Mannings Heath Golf Club & Wine Estate in Horsham, West Sussex began planting 38,000 vines today within its 500-acre parkland site to create England’s newest vineyard. The Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier grapes will be ready to make sparkling wine in 2020, with the first bottles available in 2023.
Zimbabwe-born Penny Streeter OBE is a British entrepreneur who bought the Mannings Heath site in 2016 to develop the UK’s first golf and wine estate, with tastings and pairings:
“We are recreating a South African-style wine tourism experience, where people can enjoy a day out in a beautiful parkland estate, with fine wines, good food and an entertaining events programme.”
The venue is a showcase for the owner’s wines from Benguela Cove Wine Estate in South Africa, which is a leading producer and wine destination at the start of the Hermanus Wine Route in the Walker Bay region.
One of the club’s two 18-hole courses was converted to 9 holes last year, to make space available to cultivate the new vineyard. The 9-hole, 3,314 yards Kingfisher course is a par-36, when played from the white tees, whilst the 2nd hole has expanded from a par 3 to a par 5 - so that the course is challenging for experienced golfers, whilst beginners can enjoy 9 holes in under 2 hours.
Players on the 18-hole championship Waterfall course and the Kingfisher benefit from additional on and off-course facilities. There are also two putting greens, a practice range, indoor teaching facilities and a fully stocked pro shop. The spike bar was recently upgraded and has re-opened as a wine tasting and spike bar facility, to create additional entertaining and post-golf space.
The design of the Waterfall course was influenced by renowned designer Harry Colt. This makes the Waterfall a true test for every golfer and the better players have difficult decisions to make throughout the round, says General Manager Adam Streeter:
“The Waterfall features regularly in the Top 100 Courses in the UK. It benefits from near total seclusion; the tree-lined aspect of the course gives a feeling of complete privacy, rarely found on modern courses. Sited in a valley, it offers some excellent changes in elevation to the tees and greens. Views of the landscaped parkland from holes such as the 13th green are ones to cherish.”
Visitors to Mannings Heath can book wine tastings and food pairings, with chocolate and cheese, as well as lunch, teas and dinner. There are conference and banqueting facilities for corporate events, parties, weddings and other celebrations. Tel: 01403 210 228, or visit: www.manningsheath.com
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