Bibendum has had exclusive distribution rights for the winery in the on-trade, and now the group’s off-trade arm PLB will distribute the brand across the UK retail market from August 1.
The Hilltop winery is built into a hill overlooking the Danube to the north west of Budapest and was founded in 1990 by Éva Keresztury, Imre Török, Judit Storcz and Ákos Kamocsay, who still run the estate.
In 1993 they bought the cellars in Neszmély, followed by another in Császár, developed a winery and planted 550ha of vineyards. Today Hilltop is said to produce “youthful and fruit-driven wines alongside concentrated and un-oaked premium styles, all of them estate bottled”.
PLB said Hilltop is the largest Hungarian producer of bottled wine exported to the UK. It will take on all the exclusive and own-label Hungarian business that Hilltop currently does with Marks & Spencer, Waitrose, Morrisons, Asda and Co-Op, as well as Hilltop branded ranges.
Paul Meihuizen, buyer for Bibendum PLB, said: “The Hilltop wines are a great addition to PLB’s Hungarian portfolio. Hilltop produces wines from both indigenous and international grape varieties and has a house style that appeals to the UK palate.
“The Hilltop philosophy requires that each wine delivers superb purity of flavour and the classic character of the grape from which it is made and this results in wines that are very popular with the UK wine drinking consumer.”
John Osborne, managing director of PLB, added: “Adding the Hilltop range to our already strong Hungarian offering will help position PLB as the go to supplier for Hungarian wine in the UK off-trade. Hungarian wines have been growing in popularity in the UK due to refreshing, fruity flavour profiles and reasonable price tags so expanding our range of wines from this region will allow us to meet increasing demand.”