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Andrew Alden

The Winery on the Fault

By December 3, 2009

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winery on a faultCalifornia is full of wineries and faults, but only one active winery sits on an active fault.* Last weekend's Wall Street Journal visited the DeRose Winery and posted photos and a video to go with the story. The winery is in the Cienega Valley in the creeping section of the San Andreas fault. Continual slow movement on the fault steadily crumples the winery building, making the place a magnet for geologists, wine-loving and otherwise.

There was once another winery in the same situation—the Gallegos winery building straddles the Hayward fault, but only its ruins remain today. The US Geological Survey maintains an instrument package there, and the transit agency BART plans a facility there some day.

*Terry Wright reminds me that Savannah-Chanelle Vineyards in Saratoga occupies land that straddles the San Andreas fault; he says that "the winery building is tweaked by stress." That's not the same thing as being torn apart by aseismic creep, but maybe it still counts.

More:
Tour the San Andreas fault's creeping section
About the San Andreas fault
About the Hayward fault
Geology-related wine labels Gallegos Winery site — Geology Guide photo

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