Wairarapa here we come!!

We have good news for our many members who’d booked to spend a day wining and dining in the Wairarapa back in March before COVID19 scuttled our plans.

This trip is now rescheduled for Saturday, 13 February 2021 so lock that into your calendars!. Read more about the trip.

Some of you were unable to come on the March trip because you’d booked overseas holidays (remember when we used to do that?!) Of course we still welcome any members who weren’t on the original list – please email Wayne to have your name added and organise payment of the $75 per head.

Palliser Estate

Grave Wines

alana wines

We plan to follow the same schedule as we’d planned for last March. We’ll update it closer to the date when the train times for that period have been loaded onto the Metlink website.

Instead of launching the club’s 40th birthday celebrations, this event will wrap them up so come along and make it a great day to mark this special milestone.

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Alan Evans presenting – Sept 2020

Celebrating 40 years of tastings
Celebrating 40 years of tastings

Without a doubt, this would be one of the most prestigious tastings in the 40 years of the club’s existence.

And who better to present these wines, than one of our life members, Alan Evans.

Alan joined the club in 1987 and has held the roles of Editor [10 years] and President [8 years]. He was made a life member in 2010 and still attends our dinners and the occasional tasting.

He is also a Past President of the Magnum Society that was a Wellington-based wine group founded in 1972 and currently is the Cellar Master of the Tinakori branch of the international Beefsteak and Burgundy Club.

Alan’s love of wine was a natural progression, he says, from an interest in ciders in the 1960s to the wines of Henderson in the mid-1970s. He has an extensive temperature-controlled cellar and over the years has developed a love of European wines which he augments with premium NZ and Australian varietals.

2001 Penfolds 389
2001 Penfolds 389

The committee approached Alan to see if he would be prepared to present some of his premium cellared wines as one of our marquee events to celebrate our 40 years of tastings and he has not disappointed. The following list of wines is stunning.

  • 2016 Ogier Cote du Rhone White [Introductory wine]
  • 2016 Askerne Semillon
  • Loire Chenin Blanc
  • 2011 Penfolds 389 [from our own cellar]
  • 2001 Penfolds 389
  • 1991 Coleraine
  • 2017 Troplong Mondot [St Emilion Grand Cru]
1991 Te Mata Estate Coleraine
1991 Te Mata Estate Coleraine

The ’91 Coleraine was rated by a group of wine experts three years ago as the 5th best Coleraine ever made and is a personal favourite of John Buck, winemaker and Chairman of Te Mata Estate Winery. It was also rated by Geoff Kelly, alongside the 1987 Stonyridge Larose, as “one of the few great achievements in the first 26 years or so of cabernet and cabernet/merlot wine styles, in the modern phase of New Zealand viticulture”.

And if that isn’t enough to wet your taste buds, go and google our last wine.

As I said at the outset, this is a prestigious tasting of premium wines which I suspect, many of us have never tasted before. We are indeed lucky to have that opportunity this month.

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Winetopia 2020 in Wellington

Winetopia 2020 In Wellington – hosted by Lemongrass productions

Dates: 9 & 10 October 2020

Venue: TSB Arena

Winetopia tickets

Session times:

  • Session 1: Friday 9 Oct (5 pm – 8.30 pm)
  • Session 2: Sat 10 Oct (12 pm – 3.30 pm)
  • Session 3: Sat 10 Oct (4.30 pm – 8 pm)
2020 Winetopia
2020 Winetopia

Information about the event:

  • More than 50 of New Zealand’s best wineries
  • A full schedule of tastings, talks and new experiences
  • This is your chance to immerse yourself in the New Zealand wine scene and celebrate the growers and winemakers that have put this country on the vinous map
  • New to 2020: ‘Wine Blind’ tastings and your chance to sample some ultra-premium wines (these wines are usually found upwards of $100 per bottle) with our new ‘Golden Coin’ currency
  • Masterclasses with Bob Campbell (MW) and Joelle Thomson in Wellington
  • Egmont St Eatery will also have a pop-up restaurant within the event
  • Local band: Super Bad Soul Section will also round out the last hour of the show.

For the Cellar Club, organisers have thrown in a 10% discount which can be applied at checkout to any wine purchases by members from Lemongrass wine buying site winetree.co.nz – Code: treehugger10.

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2020 is a very special year for our club

2020 is a very special year for our club. We will celebrate 40 years of activity and tastings as the year progresses. Because of special events being organised, you will note that this newsletter has a slightly different approach in that we are setting out activities for the first three months rather than one month at a time. I am sure that for many of you this is your favourite read but don’t be alarmed, so much is happening that we will continue to come at you monthly.

Please find the proposed events for the year and a Payment Advice for the February meeting.

A very interesting start to the year and we intend to keep the pressure on throughout the year.

Robin Semmens

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An international Sauvignon Blanc celebration

NZ Winegrowers – Media Release – January 2019

Visit 2019 Sauvignon NZ website

The ‘who’s who’ of the wine world descended on Marlborough for a three-day International Sauvignon Blanc Celebration kicking off on Monday 28 January.

“We have over 100 international wine producers, experts and key influencers visiting, giving us an exceptional opportunity to shine the spotlight on our diverse Sauvignon Blanc offerings,” said Sauvignon 2019 Chair, Patrick Materman. The event boasted a world-class line-up of speakers who are experts in the fields of science, research, journalism and gastronomy.

Internationally acclaimed wine writer Matt Kramer returned to New Zealand to explore Sauvignon Blanc’s place in the world of wine and speak on the future of Sauvignon Blanc. Nine Masters of Wine from all over the globe were among the speakers, including Debra Meiburg, founding Director of Meiburg Wine Media, and Sarah Heller, Asia Pacific’s youngest MW at 30 years of age, from Hong Kong. From the UK came Justin Howard-Sneyd, buyer and consultant for over 20 years with some of the UK’s leading distributors, and David Allen, originally from the UK and Director of WineSearcher. Dirceu Vianna Junior was the first South American male to obtain the title of Master of Wine and joined from Brazil, and Tim Hanni hailing from the US, where he is Managing Director of eCode.me and HanniCo LLC. Completing the exemplary line up were New Zealanders Emma Jenkins, Sam Harrop and Steve Smith.

Over 350 guests were expected to attend the celebration, which took attendees on a journey exploring the complexity of Sauvignon Blanc, emerging styles, vineyard practices, winemaking influences and future trends. The International Sauvignon Blanc Celebration is built around three themes; Place, Purity and Pursuit. Day one was themed Place and drew on Tūrangawaewae, the geographical places we feel empowered and connected to. Day two, with the theme of Purity, explored topics such as climate, sustainability and flavour. Finally, Day three dealt with what we should pursue domestically and globally, outlining future challenges and opportunities for the New Zealand wine industry.

The spectacular evening entertainment was also a highlight, with the sold-out gala event ‘Blanc’, a dinner-en-blanc theme, hosting 480 guests at Brancott Vineyard on the second evening of the 2019 celebration. Celebrity chef Martin Bosley was the culinary director of the gourmet feast that was matched with older vintages from the cellars of our wineries. The International Sauvignon Blanc Celebration brought this diverse, expressive and sought-after variety to centre stage for three action-packed days in Marlborough.

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Dennis Mann & Friends – In the News, April 2012

A long time member of the Cellar Club, Dennis Mann, on the right, was the subject of an item in the City Life Independent Herald on 14 March.

dennis-mannIt seems that a chance meeting ten years ago between the Manns and the Wholeys led to the discovery of an extraordinary set of coincidences that they have celebrated every year since. They met at the Probus Club and while chatting realised that both couples were married in Wellington on the same day at the same time. The coincidences did not stop there, they also used the same photographer, the same florist, and the same catering company.

So on the March 5 each year for the past ten years, they have met up to celebrate that special day with one of the four keeping the day’s events a mystery. This year it was Dennis’ turn and at 11.00am the cork popped on a bottle of French Champagne at a table set up at the rose garden in Grasslea Reserve, Tawa.

Dennis and Junette were married at St Mary’s Anglican Church in Karori on 5 March 1960. This year was their 52nd anniversary. Congratulations Dennis.

Source – City Life Independent Herald – Mark Taylor