BB's history dates back to the 1950’s when fruit plantations and vineyards producing dessert grapes were started to be planted in areas with favourable natural endowments south of Lake Balaton in order to supply the prospering tourism in the region. Balatonboglár, due to the participation of acknowledged Hungarian experts with international experience, soon became a distinguished research and economic centre for the production of grafts, the cultivation of grapes and later wine-growing as well.
Balatonboglár State Farm was established in 1956 by merging several smaller farms. In Hungary, grape propagating materials were produced and related experiments were conducted in the largest area here, moreover, this State Farm was remarkable even on an international scale.
Following the examples of foreign countries, Lenz-Moser-type wide-row cultivation was tested during the 1960’s in the vineyards of Balatonboglár, from where it spread in all over the country. In the beginning, mainly dessert grapes, particularly the cultivar Csabagyöngye, were produced, but other fragrant, Muscat and international varieties were also introduced as a result of the experiments within a short time.
In the early 1970’s Balatonboglár winery considered as modern at that time in Hungary was set, which was capable of processing considerable amounts of grape. The winery’s first marketed wine, Csabagyöngye, won silver medal at the First World Wine Competition organized in Budapest in 1972. Its uniqueness lay in that the original aroma and flavour of the variety produced primarily as a dessert grape were preserved in its wine, making it the forerunner of reductive winemaking in Hungary.
BB has always been keeping an eye on the viticultural technologies applied in the world as well as international trends in wine consumption, thus, the company was and is able to produce wines suiting the demands of both national and international consumers. There were even years when export exceeded domestic sales. Most of the winery’s wines were primarily traded in the areas of the former Soviet Union, the German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany. Among German consumers, similar to those in Hungary, Muscat wine and Muscat sparkling wine were the most popular, in so much as the fruity BB sparkling wine was present at the fall of the Berlin Wall as it is proved by films recorded at that time. Owing to the success of BB products in western markets, nice achievements were made, with the contribution of Pepsi Cola Company, in the export to the United States. By the late 1980’, BB became the largest Hungarian wine exporter to the USA. Referring to these times, BB wines were served at the presidential reception given in the honour of George Bush during his visit to Hungary in 1989. The company still keeps the letter of thanks written by the president.
Balatonboglár Winery can be regarded as an innovator from the aspect of communication with consumers. The first Boglár Harvest Festival was organised in 1976, which has been offering wide range of programs, events ever since then, trying to please the loyal customers of BB wines and sparkling wines.
The production of BB sparkling wines in the winery was started in 1982. BB sparkling wines have become the second best-known and most consumed sparkling wine brand of the country.
Due to the advanced viticultural technology applied and the quality raw materials used, the company Martini commissioned BB in 1982 to perform the Hungarian production of its internationally renowned Vermouths.
As an international recognition of the vinicultural and viticultural activity of many years carried out here, Balatonboglár was awarded with the title “the Town of Grapes and Wine” at the decision of the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) seated in Paris.
In 1993 BB was transformed into a joint stock company, and later, in the course of privatisation, it became a member of an international company group of the same trade, enabling significant technological developments to be completed in the plant. To modernise the reductive technology, in the frame of a 1-million-dollar investment, pneumatic presses were installed which are able to provide gentle grape pressing and as a result, flavours and aroma are preserved best.
Owing to the spirit of experimenting, the permanent improvements and the capability to revive, BB remains to be one of the best-known and most consumed wine and sparkling wine brands in Hungary.