The geology of the Antica Terra vineyard is pretty unusual. In most of the region, vineyards are planted in the relatively deep, geologically young soils left behind by either the Missoula floods or the volcanic events that formed the Cascade and Coast Ranges. Here, the remains of a far older pre-historic seabed rise to the surface, leaving the vines to struggle, without topsoil, atop a fractured mixture of sandstone sown with 40 million-year-old marine fossils.
The first vines were planted here in 1989 in a clearing within the oak savannah, yet today, our oldest vines look like infants. By being planted in a solid sheet of rock, they have become, quite literally, bonsai-ed. Instead of the gnarled trunks and robust canes one expects from vines planted over three decades ago, ours are almost comically undersized.