Mannings Heath Golf and Wine Estate has proposed plans to build a winery, tasting room and restaurant on the 500-acre site.
The new building will be needed for the production and storage of wine produced from 150 tons of grapes grown annually at the estate’s vineyard.
Entrepreneur Penny Streeter OBE, CEO of the Benguela Collection wine and hospitality group, acquired the golf club in 2016 and in the following year planted a 37-acre vineyard. Total production is projected at 75,000 bottles of sparkling wine annually: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier. The first crop is due in 2020, with the release of wine in 2023.
Penny Streeter said: “We have created a unique wine destination at Mannings, with wine-themed events and food pairings throughout the year, and the recently opened Vineyard Kitchen restaurant. There are golf buggy tours of the vineyard, barbeques on the terraces, and 18 and a 9-hole golf courses.
“The new building we are planning is essential to house the equipment required for the pressing of grapes and fermentation, bottling and storage of wine. It would also include a 120 seat restaurant and wine tasting room to create a special visitor experience, combining art, cuisine and wine, with beautiful views over the golf course.”
The new buildings would be in a ‘Cape Dutch’ style of architecture similar to the design of wine farms in South Africa’s Western Cape. The group has an award-winning vineyard on the Hermanus Wine Route in the Walker Bay region. The Benguela Cove Lagoon Wine Estate is a major tourist attraction in the region, with its oceanside location and nature reserve, as well as a restaurant, art gallery and Pirate Adventure Golf.
The winery at Mannings Heath is also needed for processing grapes produced on another estate three miles away at Leonardslee Lakes and Gardens, which the Benguela Collection acquired in 2017. It is home to a small, experimental Pinotage vineyard that the group’s winemaker, Johann Fourie, is using to evaluate growing conditions in Sussex for a grape that is usually seen as South Africa’s signature variety.