PLATES TECTONICS Large-Scale Processes Affecting the Structure of the Earths’s Crust. Interaction of Rigid Lithospheric Plates That Move Slowly Over the Underlying Mantle.

  • One Plate Sub-Ducts Under Another Plate Shearing Off a Little of Both Leaving Different Soils and Features of Plates Exposed On Surface. Soils Near Fault Lines are More Diverse. They Allow Drastic Differences In Rock, Dirt and Soils Profiles Often In Area of Vineyards Just Meters Apart.
  • Orogeny- Process of Earths Crust is Folded and Leads to the Current Formation of the Earth Surface.
  • Assemblage- Coming Together of Two Land Masses or Geologic Forces.
  • Formation- Area or Layer of Rock, That’s Distinctive Enough In Appearance That a Geologic Mapper or Wine Nerd Can Tell it Apart From the Surrounding Area.
  • Accretion- Process In Which material is Added to a Tectonic Plate or Landmass by Sliding Over and Scrapping Away Another Plate.


  • FAULT- Break or Fracture In the Ground That Occurs When Earths Tectonic Plates More or Shift
  • FAULT-LINE- A Line On a Earths Surface or Ground That Traces a Geographic Fault.
    Not All Fault-Lines are the Same, Faults Can be Active or Inactive, They Can Differ by Length, Width and Depth.
  • TRANSVERSE VALLEY- Valley That Runs Perpendicular, West to East to the General Strike of the Underlying Strata Which it Usually Runs North to South.
    • Santa Ynez Valley AVA.   @Central Coast, California
    • Santa Maria Valley AVA.   @Central Coast, California
    • Anderson Valley AVA.    @Mendocino, California
    • High Valley AVA.   @Lake County, California
    • Coquimbo Valley    @Chile                       
    • Atacama Valley    @Chile
    • Columbia River Gorge AVA.   @Washington/ Oregon
  • ANTICLINES & SYNCLINES- Series of Folds and Bends That Define a Region.
    • Anticlines Folds In Earth In Which Each Half of the Fold Dips Away From the Crest or Hight Point. (Opposite of Syncline)
    • Synclines Folds In Earth In Which Each Half of the Fold Dips Upward From the Trough to the Crest or High Point. (Opposite of Anticline)
  • MOUNTAIN- A Large Landform That Stretches In Elevation Above the Surrounding Land In a Limited Area.
  • RIDGE- Landform Feature Characterized by a Continuous Elevation Crest with Sloping Sides.
  • HILL- A Raised Area of Land, Not as High or Craggy as Mountains In the Area.
    • *GenerallyTop Cooler, Windy
      • Middle- Warmer, Poorer Soils.
      • Bottom Richer Soils From Soil Run-Off.
  • FOOTHILLS- Gradual Increase In Elevation at the Base of a Mountain Range.
  • SPUR- A Lateral Ridge or Tongue of Land Descending from a Hill, Mountain or Crest of a Ridge.
  • ESCARPMENTS A Long Steep Slope, Especially One at the Edge of a Plateau or Separating Areas of Land at Different Heights.
    • Up-Lift
    • Slope
  • PLATEU- Area of Highland or Table Top Usually Consisting of Relatively Flat Terrain That has Raised Significantly Above Surrounding Area.
  • VALLEY- A Low Area of Land Between Hills or Mountains Typically With a River or Stream Flowing Through it.
  • BOWL- Some of the Best Vineyards In the World Are Bowl Shaped.
  • LANDSLIDE- Movement/ Sliding Down of a Mass of Earth, Debris, or Rock From a Mountain or Cliff. They Result from the Failure of the Materials Which Make Up the Hill Slope and the Effects of Landslides are Driven by the Forces of Gravity.
  • AMPHITHEATER- Shape of Vineyard Which is Advantageous to Ripening Grapes In Cooler Climate Areas.
    • Sun Trap- Benefits of Amphitheater Shape Which Traps In Warmth of Sun.
  • TERRACES- Created When a Vineyard Site is Too Steep to Hold Vines.
    • Digging Into Mountain to Reform Into a Series of Horizontal Steps Between Rows. Constructed by Hand or With Help of Machine These Terraces Combine Advantages of Aspect of Slope With Depth of Soil. Terraced Vineyards Both Decrease Erosion and Surface Runoff.
      VITICULTUREBENEFITS– Over Exposure to the Sun
    • Duoro Valley     @Portugal
    • Mosel Valley     @Germany
    • Cote Brune/ Cote Rotie     @France
    • Ammerschwihr     @Alsace
    • Rangen      @Alsace
    • Laud      @Switzerland
    • Wachau     @Austria
    • Cinque Terre    @Liguria, Italy


  • **Refer to TERROIR/ Metamorphic Soils For List of Metamorphic Soils.

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