About Us


Cooden Cellars

Cooden Cellars independent wine merchants was established as a partnership between Colin Barnes and Ian Jarman in 1997. In May 2001 we opened our retail shop in the Grand Hotel Buildings, Compton Street, Eastbourne.

We aim to provide an extensive range of fine wines of character and distinction, the vast majority of which will not be found in supermarkets or other High Street outlets locally. We personally taste and select all our wines before offering them for sale - which accounts for the collection of corks in the shop window! We have extensive knowledge of the wines, including the vineyards where the wines come from and the producers who make them. We look for quality, character, typicity and a natural expression of the grapes used in the wines. This leads us to focus on wines which are the products of great care and attention both in the raising of the vines and in mainly non-interventionist approaches in the winery. Often this leads us to appreciate wines from old vines or organic vineyards and those which have been filtered lightly or not at all, or even produced biodynamically. Above all we look for wines which have been made with love, respect and dedication. 

Many of our wines in the shop carry brief information or tasting notes, often from independent sources, and sometimes we try to relay an anecdote or two to make the notes amusing as well as interesting. We are more than happy for you to spend time browsing our shelves without any obligation to buy. We hope the convivial atmosphere - with seats and a little background music - will encourage you to pop in and spend some time with us. We have an extensive collection of reference books and journals, including Wine Spectator and Robert Parker's Wine Advocate. And we are always on hand to help with advice or suggestions or to answer any questions you may have or to research wines/producers you may have a particular interest in - we have an internet connection so often we can do this immediately in the shop whilst you are there. On Saturdays we always have a few bottles open for you to taste.

We also carry a number of quality wine accessories and gifts and an unrivalled range of presentation boxes and bottle carriers which are all on display in the shop. 


Colin Barnes

Colin has been a wine merchant for over 10 years and runner up for two prestigious wine awards (Wine Merchant of the Year 1996 (London Evening Standard) and Australian Wine Merchant of the Year 1995/96 (International Wine Challenge)) and has appeared on several radio shows. "We are about quality service and the enjoyment of wine", says Colin. "We're really pleased to be here behind the Grand in Eastbourne, and hope we can make a unique difference to people's shopping experience."

Ian Jarman

Ian has run his own company for six years, specialising in French wines, and holds a Diploma from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust. "We've had a good initial reaction to our shop and our wines, but we want to build on this and continue to add to peoples' awareness and enjoyment of wine. We want to work towards making Eastbourne in general, and Cooden Cellars in particular, the destination for wine lovers."

Wine Merchant of the Year
2003, 2004 & 2005;
Small Independent Merchant of the Year 2005

We are very proud to have been selected as Regional Wine Merchant of the Year in the IWC Awards for the last three years, in 2003 and 2004 as runner-up and in 2005 outright. The apogee for us was to be the receivers of the Small Independent Merchant of the Year, 2005 as well.

This is especially rewarding not only as it is judged by our peers in the trade but also because we are still a young company with ideas for the future in which we do not intend to rest on our laurels. We thank all those who have helped us in this endeavour, including, of course, our customers and suppliers.

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drink wisely to enjoy more - - -

Cooden Cellars 2006 

 Last updated:03 May 2006

Cooden Cellars, 14 Grand Hotel Buildings, Compton Street, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN21 4EJ
Tel/Fax: 01323 649663