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The geomorphology, soils, and climate of Columbia Basin vineyards are the result of a complex and dynamic geologic history that includes the Earth's youngest flood basalts, an active fold belt, and repeated cataclysmic flooding. Miocene basalt of the Columbia River Basalt Group forms the bedrock for most vineyards. The basalt has been folded by north-south compression, creating the Yakima fold belt, a series of relatively tight anticlines separated by broad synclines. Topography related to these structures has strongly influenced the boundaries of many of the Columbia Basin's American Viticultural Areas (AVAs). Water gaps in the anticlinal ridges of the...

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