Vineyard owner speaks out over plans for new winery and restaurant near Horsham

A leading businesswoman has spoken out over plans to build a new winery, restaurant and ‘tasting room’ at her vineyard near Horsham.

Wednesday, 22nd January 2020, 5:00 pm
Updated Wednesday, 22nd January 2020, 5:15 pm

Proposals have been put forward to site the new development on the 500-acre Mannings Heath Golf Club and Wine Estate off Hammerpond Road.

Owner Penny Streeter, who also owns Leonardslee Lakes and Gardens at Lower Beeding and is CEO of a leading South African wine and hospitality group, expects the Mannnings Heath vineyard to produce around 75,000 bottles of sparking wine a year.

The first crop is due this year with the first wine due to be released in 2023.

An artist's impression of the new winery planned for the Mannings Heath Golf Club and Wine Estate SUS-200122-165619001

Penny 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, barbecues 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 winery at Mannings Heath is also needed for processing grapes produced on Penny’s other estate three miles away at Leonardslee Gardens, which she 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.

Planning permission is currently being sought from Horsham District Council for the new Mannings estate buildings which would be in a ‘Cape Dutch’ style of architecture similar to those of wine farms in South Africa’s Western Cape.