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About South Downs Cellars
South Downs Cellars opened its doors for the first time in August 2003. Our motivation was borne out of a desire to be able to buy quality wines at all price points that were not mass-produced, or available on the majority of the multiple off-licence retailers that dominated the scene at that time. Run only by quality, knowledgeable staff, we have built our business over the years, and now have two shops and a thriving wholesale business. Despite the significant growth in the business, we have stuck to our original principles of only selling high quality wines from the smaller, family-owned vineyards around the world, and are now shipping direct from over 15 different small, privately owned vineyards around Europe.
Meet the team:
Title: Owner and Founder. Vintage: Classified information
Tasting note: Lucy’s wine trade career began in France (Loire then Paris), preceding a London based role for a fine wine broker. Next she moved to work with a wine agency based in Kent; South Downs Cellars then followed, opening its doors in the summer of 2003. Horse, cat and white Burgundy lover, in no particular order (but probably the cats first).
Title: Wholesale Manager. Vintage: 1974
Tasting note: Giles has built up a wealth of previous experience, having worked within the hospitality industry and for several large breweries such as Scottish and Newcastle for nearly 20 years. Ask anyone who knows him; he works tirelessly to ensure his wholesale clients receive the very best service week in week out. He’s also a very good tennis player.
Favourite wine: Arrocal, Bodegas Arrocal, Ribera del Duero, Spain.
Title: Manager, Lindfield Store. Vintage: 1982
Tasting note: James is the manager of the Lindfield store and has accumulated 15 years worth of wine retail and management experience for several independents in the South East as well as some larger chains. He helps to ensure that our range of wines remains broad, eclectic yet commercially focused. Confirmed petrol head, Leeds Utd fan and keen gardener.
Title: Assistant Manager, Lindfield Store. Vintage: 1990
Tasting note: Andrew started his career in the drinks trade as soon as he was old enough. From there he developed, what started as an opportunistic dive for an access point to discounted alcohol, a passion for the craft and art of wine, spirit, & beer creation. Out of work he is to be found gaming, mountain biking, or engaged in heated political discussion.
Favourite wine: First Drop Two Percent Shiraz, Barossa Valley, Australia.
Title: Logistics / Delivery Driver. Vintage: 1964
Tasting note: Steve ensures our wholesale clients receive their orders in good shape and on time. His contribution is vital. He grew up in the wilds of South Africa’s wine country and has spent a career in the sales and service industries. He likes touring on his motorbike and fortunately for everyone concerned really enjoys driving too.
Favourite wine: Merlot Les Gran Noirs, Domaine la Yeuses, Languedoc, France.
Title: Marketing and Events. Vintage: 1980
Tasting note: Hannah is based in our Hurstpierpoint shop. She has worked in fundraising and marketing for over 15 years and is delighted to be transferring her skills to wine having enjoyed many a glass and bottle prior to joining the team. Tennis lover and petrol head she is also a confirmed bookworm and Game of Thrones addict.
Favourite wine: Vina Arana Rioja Reserve, La Rioja Alta, Rioja, Spain.
Title: Resident Blogger. Vintage: NV
Tasting note: Pete, aka the badger, has meandered through the wine trade from England to Asia and back again. Writes about wine, tends to an increasingly volatile garden and enthusiastically creates sometimes tasty though often questionable homebrew.
Favourite wine: Donnhoff Roxheimer Hollenpfad Trocken 2011 is palatable with a couple of ice cubes and a lemonade mixer.