The next Drunk on Geology is for Rockpile Zinfandel from Mauritson Wines.
"delimited grape-growing region with specific geographic or climatic features that distinguish it from the surrounding regions and affect how grapes are grown."
|Geological map of the Rockpile AVA. Map obtained from the NGMDB.|
|Diagram of the subduction zone that was formerly off the western California coast. Image courtesy of the NPS.|
|Extent of the Franciscan Complex in California. Image courtesy of Raymond, 2019.|
"An old term, now generally applied to a dark gray firmly indurated coarse-grained sandstone that consists of poorly sorted angular to subangular grains of quartz and feldspar, with a variety of dark rock and mineral fragments, embedded in a compact clayey matrix having the general composition of slate and containing an abundance of very fine-grained illite, sericite, and chloritic minerals. Graywacke commonly exhibits graded bedding and is believed to have been deposited by submarine turbidity currents.
"In 1868 our family established a homestead in the Rockpile area of Northern Sonoma County. The first vines were planted in 1884, starting a tradition of farming that has spanned six generations. Today we craft small production, single vineyard wines that showcase the diversity of Rockpile's rugged terrain. From our vineyards to your glass we thank toy for sharing this tradition" - The Mauritson Family
According to the USGS:
"The sedimentary model suggests that blocks (olistoliths) were transported into the depositional environment of the matrix material by gravity driven debris slides. The trench associated with the subduction zone provides an area of suitably steep slope for this theory and the converging plates bring the displaced terranes into proximity of the continental margin mélange matrix. The resulting olistostrome then underwent the deformation described above, disrupting the original depositional character of the matrix/block relationships. The tectonic model suggests that primary incorporation of blocks into mélange was by tectonic processes. During and after accretion, lenses of rock derived from incoming exotic terranes were interleaved with continental margin deposits by faulting. Subsequent deformation during uplift further broke up the lenses of exotic rocks, forming the mélange blocks observed today."
So in summary, the rocks within the Rockpile AVA were formed from submarine landslides that eventually got scraped off the sea floor and jumbled together within the western edge of the North American continent.