Matt Manning’s new wine bar Culture officially opens its doors


CULTURE wine bar – a new venture by Matt Manning, chef patron at Grub & Vine / The Chef’s Studio – derives its name from Cape Town’s famous wine culture. The bar – which is adjacent to Manning’s popular bistro Grub & Vine and shares the same address – sees Manning join forces with wine maestro Chris Groenewald, who will head up the project as bar manager.

Culture will house a curated selection of fine wines from the country’s most respected names, cult classics, hidden gems, natural wines, and special imports from across the globe.

Says Manning: “The great thing about wine is that it brings people together. We wanted to offer an inclusive space that is welcoming to people from all walks of life, and of all ages, backgrounds and professions –  who have one thing in common; they appreciate good wine.

“We want to inspire our customers to explore varietals or styles that they may not be familiar with, and possibly discover something new that they love.”

Given that Culture will share a kitchen with Grub & Vine, patrons can also look forward to a bar menu that features a far more exciting offering than the obligatory salted peanuts.

“The menu will change regularly, and will feature satiating snacks such as a Richard Bosman charcuterie, artisanal cheese, pork pies and more,” says Manning, adding that “Culture will follow the same ethos as that of our bistro: simple, honest and delicious fare that works beautifully with wine.”

Housed in a 200-year old heritage building with yellowwood floors and an exposed brick wall that extends down one side of the space, Culture’s elegant interiors are the work of Monya Eastman of Stokperd.

Manning explains that he wanted the space to feel warm and welcoming, as well as both modern and timeless. This was achieved through a contemporary rust and ink colour palette, gold accents and a floral feature framing the arched window, while the semi-circular marble-topped bar and leather booths add curves to the long rectangular room.

Walk up the stairs, past the ornamental cactus leaves lining the walls, and just above the bar you’ll find the Wine Library; a hub for winemakers, reps and enthusiasts alike. “For a monthly fee, wine farms will have access to a conveniently central hub where they will be able to store stock in a temperature-controlled facility, host tastings, network and more,” elaborates Manning.

Culture wine bar and the Wine Library join Manning’s other offerings located at the same address: interactive cooking space The Chef’s Studio, Grub & Vine bistro, and private dining room, The Green Room. Manning says with both Culture and the Wine Library, he wanted to invest in something that would complement what he was doing from a culinary perspective, as “food and wine will always be the perfect marriage.

“Each acts as a standalone offering with its own identity, but is also in harmony with the others. While the challenges this year has brought with it have been tough, it has also inspired us to innovate, so that we can now offer a number of unique experiences to our guests all under one roof – creating a food and wine destination,” he concludes.


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