Year in review

Well, December already team. It has been a strange year with a few downs to go along with the ups for some of us on a personal level.

       

That is not to say that it has been a bad year for our Cellar Club, quite the contrary in fact. Let’s review our year. By a long-established tradition, we began with our summer BBQ at the end of January. The usual excellent occasion and we continue to appreciate that Derek makes his premises available. February saw us heading to Askerne Estate in Hawkes Bay. The Hawkes Bay wineries never let you down. March was with the very well established Villa Maria presenting. While the winery originated in Auckland, the company has expanded over the years and produces wines from most of the major regions in New Zealand.

April saw something of a coup for the club with Joelle Thomson presenting. Joelle is a well-recognised personality in the New Zealand wine world as an author, wine writer and tutor. Another great tasting. May is the inevitable AGM then in June Simon Bell from Colab Wine Merchants took us on a tour of Europe. Simon brought along some large wine glasses and some time was spent on discussing the virtues and differences that wine glasses can make to your wine experience. On to July for the mid-year dinner at the Trade Kitchen.

Off to Nelson for the August tasting with Waimea Estate. Over the years Waimea has gathered 150+ Gold Medals and 26 Trophies across nine different wine styles. Nelson producers are right up there as a wine region. Cenna Lloyd for Negociants presented in September. She presented wines from two wineries, Misha’s Vineyard and Two Paddocks, both from Central Otago. Much enjoyed by those who attended and really great orders from a smaller group attending.

In October we celebrated the Rugby World Cup with a selection of wines from countries competing in the Cup. Keith Tibble was the presenter. November saw the very early return of Cenna Lloyd for the South American wine and food match evening outlined below. Cenna had been to South American after presenting in September and was keen to share her experience.

It only remains to anticipate yet another December Dinner. We have been to Cashmere Lounge before and we are sure you will not be disappointed.

Best wishes for the festive season.

Cheers
Robin Semmens
Editor

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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.

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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

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

AGM – May 2019

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

When: 8 pm Wednesday 8 May 2019
Where: 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.

See event details.

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Editor away, AGM, In planning

Editor away (again)

As I mentioned last month it is with some regret that (having said it is not to be missed) I will miss it and the AGM next month.  Never mind, I will have 30 days at sea to help me get over it.

AGM

Naturally, I will not be able to put together the May Newsletter. Wayne will take care of this and will ensure that all the necessary documentation is forwarded to members as appropriate for the AGM. We would suggest you print off copies of the documentation and bring it with you as it can be difficult for committee members to provide sufficient copies on the night.

In planning

The programme for the year to come might appear to lack substance but your committee is working on a number of initiatives and you can be assured that an enjoyable year of tastings and events is being planned and confirmed. Watch this space.

Cheers

Robin Semmens
Editor

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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.

Cheers
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.

Cheers
Robin Semmens, Editor

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AGM, Quote, Tastings

AGM

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.

Quote

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

Tastings

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.

Cheers
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
Directions 

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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