As for its geographical and cultural situation, Hungary is in the very heart of Europe and vines have been grown here since Roman times. Wine has remained at the core of Hungarian culture throughout the last almost 2000 years. Hungary is a small land locked nation, almost divided into two by the River Danube. It’s located on about the same latitude as Burgundy, but has a more continental climate with baking summers, long sunny autumns and bitterly cold winters. The climate is particularly suited to aromatic and fresh whites in the north, while reds are better in the south. The soils vary considerably and there are twenty two distinct wine regions defined.
Lake Balaton itself is the largest lake in middle Europe and acts as an enormous storage heater. The gentle slopes of the surrounding hills are ideal for vineyards, while the lake-shore itself is a popular holiday destination.
Balatonboglár Winery (BB Zrt.) producing Chapel Hill wines was founded in 1956, and is the leading producer in the Balatonboglár wine region. This is one of the most beautiful areas lying along the south shore of the lake itself. The gentle hills of volcanic tuff, overlaid with loess and sandy topsoil, are ideal for vines, while sunlight glinting off the water helps to ensure the grapes are superbly ripe.
Our winery has long-term contracts with local grape producers. Thus, we have access to grapes from over 2,500 hectares of vineyards. The winery works closely with growers to make sure that quality is up to standard.
The name Chapel Hill name comes from a small volcanic hill near the city of Balatonboglár. On its summit stand two Chapels, one red and one blue. Both were built in the 19th century to commemorate the end of the Turkish occupation. Archaeological research indicates that there had been a church on the hill since the Middle Ages, probably first built as early as the 12th century. Its foundations and ruins have recently been unearthed and are now open to the public.
The Chapel Hill brand was started from nothing in the late 1980’s specially first for the Canadian, then for the British market and has grown to several million bottles annually, with exports to countries like Sweden, the UK, Estonia, Latvia, Finland, Norway etc.
After the privatisation of the Balatonboglár Winery in 1996, we have invested in projects to enhance the winery, such as the over $1 million spent on a new press house with the latest technology, and further gleaming stainless steel tanks and new barriques. Balatonboglár was among the first wineries in Hungary to gain ISO 9001 certification - evidence of our total commitment to quality, and the winery was later audited by BRC and IFS as well.