Committee celebrate the end of 2018

Another successful Cellar Club year started with a BBQ, several tastings, the AGM, another tasting, then mid-year dinner, followed by several more tastings, then finally a very successful end-of-year dinner. 

In upholding tradition, and as a way of celebrating the committees’ work throughout the year, the club’s President hosts an end of year celebration for committee, partners and guests. Each year we celebrate by sampling each other’s favourite wines along with a grand selection of food. This year we were fortunate to sample many labels who have presented to the club and some who have not.  The wines came from the labels La Cilla, Hunters, Clearview, Ruby Bay, Alpha Domus, Awatere River, Rapaura Springs, Lindauer, Okahu Estate, Tyrells, Old Coach Road, Olssens, Ransom, Dry River, Rod MacDonald, Rockburn, and Ash Ridge. A large and diverse range that could have gone down well at any tasting.

Thanks to our gracious hosts, club President Murray and Dina, who organised (with the gods) great weather for the event, along with the committee, wishes members and guests a joyous and safe Christmas. We look forward to seeing you all during 2019 starting with the BBQ in January. Details to come.

Koa Kirihimete
Merry Christmas

From the committee

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Another great year

As I sit to prepare this newsletter Celine Dion is singing “Another year has gone by” in the background. Surely not, I say, but it is so. Where has it gone?
We can start by reviewing our year. We began with our summer BBQ at the end of January. The usual excellent occasion and thanks to Derek for continuing to make his premises available. February saw us heading on a “Summer Romance – a love affair with Wine” where some of your committee members presented their favourite summer wines. In March Mark and Susan Haythornthwaite presented some of their “Haythornthwaite” wines and told us of the success they have had adding platters to the tasting experience at their premises.

Unison Wines

In April Simon Bell from MacVine took us on a tour of Europe embracing France, Italy and Germany. May was the usual AGM then in June Unison Vineyards from the Gimblett Gravels in Hawkes Bay presented some lovely wines. July was something of a disappointment when we went to Saigon Van Grill Bar. The meal was lacking, particularly in quantity, and subsequent efforts to redress the problem have been futile. Never mind, we were back on track in August with a great tasting from Clearview.

September saw a continuation with European wines when Maison Vauron gave us a taste of French wine with some cheese matches. Then who could forget Negociants presentation from that iconic Barossa winery, Yalumba.

The tastings for the year finished with a return to Europe, this time Portugal with Confidant Wines, and some great wine with food matches. All this travel and we haven’t had to leave home.

As I finish this Celine has moved on to “Holy Night” and is singing about a night divine. I can’t quite work out if she means Christmas Eve or the December Dinner at Juniper. You be the judge.

Robin Semmens, Editor

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AGM – May 2018

25 people attended the AGM. The meeting was not prolonged and quickly dealt with the issues at hand. It was, as ever, followed by a good supper with a great range of items. The wine wasn’t bad either. The tray of mixed club sandwiches was a hit again this year. Sausage rolls were a good substitution for the cheerios this year.

Cecilia in 2009 in her President’s role.

Matters discussed at the meeting including the possibility of co-opting a member on to the committee for a short time or for a specific task and having certain jobs, such as the newsletter editor, as ex-officio. The current committee was returned unopposed.

And a highlight was the passing of a motion that Cecilia Parker is made a life member after many years contributing in a number of roles. Congratulations Cecilia.

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Robyn’s return, Payment advice, President’s Report & Financial Statement

Robyn’s return

It wasn’t overwarm in Sydney while we were there but I must say I don’t think I have been warm since our return. Never mind the tasting this month should go some way to warm the cockles of the heart. I have it on good authority that the AGM went well in my absence, and it is a pleasure to have Cecilia join in the ranks of our life members.

Payment advice

Please find attached a PaymentAdviceforJune2018 for this month’s meeting. The form provides an opportunity to pay your membership subscription, entry fee for the June tasting and the July Dinner. Please bring this with you next week (completed of course) or contact Wayne by email.

President’s Report & Financial Statement

I would like to remind members that if you are interested in looking at the President’s Report or Financial Statement from the AGM, they can be found on the club website.

Robin Semmens, Editor

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AGM, Quote, Tastings


Attached to this Newsletter you will find the minutes from the 2017 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.


While travelling in Hawkes Bay and visiting wineries (purely for research purposes you understand) Anne and Jenny came across the following quote. “anything is possible with a little lipstick and a great glass of wine.” Personally I will skip the lipstick and cut straight to the chase


They also came across a couple of Hawkes Bay producers keen to present to the Club and as a consequence we have Unison for June and Clearwater for August. This will give members an opportunity to compare wines from a producer from the Gimblett Gravels area and one of the equally excellent producers from the more coastal Te Awanga area. Much to look forward to over the next few months.

Robin Semmens, Editor

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Cellar Club Inc – Annual General Meeting

The Cellar Club Inc Annual General Meeting will be held as follows:

8pm Wednesday 9 May 2018
Johnsonville Community Centre
Moorefield Road, Wellington

Please give some thought to any proposals you might want to introduce for the meeting, we are happy to take ideas from members about future activities for the Club.

As always members will be provided with a light supper and the opportunity to sample some wines from our cellar after the formal part of the evening. We will send out a formal notice and documents closer to the meeting in accordance with our Club rules.

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The year in retrospec

Our year

It is usual at this time to review our year. As ever we began with our summer BBQ at the end of January. The usual excellent occasion and thanks to Derek for making his premises available. It is an excellent facility. Our first tasting was the Rosė tasting presented by Will Brunel-Morven from Maison Vauron. Rosės are becoming increasingly popular, particularly as a summer wine.March was the time for Ata Rangi and was followed in April by our Quiz Night. An enjoyable and fun occasion. As usual, May was AGM time, June highlighted Giesen’s Wines and July was dinner at Bistro 52. August had us enjoying Seifried’s offerings and then in September the interesting and unique Aged Wines tasting. October was Stonecroft and last month was the festive tasting of Spanish wines. A great programme which will be nicely rounded off by our December Dinner.

Spanish tasting

It is interesting to note that EuroVintage had great orders from the Spanish tasting, and were blown away by the response. Well done everyone.

Robin Semmens, Editor

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AGM – May 2017

There was a good turnout of 27 at the AGM. Whilst the meeting was not over in the record time set in 2016, there were no contentious issues to deal with. The President gave a very full report in which he referred to the passing of two long-standing members – Maureen Davies and Ron Thomson. The supper after the meeting was enjoyed by all those attending.

The existing Committee were all re-elected. Since the AGM there have been some issues around the need for licences which are being addressed. This has entailed a fair amount of to-ing and fro-ing with WCC as can be imagined. We do not agree entirely with their view but appear to have little option but to fall into line.

Subsequent to the meeting, the Committee noticed there had been a small typographical error in the Notices of Motion. The reference to Clause 2(b) should have read Clause 4(b). To leave it unchanged makes a nonsense of Rule 2(b) so it is the intention of the Committee to implement the change as though Rule 4(b) was always the intention with appropriate advice to all members. There will also be a footnote to this effect in the AGM Minutes so the matter can be ratified at the next AGM.

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AGM – From the Editor

It’s time for our AGM and we are looking forward to a great attendance. Look at the benefits, scintillating company, some nice food, some even nicer wine, and all at no cost to you personally’

The notice is incorporated above and a couple of the supporting documents are attached to the emailed newsletter. Other information will be available at the meeting. No need to bring your tasting glasses, Cellar Club glasses will be available.

Robin Semmens, Editor

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2017, Upcoming events


As always we commenced our festivities for this new year with the BBQ at Derek Thompson’s house. On the agenda for the year we have Ata Rangi, and after the success of the last quiz evening, we have decided to try it again.

Upcoming events

Your committee is working on options for the latter part of the year, but these will include the AGM in May, the mid-year dinner in July and the second dinner in December. As a definite, we have Seifried’s from Nelson booked in for August and other projects. We have found that a downside of arranging tastings too far in advance is that situations can change. These have resulted in late withdrawals necessitating urgent substitutes. We are trying not to work too far in advance. As always, we are happy for input from members on future events and tastings.

Robin Semmens, Editor

Looking back on 2016

As ever, I find this a time to reflect on what the year has offered. We had a great day for the BBQ in January. Always a pleasant afternoon for those attending. February saw a tasting with Roberta Montero presenting for the Artisan Winegrowers of Central Otago. An interesting and somewhat different approach to winemaking from this group. March was a very successful tasting of Argentinian wines presented by Josefina Telleria from South2South. In April we had Edward Donaldson presenting for Pegasus Bay. The AGM in May passed quickly and members enjoyed some wines from the Club’s cellar before we moved on to June where Foxes Island and  held centre stage. This was a very professional presentation.

Things really got rolling in July with the mid-year dinner at Logan Brown. Some issues around service but otherwise an excellent evening. August was time for Keith Tibble to present an Australian evening, mainly Elderton from the Barossa Valley but included offerings from McLaren Vale and Clare Valley. September was with Gavin Yortt and Squawking Magpie from Hawkes Bay. October was a highlight with Jane Hunter presenting from Marlborough. It was great to get an icon of the NZ wine industry for this event. November completed a somewhat international year with Cangrande doing Italian wines for our festive tasting. Dinner at Muse this month completes our year.

Your committee have been very pleased with the programme and hope everyone found something to enjoy. Have a great Christmas and then we will look to developing 2017 events to match those of the past year.

Robin Semmens, Editor

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AGM – Looking Back – May 2016

agmNot much to be said about the AGM. I wasn’t there but I am reliably informed that it was completed in record time.

Clearly allowing for more time to be spent on enjoying the wines from the Club’s cellar. On one level, we see this as confirmation that the committee is on the right track and that members generally approve of the programme we arrange.

We would like to welcome Richard Taylor onto the committee. We are sure he will make a valuable contribution to our work.

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