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News Story: Vineyard Harvest Lunch at Leonardslee Lakes and Gardens

Please see the news story below on the Vineyard Harvest Lunch on October 8th, 2022 at Leonardslee Lakes & Gardens. Diners can pick grapes in the morning and find out more about Sussex Wine and winemaking from Barry Anderson, the managing director of the estate’s vineyard operations.

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Patrick Rea
Leonardslee Lakes & Gardens 
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Vineyard Harvest Lunch at Leonardslee Lakes and Gardens 

Leonardslee Lakes and Gardens, near Horsham in West Sussex, is holding a vineyard harvest lunch on October 8th, 2022. Diners can pick grapes in the morning and find out more about Sussex Wine and winemaking from Barry Anderson, the managing director of the estate’s vineyard operations. 

The 37 acres of vines were planted in 2017 and 2018. From 2024, they will produce around 70,000 bottles of sparkling varietals, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.  

The vineyard features a separate three-acre plot, alongside Leonardslee House, that is an experimental planting of Pinotage, where guests can pick grapes and during lunch sample the first of its wines from the 2020 harvest. This is the first commercial planting in the UK of Pinotage, which is typically grown in the warmer climate of South Africa. 

On the evening of October 8th, visitors can also dine at Restaurant Interlude in Leonardslee House to enjoy chef Jean Delport's Michelin Star multi-course tasting menu. Inspired by the woodland gardens, it features ingredients foraged or grown on the estate, or sourced from selected local farms.   

There is also overnight accommodation, which was opened this year and offers guests a luxurious stay in one of ten charming en-suite bedrooms, each individually designed by a prominent British designer. 

The Streeter family, owners of Leonardslee Lakes and Gardens, established the vineyard to develop a wine and hospitality leisure venue that includes 240 acres of the Grade I Listed gardens and parkland, a popular dolls’ house museum, dining, wine tastings and other attractions.  

Penny Streeter OBE says:  

“Our goal was to create a vineyard destination as unique as Benguela Cove Lagoon Wine Estate in South Africa, which we purchased in 2013. Families in South Africa typically go for a great day out or staycation at a beautiful wine farm; we wanted to create a similar attraction here, but with a classic English theme, including our glorious gardens and the Sussex countryside. 

“The designated status of Sussex Wine comes at an ideal time for us, with our vineyards ready to produce delicious sparkling wines in just two years, and our first, limited edition Pinotage available in 2023. As a new English vineyard, we have a big advantage in the vast experience of our winemaker at Benguela Cove, Johann Fourie, working with Barry Anderson to oversee the Sussex project. Johann Fourie has won the top South African wine awards for us in just a few years.” 

Benguela Cove Wine Estate is located in the Walker Bay region of the Western Cape Province, near the beginning of the Hermanus Wine Route. From 170 acres of vines planted in 2004, it produces over 500,000 bottles of Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz, and other varietals each year. 

For more information, please visit the Leonardslee Lakes & Garden website