36 Meads St,
Providing wines and beers of the highest quality mainly on a wholesale basis.
Steve Hodden opened Artisvin in Meads Street in July 2013. He had been researching the area and when a former off license came on to the market he saw it as an opportunity to create something far more discerning.
‘Our core business is wholesale, but obviously we do have a fair amount of passing trade. At first people were coming in to buy single bottles, perhaps on their way to a party, but now the main bulk of our retail customers buy by the case. Our mixed cases are particularly popular as people are beginning to realise that there are some wonderful wines available at reasonable prices which bear no relation to those sold in supermarkets.’
Artisvin has a very special atmosphere with its subdued lighting, shelving formed by wooden wine cases and of course, the gleaming bottles, row upon row with their handsome labels. Steve looks very much at home and when I asked him how he came into the wine trade he gave the surprising reply: ‘I accidently owned a vineyard.’ Intrigued, I asked him to explain. ‘I used to work in property and when the company I worked for was handling the sale of a farm near Bodium with a vineyard attached, I became interested in the idea of taking it on and I went into partnership with a colleague. It was a complete career change for me. I enrolled at Brighton University to study viticulture and wine making. As I learned more about wine I gravitated towards the trade aspects, eventually setting up as a wine merchant.’
Steve remains pleased with his decision to base his company in Meads Village. ‘It really is quite unique and this is something that we should all appreciate and be passionate about. It has the potential to become a destination shopping experience and there are certainly signs that this is beginning to happen.’