CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Sussex Life today CLICK HERE

South Downs Cellars in Hurstpierpoint and Lindfield

PUBLISHED: 11:55 24 March 2016 | UPDATED: 15:29 24 March 2016

South Downs Cellars

South Downs Cellars

Archant

Jilly Goolden explores a treasure trove of a wine shop with outlets in Hurstpierpoint and Lindfield

Since I’ve begun seeking out the most individual independent wine shops in Sussex for you, my eyes have been opened to the delights and idiosyncrasies found hidden in these quirky, individual shops and permeating the wine racks. It was the biography of the owner of South Downs Cellars in Hurstpierpoint and Lindfield that lured me to her first shop. Lucy Driver has a passion for horses, wine and cats, immersed herself in the wine business while teaching English in France, came back to the UK and worked in Brighton and Tunbridge Wells before diving in at the deep end and creating her own wine shop slap in the middle of Hurstpierpoint.

It had been a second-hand clothes shop, so Lucy was empowered to change absolutely everything and create her ideal wine treasure trove, which she lives above. When I was a child I started a ‘thematic’ stamp collection, choosing stamps with beautiful pictures from around the world and grouping them together. And Lucy seems to have used the same technique when sourcing and arranging her wines. The most beautiful, evocative labels, liberally illustrated with images of animals and birds, weave through her collection. Her best-selling wine range is from Albourne, a newish Sussex vineyard down the road, the labels illustrated with wildlife found in the vineyard.

It’s a very personal shop; people trust Lucy and come to her with their menu for the evening to ask advice. And they come with empty flagons to fill with one of the two craft beers she offers on tap. And increasingly they come to discover intriguing gins. Gin is so fashionable that the shop sold as much gin last year as in the previous ten combined. Top choice is Blackdown (distilled near Petersfield) at £28.99, followed by Brighton at £41.99. Customers also loyally flock to her regular wine tastings in the tiny shop, sleuthing out new finds.

The sister branch is in Lindfield; whereas Hurstpierpoint is vigilantly managed by Lucy, a self-confessed traditionalist whose passion is for European wines (white Burgundy being her main love), Lindfield customers demand more wines from the New World. “The shop used to be a branch of Threshers,” Lucy explains wistfully “and the legacy of a high demand for New World wines lives on.”

Almost all the walls in the original shop are lined with wine racks, but squeezed in above the counter there are impressive awards for Regional Wine Merchant, Independent Retailer of the Year and runner up Small Independent Wine Retailer, all earned in 2015. She is obviously doing a lot of things right. And I can vouch for the absolute deliciousness of one wine – her own English sparkler, South Downs Bin 2 2009, £26.95 (made by Wiston in Washington, West Sussex). It is French in style, elegant and subtle but with the delightful generosity of classic English fruit. She had 2,000 bottles, but stocks are depleting fast, so hurry if you want to try it.

www.jillygoolden.com

READ ON

Eating out in Sussex - best restaurants - Whether you’re looking for fine dining, pub food, a romantic meal for 2 or a taste of something from further afield, eating out in Sussex really has something for everyone. Here’s our guide to the best local restaurants and pubs

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Sussex Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Sussex Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Sussex Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & About

Fri, 14:27

Treat yourself, family and friends to lunch and afternoon tea with a visit to one of these fantastic Sussex tea rooms

Read more
Wed, 11:58

There’s not much more invigorating than a Sunday stroll across our countryside on a crisp winter afternoon. Here we round up some of our favourite Sussex walks to enjoy this winter

Read more
Tue, 11:13

We round up some of the best events and things to do across Sussex this month

Read more
Tue, 11:11

What could be nicer than a sleepy Sunday afternoon in one of our beautiful Sussex pubs? Here are some of our favourites…

Read more
Tue, 11:06

With the South Downs, quaint villages and coastal trails, Sussex is a great place for a walk. Here we round up some of the best

Read more
Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Steeped in history and tradition, this East Sussex town is the perfect place to discover your inner rebel

Read more
Tuesday, November 27, 2018

With late-night shopping, fairs, Christmas markets and plenty of food and drink, we’ve rounded up some of the best festive offerings in Sussex

Read more
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

With views, cosy pubs, endless walks and lively towns and cities, Sussex is the only place to be during the holiday season

Read more
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Not everything is what it seems in the West Sussex town of Petworth as we discover

Read more
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Enjoy the tranquility of Verdley Wood on this circular pub walk

Read more
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Ideally situated for commuting to London and Brighton, this West Sussex town offers the perfect blend of rural and urban living

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Clive Agran’s monthly investigation of Sussex’s hidden past turns homeward as he visits Bodiam, Northiam and Ewhurst Green

Read more
Monday, October 29, 2018

Sheffield Park and Garden near Haywards Heath is a paradise for photographers. Especially during the autumn months…

Read more
Monday, October 29, 2018

The skies of Sussex are sure to be lit up this November with some amazing fireworks and bonfire events taking place across the county

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy


Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Follow us on Twitter


Like us on Facebook


Local Business Directory


Property Search