The UK is a major export market for Benguela Cove wines, with distribution through Mannings Heath Golf and Wine Estate in the county of West Sussex, an hour’s drive south of London.
Wine and hospitality entrepreneur Penny Streeter OBE, owner of Benguela Cove since 2013, bought the 202 hectares golf club in 2017 and converted it into the UK’s first golf and wine estate. She says:
“With Benguela Cove we have created a new wine tourist destination as well as great wines. I wanted to take the concept to the UK – a day out for the family, with wonderful wines and hospitality. British tourists love the wine farm experience in South Africa and I knew that there would be a demand in the UK for something similar.”
Penny’s vision for Mannings combined classic English period charm of the estate and countryside with wine-related hospitality and live entertainment. With Johann Fourie, she created the UK’s first golf and wine estate, converting one of the two 18-hole golf courses into a 9-hole, and planting a 15 hectares vineyard in the reclaimed land. Today, visitors can experience a vineyard tour by golf buggy and then wine tastings of Benguela Cove wines while viewing the 72,000 vines that are under cultivation; the first harvest was in October 2020.
Returning to the period golf clubhouse, guests can enjoy a further wine tasting on the terrace – or a pairing with artisan cheeses or handmade chocolates – with views over the landscaped international Waterfall golf course. This is followed by lunch in the restaurant, the Vineyard Kitchen. There is a programme of events throughout the year, including fireworks festivals, a Christmas fair and South African-style braais on the terraces.
“Many of our UK golf members have visited Benguela Cove and explored the wine route, and we hope that our visitors from Hermanus and Western Cape will come to Mannings Heath in Sussex in the British spring or summer in 2021.