Tuku Māori Winemakers Collective

nzwine.com | 26 Apr 2019

Tuku is the world’s first Māori Winemakers Collective, bringing together awarded Māori wine companies based on their shared values of land, family and hospitality.

TUKU Māori Winemakers Collective
TUKU Māori Winemakers Collective

The collective is made up of majority Māori-owned, NZ-owned wine companies: Kuru Kuru, Ostler, Steve Bird, te Pā and Tiki Wines, offering a wide range of premium varietals from the most famous wine-growing regions of Aotearoa.

The name Tuku comes from the Māori art of Tukutuku weavings, which are decorative wall panels. These panels were lashed or stitched together by people working in pairs from either side, passing the stalks back and forth. The members all share the same values of the land, family and hospitality and by working together, hope to strengthen indigenous winemaking as a whole. There are very few companies that work collectively in this industry that will share ideas, share market resources and share a meal together.

The Tuku collective is united by a common ethos to winemaking, business and life. At the heart are the Māori values of:

KAITIAKITANGA – guardianship of the land and people
Like the majority of New Zealand winemakers, TUKU is all certified sustainable, but they take it a few steps further than that. The collective is all about family, and they want to ensure that they look after our land and people, to make sure future generations get to experience Aotearoa in the same way we have.

The collective supports several organisations dedicated to Kaitiakitanga. In the vineyards, they use various methods to enrich vineyard soils, such as compost, liquid seaweed, molasses and beneficial bacteria and fungi for ground drenching and lambs to graze in the winter. They have a strong focus on re-using and maximise recycling opportunities wherever possible. They all strive to ensure all their actions have the long-term interest of our land at heart.

WHAKAPAPA – our family, our heritage
Whakapapa links people to all other living things, the earth and the sky, and traces the universe back to its origins. TUKU are all extremely proud of their heritage and where they come from and they have many generations working within the companies. They embrace the past, live in the present and look to the future.

WHĀNAUNGATANGA – a sense of family connection
It is a big part of Maori culture to create a sense of belonging and to embrace people into their whānau. It is important for the collective to create meaningful relationships through shared experiences and by working together. They respect and foster relationships within their organisations, within their iwi and within the community. We may not be born of the same parents, but you are still very much part of our whānau.

MANAAKITANGA – hospitality/generosity
TUKU thrives on this. Wine is a great thing to share with friends and family and that is what TUKU is all about. Enhancing that special moment, showing generosity, sharing a slice of New Zealand and embracing you into our whānau.

Māori business are unique because of our culture, our values and our approach.

TUKU believes the future for Māori businesses is bright and there are already many key Māori businesses on the world stage who contribute greatly to the New Zealand economy.

When you buy from local people and their families, you are enabling growth and success for future generations. When buying TUKU wines, you are supporting indigenous producers who are connected to the land and to their wines.

Wine humour

And, just for some variety, the “Dad Joke” hater has provided me with some insults for inclusion:

“He had delusions of adequacy.” – Walter Kerr
“He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.” – Winston Churchill
“A modest little person, with much to be modest about.” – Winston Churchill
“He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends.” – Oscar Wilde
“He is a self-made man and worships his creator.” – John Bright
“He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up.” – Paul Keating

AGM – Looking back on May

The AGM went well. The supper was well received and having bubbles at the supper was a hit. Good feedback was received about the supper and the wine. Your committee was returned unopposed and unchanged. I am sure that this means you are happy with the way that club activities are running. Just remember, we always welcome feedback and/or suggestions from members, so let us know what you are thinking.

I’m back, Events & subscription renewal

I’m back

You can breathe a sigh of relief. The real Editor is back.

Mind you as I sit here preparing this newsletter it is 4.50 pm yet almost dark, the rain is lashing on the roof and pouring over the side of the spouting outside the door, and the temperature is a balmy 8°, and to top it all off the Golf course was closed because of flooding. Where are the deserts of the UAE when you need them.

Just to answer Wayne’s question from the last month, yes we did have the opportunity to sample a couple of wines while we travelled. The cruise ship did not have a particularly good selection. We had a Grant Burge early in the cruise but it quickly disappeared off the wine list as did a number of others, and the selection became quite limited. We were able to sample a couple of Maltese wines, and two from Spain when we stopped in Barcelona. These were OK without being special. After paying between 9 and 12 $US for a glass (and not a particularly generous one) on the ship, we were probably overwhelmed by the significantly lesser price for bottles purchased onshore.

Events & subscription renewal

It’s that time of year again when we have several issues to deal with associated with the two upcoming tastings and renewal of subscriptions. Attached to the June dinner event you will find an attached payment advice form and the menu from Trade Kitchen.

Please complete the form and bring it to the June tasting or send to Wayne. Note that we are asking that you complete details of your requirements for the July dinner. This will make it easier for the restaurant on the night. And please check out the survey question. Of course, we are also asking you to part with some of your hard earned money but that is sort of normal for us.

See you next week, with another great tasting in store.

Cheers Robin Semmens, Editor

2019 President’s Annual Report

8 May 2019

It is indeed my privilege to present to club members the Cellar Club’s annual report for the year 2018 – 2019.

I want to stress that the club is first and foremost about you.  It is you as active members who make the club as vibrant as it is.  Maintaining membership at a sound level is the key.   Thank you for your support for events and meetings during the year and attending tonight’s AGM.   Our monthly meetings continue to be well attended, in fact the average number of members attending monthly meetings relative to the club’s subscription membership has perhaps never been better.  Total numbers attending tastings again exceeded 300 during this last year (at 9 meetings) but we have noted that guest numbers were a little down and this may need to be addressed if we are looking to build on our membership.

In particular the numbers attending the two club dinners in July and December 2018 were also at a high (the 2 dinners were collectively over 90) and as these dinners are highlight events for members we will continue to prioritise efforts to choose the right venue, creating a chance for you to share good wines with your table and to enjoy some of the first class cuisine that Wellington restaurants do provide.

May I add that this report, rather than being printed, is posted for your interest on the club’s website.

Keeping the membership levels up and ensuring meetings are well attended is a prime objective to ensure the club remains viable and we can sustain the costs that running the club incurs.   You will see from the financial report prepared for the AGM that the club’s finances are in very good shape thanks particularly to the diligence and astute budget management of our long serving treasurer.

These club’s finances and fixed costs are manageable but do require active attention.  Venue hire, licenses for the club website and the council’s liquor requirements, presenter gifts and the costs of the wines are the key points of focus.   With healthy finances we are able to subsidise the annual BBQ and dinners, sustain a club cellar and provide those cellared wines at dinners and the AGM tonight.  We are fortunate that occasionally the wine presenters either heavily discount the wine or are prepared to donate their wines.  This can be unpredictable but where it eventuates we are grateful and it allows the benefits to flow back to members.

This is often a function of the size scale of the wineries or their subsequent response to your level of orders.  It is worth noting that the presenters cover their own travel, visiting and accommodation costs and for some this is substantial.  In those terms I want to thank members most sincerely for their preparedness to order on the night and many of the presenters particularly comment on both their orders and naturally express a willingness to return to the club.  I know that is not always true of some other wine clubs where they have different arrangements and expectations.  Our club’s operating model is not unique, but where other styles of club operations put some pressure on presenters and wineries, our model ensures good relations are maintained with wineries, our financial viability is ensured and door charges and subscriptions remain affordable.

Therefore, the level of support from members suggests the formula may be right but I want to stress that meeting your interests is paramount.  We would want to hear both suggestions for meetings and ideas and options for events that are planned.   Each member of the committee is only too willing to talk with you to seek and explore ideas to ensure the club remains in good heart and is delivering what members want in terms of wine education, quality wine experiences and a good social atmosphere at meetings and amongst members.

As members you have excelled with the help you provide with meeting logistics.  Looking after the glassware, setting the venue hall up and helping stack tables and chairs away, assisting with pouring when requested, being inclusive at tables and helping with distribution of wine orders does ease the pressures involved in meetings and covering the necessary tasks and it is appreciated.

It is pleasing to reflect that the club continues to thrive as Wellington’s pre-eminent wine society established and operating since 1980 expanding from a local suburban focus to a membership residing from across the city, the Hutt Valley to the Kapiti Coast.  Your continuing involvement has ensured this longevity into our 40th year.

The programme over the last year was varied and well received.  We visited Hawkes Bay [Unison Vineyard, Clearview Estate and Askerne Wines], tasted internationally from France [Maison Vauron with cheeses], Portugal [Confidant Wines] and Australia [Yalumba with Negociants], tasted Marlborough [with Villa Maria], looked at quality wines under $25 with Joelle Thomson and dined at Saigon Van, at Juniper and the traditional January BBQ (courtesy of life member Derek Thompson).

My thanks go also to an outstandingly willing committee.  This is a group that is dedicated, reliable and affable.   The portfolios are well shared and the committee’s focus is sustained membership, managing costs, providing publicity and information, and promoting wine education.   It is pleasing for me to note that the current committee members have all expressed a willingness to continue in their involvement.

This is a group notable for their collective efforts and backing each other up.  The committee deals with a plethora of issues, with finances and organising the annual tasting programme being a focus.   There certainly is an extensive timely email flow amongst the committee and we always have a quorum at monthly committee meetings.   Planning and being flexible are the keys, although occasionally there is pressure on the scheduled monthly programme.  Invariably we manage to come through and frequently achieve stellar presentations.   Our secretarial support, the newsletter and our website as our “shop windows”, licensing and venue realities, catering and balancing our books all require dedication and effort.  For this collective endeavour I am grateful to committee members.

The club is about sociability, extending wine experiences and broadening horizons.   We are always looking for the means to increase our membership.  It is always a pleasure when you bring along guests to meetings and functions as prospective members and we are happy to make incentives for you to do so.  With guest numbers a little down of late there is a real interest to encourage your friends and acquaintances who may wish experience a tasting evening and perhaps to join the club.  Specifically, how we can increase younger membership is one of the challenges going forward.

Thank you for your support and active involvement and hence I raise a glass to you one and all and trust we will continue to do so for the year ahead and to mark the club’s 40th year.

Murray Jaspers
President
The Cellar Club Inc

Facebook tit bits

I was catching up on facebook recently and came across something posted by our former club member Mel Ingalls who now lives in the USA. Apparently, in the town of Indian Hills, Colorado, they have the funniest billboards ever. Here are two of my favourites.

Wine 101: How to Save Leftover Wine

See the Wine Spectator video, How to Save Leftover Wine

Have some leftover wine from your last dinner party? It would be a shame to let it go to waste—and you don’t have to! Learn the best ways to store leftover wine and the most important preservation factors to keep in mind in this quick tutorial.

OK, so for most of us in NZ, all we do is return the screw cap to the wine bottle. But if you want to reduce the rate of oxidation, then I would recommend you click on this link and watch the video from Wine Spectator. I especially liked the Pro tip at the very end of the item.

 

European wines presented by Simon Bell, Colab Wine Merchants Limited

Members may recognise Simon’s name. He presented to the club back in April 2018 but has recently moved to a new company in wine and spirit wholesaling, Colab Wine Merchants Limited.

This company is interesting in that its 2 principal shareholders are 2 well-known wineries:

But of equal importance to us, Colab also handles 3 South Australian brands:

As you can see, all 3 of these areas are in the state of South Australia which is one of the iconic new world wine regions and so we are really looking forward to tasting some great wines from this area.

More details next month.

News just in

CoLab is now presenting a range of European wines from their portfolio. The wines to be presented include:

  • Alpha Domus Collection Sauvignon Blanc, NZ
  • Vivanco White Rioja, Spain
  • Guerrieri Rizzardi Pinot Grigio IGP Veneto, Italy
  • Domaine Dupre Bourgogne Chardonnay, France
  • Vivanco Rioja Crianza, Spain
  • Vivanco Rioja Reserva, Spain
  • Chateau Mauciol Cotes du Rhone Villages Red, France

Top Drops under $25 – April 2019

Presenter: Joelle Thomson – Writer, author, etc

Our April tasting was a great success and certainly slightly different from other tastings, given the perspective of our presenter and her knowledge of wines in the current market.

Having someone of Joelle’s experience was certainly a coup for the club and we would like to acknowledge Regional Wines contribution in making this event happen.

The committee will be approaching Regional to see if we can re-establish some permanent benefits for club members and we will advise further if and when this is finalised.

As for the wines themselves, I have already said earlier that I really enjoyed the Montepulciano. But given the number and cross-section of orders that Joelle took away with her, it’s clear that all the wines were greatly appreciated.

Thank you, Joelle, for a very interesting tasting. Hopefully, we can arrange another tasting sometime in the future.

Wines tasted:

  • 2009 Forrest The Valleys Riesling
  • Valformosa Cava Classic Brut NV
  • 2015 Main Divide Waipara Riesling
  • 2015 Ulisse Montepulciano, Italy
  • 2015 Crater Rim Waipara Pinot Noir
  • 2016 Alary Gerbaude Cotes du Rhone
  • 2017 San Marzano Il Pumo Primitivo

Off cruising, Apologies, Preparing the AGM

Off cruising

Well, Robin and Pat are off on their cruise. I’m not sure their itinerary allows much chance to try local wines, but I’m sure that they will have fun working their way through the selection provided by their cruise liner.

Apologies

I was sorry that I missed our last tasting, but as fortune would have it, I did get to taste some of the left-over wines at our committee meeting the following week and I particularly enjoyed the Montepulciano D’Abrusso, I have even made a mental note to call by Regional wines and grab a bottle or two.

Preparing the AGM

Your committee has been busy preparing for the AGM and finalising our calendar for the rest of the year. Have a look later in this newsletter to see the exciting events that are now all in flight.

AGM in 2001

Attached to this Newsletter you will find the minutes from the 2018 AGM. The President and Treasurer will present their reports on the night and details will subsequently be made available on
the Club’s website for those who might be interested.

This is your club and the AGM does offer an opportunity to have your say and/or raise matters of interest. If you have ideas or thoughts to offer please don’t be shy to raise them.

See you there,

Cheers
Wayne Kennedy
Acting Editor

Port from 1863 sets new world auction record

Chris Mercer – Decanter – 26 March 2019

This is the second of five Lalique demijohns of the Niepoort 1863. Credit: Lalique

A newly released bottle of 156-year-old Niepoort in a Lalique crystal decanter has become the most expense Port sold at auction after fetching more than HK$1m, according to those involved in the sale.

Hong Kong’s Grand Hyatt hotel was the venue for the new Port auction record, in a sale organised by Sotheby’s.

A buyer paid HK$1.054m (US$134,000; £102,000) for the Niepoort in Lalique 1863. All proceeds will go to The Nature Conservancy charity.

The previous world record was set in November last year for a bottle of the same Port, also in Lalique, after a buyer paid HK$992,000 at an Acker, Merrall & Condit auction.

There are five Lalique demijohn decanters of the rare Niepoort 1863, each engraved with the name of one of the five generations of the van der Niepoort family, said Lalique following last weekend’s Sotheby’s auction.

Detail on the decanter shows the signature Lalique grapevine pattern. Credit: Lalique.

Two decanters have now been sold at auction, with the second a tribute to Eduard Karel Jacob van der Niepoort.

Dirk van der Niepoort, of the fifth generation and who runs the company today, said, ‘We are thrilled to achieve another landmark price for what is the oldest Port we have ever bottled.’

Silvio Denz, chairman and CEO of Lalique, said: ‘This new world record highlights the exceptional nature of the decanters and the remarkable quality of the Niepoort 1863. We are delighted that all net proceeds from the sale will benefit a charity that carries out hugely important work to preserve nature.’

There have been several auction records in recent months.

A bottle of DRC Romanée-Conti 1945 set a new record for wine in general after selling for $558,000 at a Sotheby’s sale in October 2018.

In November, Christie’s sold a bottle of The Macallan 1926 60 Year Old for £1.2m, breaking new ground for single malt Scotch whisky.