Next to climate and grape variety, one of the most important factors influencing wine quality. The different soil types have developed over millions of years through physical and chemical weathering of rocks as well as through humification of organic matter. In physical weathering, natural forces such as wind, water, heat, cold and ice initially cause the mechanical disintegration of the rock formations into clods and gravel. Strong temperature contrasts, frictional and shear forces as well as frost blasting by frozen water in rock crevices play an important role. Chemical weathering processes such as oxidation, dissolution processes and acid attacks attack the mineral lattice structure of the rocks. In the process, easily water-soluble minerals such as carbonates and sulphates are dissolved first, and the rock slowly decomposes into grit, sand, silt or clay. Every rock, even the hardest granite or quartz, will eventually crumble to dust, even if it takes many millions of years.