-Draining
  • Portlandia Sedimentary(Calcareous)       @France
    • Formation
    • Qualities… Chalk, Lime
    • ~Etymology~ Portland  Refers to the Named of a Island In the English Channel Where the Limestone Formation Begins.
  • Safres Sedimentary(Calcareous)      @Rhone Valley, France
    • Formation
    • Qualities
  • Silex Sedimentary (Calcareous)      @Sancerre, France 
    • Formation… Accumulation of Algae.
    • QualitiesAKA=Flint, Chert
  • Terra Rossa Sedimentary(Calcareous)      @Coonawarra, Istria, La Mancha
    • Formation…Type of Red Clay Produced by the Weathering of Limestone Over Thousands of Years and Colored by Iron Oxide
    • Qualities…+Calcium, Free Iron Oxide, +Porosity
  • Tuffeau Sedimentary(Calcareous)      @Sancerre, France
    • Formation…Fossilized Limestone, Marine Organisms, Sand
    • Qualities

SILICEOUS Containing or Made of Silica or of a Crystalline Nature.

  • Boulbenes Sedimentary(Siliceous)      
    • Geography- Entre-Deux-Mers(Bordeaux)
    • Qualities… Easily Compressed
  • Chert Sedimentary(Siliceous)      @England
    • Qualities…Microcrystalline/ Chalcedony, Quartz Found Layered In Limestone
  • Flint Sedimentary(Siliceous)     @Fouilly-Fume, France
    • Qualities…+Heat
  • Gravel Sedimentary(Siliceous)      
    • Geography- St. Julien AOC.(Bordeaux)
    • Qualities…+Permeability, Reflective, +Heat, -Yield
  • Langier Loam  Sedimentary(Siliceous)     @Alexander Valley AVA., California
    • Qualities
  • Loam Sedimentary(Siliceous)     @
    • Qualities…Crumbly Mix of Clay, Sand, Silt
  • Loess Sedimentary(Calcareous)      
    • Geography- Loess Hills AVA.(Iowa), Pfalz(Germany), Walla Walla AVA.(Washington), Wagram/ Wachau(Austria), Tokaj(Hungary)
    • Qualities… Wind Blown Deposits of Sand, Clay, and Silt
      • Loess Has Moisture-Holding Capacity and Permeability.
      • Fragipan– Compact Loess
  • Quarts Sedimentary(Siliceous)     @Guadalupe Valley, Mexico
    • Qualities…Silicon Dioxide, +Permeability, +PH.

CARBONACEOUS Anaerobic Decomposition of Rotting Vegetation.

  • Anthracite Sedimentary(Carbonaceous)     @
    • Qualities
  • Coal Sedimentary(Carbonaceous)      @
    • Qualities
  • Lignite Sedimentary(Carbonaceous)     @Champagne, France
    • Qualities… +Heat, +Yields
  • Peat Sedimentary(Carbonaceous)      @
    • Qualities

**Refer to BIBLIOGRAPHY/ Sources For Details On Scholarly Works Referenced.