Geology As Destiny
It has been said that geography is destiny. The places where we live shape our economic, social, cultural and natural environment. If this is true, then what underlies all geography must also be of immense importance.
That makes geology the foundation upon which our world is built. It literally undergirds everything civilization is built upon. One of the best places to grasp geology’s influence on a place is along the northern shore of Lake Balaton at Badacsony.
Here the 437 meter high (1,433 feet) Badascony Mountain looms above the village and vineyards which stretch all the way down to the water of Balaton. Along its slopes, the rich residue of volcanos from five million years ago washes downward.
These extremely fertile soils are part of a magnificent microclimate. The interplay of earth, air and water at Badscony has created to one of the great wine growing regions in Hungary.Most famously, Kéknyelű (Blue Stem) grapes are raised in this area.
This is the only place in the world where this white Hungarian grape is cultivated. Even so, because Kéknyelű vines need just the right conditions to thrive and take up twice the amount of land as other varieties of grape, many vintners have reduced or altogether given up cultivation of Kéknyelű.
Fortunately there is still enough of this rare grape being grown. A bottle of this robust, smoky wine can be procured with ease in the village. It is not just the economic imperative which threatens the cultivation of Kéknyelű.
Climate change looms ever larger in areas that rely on micro climates for their livelihood. The slightest change in temperature or precipitation levels could lead to disastrous consequences threatening this fertile land.
Considering that wine cultivation has occurred here since Roman times – almost two thousand years ago – the idea that it could possibly be threatened is enough to get the attention of the most hardened skeptics.
The interplay of the earth with atmospheric conditions could give rise to new upheavals, leading to yet another evolution of the land. What the future holds for this landscape is a question we may soon get the answer to. Geology is truly destiny at Badacsony.
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