Coming events

  • Wednesday 12 August – to be confirmed
  • Wednesday 9 September – to be confirmed
  • Wednesday 14 October – St Clair

Note:  Arrangements are well in hand for August and September so don’t be alarmed.  We will provide details as soon as possible.  Both will be great events, trust us.

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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.


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.


Robin Semmens

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Future tastings, Little bit late

Future tastings

A couple of your committee members have done some great work in sorting out tastings over the next two months.  You will note that things have now been settled and we can look forward to two great evenings.  Special thanks to Wayne and Murray for their efforts in putting these together.  Just remains for us to enjoy them. Check out the events page.

Little bit late

This newsletter is a little bit later in the month than we would like but we wanted to have as much information available as possible. My personal regret is that I will miss Joelle as we will be embarking on a 31-night cruise. Sometimes you just have to make sacrifices. I often say that a tasting is not to be missed but, to be fair, that applies to all of them.

Robin Semmens

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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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Late cancellations, Summer romance tasting, Wine of Australia

Late cancellations

We were finding that working too far ahead occasionally left us in trouble with late cancellations so your committee decided to arrange tastings a little closer to the time. This does not seem to be working out so well and we are in repair mode over the April tasting. Rest assured though that something will be arranged that will meet the usual high standard of our events.

Summer romance tasting

At the February summer romance tasting, I mentioned that the Lansdowne wines could be purchased. The offer was not taken up at the time but is still on the table. Lansdowne produces three wines and they are of a very high quality. There was some really good feedback on the Pinot Gris on the night. The wines have been bottle aged but will all cellar well. The Pinot Gris is $19.55 while their Pinot Noir and Syrah are more expensive at $38.25. These prices include a 15% but are only available through me. Let me know if you are interested.

Wine of Australia

Shows the value of reading the label fully. The Montana Wines mentioned will say “Wine of Australia” on the back. Clearly to be avoided if you want to be sure you are drinking NZ wines.

Robin Semmens, Editor

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Condolences, Next six months, Club in local paper


condolences-next-six-months-club-in-local-paper57a80a53a62baThe Cellar Club would like to express its deepest sympathies to Gillian Bohm. Gillian’s son Nick died suddenly early in July. We are thinking of you Gillian.

Next six months

The programme is well in hand for the next six months, and some real treats are in store for members. After the success of the quiz night we had in June 2013 the committee have decided we will have another quiz night next February. Sharpen up your quizzing skills for that one.

Club in local paper

And just in case you missed it we had a good article in the local “Independent Herald” during the week. Read the article.

Robin Semmens, Editor

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Man O’ War – Looking Forward

ManO'WarVineyardsThe Man O’ War Legacy

“The Man O’ War story begins with a special piece of land which has a rich history. Located at the eastern end of Waiheke Island, Man O’ War is a stunning array of coastal hillsides with high cliffs and pristine beaches forming a ruggedly beautiful coastline.

It was along this coastline that Captain James Cook came to anchor during his first voyage around the islands of New Zealand in 1769. Upon sighting the ancient stands of magnificent Kauri trees ashore, Cook noted in his journals that they would make ideal masts for the Man O’ War battleships of the Royal Navy. Thus the name Man O’ War was bestowed upon this unique land.

With a desire to protect this treasured land’s natural beauty and sense of history for future generations, the owners purchased the four contiguous farms that now form the 4,500 acres of Man O’ War in the early 1980s. And so began the adventure of exploring this land, along the way naming our ‘discoveries’ in honour of family history, naval legacy, and of this special place itself.”

Detail for the tasting will be provided in the next newsletter.

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From the Editor – May 2015 – Treasury Wines

treasuryTasting programme

The changes continue into June but things will settle down after that. Despite a little re-organisation from time to time it has, none the less, been an interesting year with some very enjoyable and interesting tastings.

treasurywineestatesFor June, we have obtained the services of Dan Baldock. Dan is well known in wine circles and has presented before, particularly presenting Penfolds as part of Treasury Wines. We are hoping that the evening will concentrate on Taylor’s products although he has Brown Bros as well. It is great to be able to present another iconic Australian brand.

Actually I am gutted as I probably will not be able to attend, and Taylors is one of my favourites.

Robin Semmens, Editor

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In the News – Master-classes in Hot Red HB wine

2015 HRHB SignatureFor the first time in 12 years, Hot Red Hawke’s Bay wine shows will feature wine master-classes led by four Hawke’s Bay experts.

The cellar doors of more than 30 of the region’s finest wineries come together for these popular events held in Auckland and Wellington, with more than 200 wines to sample — including the legendary 2013 and 2014 vintages.

Winemakers Hugh Crichton from Vidal Estate and Tony Bish from Sacred Hill Winery will host the Wellington Wine Master Class. Tim Turvey, the co-owner and winemaker from Clearview Estate Winery and John Hancock, the founder and owner of Trinity Hill, will run the Auckland Master Class.

We are thrilled to have the pedigree of these presenters in our first-ever wine master class. These four hosts are some of New Zealand’s most respected, award-winning and internationally experienced winemakers,” says James Medina, Hawke’s Bay Winegrowers Association executive officer.

“Together they have more than 100 years combined experience. Couple this knowledge with their charismatic personalities and passion for Hawke’s Bay wine and we are sure these classes will sell out fast.”

The 30-minute sessions will focus on the region’s chardonnays. Wine Master Classes are an additional $10 per person on the $40 ticket price for Hot Red Hawke’s Bay.

Hot Red Hawke’s Bay in Auckland, Wednesday, June 10, 2015; 6pm-9pm (Wine Master Class 6pm-6.30pm). Maritime Room, Maritime Museum, 175 Quay Street.

Hot Red Hawke’s Bay in Wellington, Thursday, June 11, 2015 6pm-9pm (Wine Master Class 6pm-6.30pm). Mac’s Function Centre, Taranaki St Wharf.

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Looking Forward – June 2015 – Taylors/Brown Bros

taylors2Dan Baldock (Taylors/Brown Bros)

As mentioned in “From the Editor” we have had Dan presenting previously.

Many of you will recall the Penfolds tastings through the auspices of Treasury Wines. His focus has now changed, and he currently represents Taylors and Brown Bros in the Central Regions of New Zealand. These are well known Australian brands and continue our practice of trying to have at least one presentation of a notable Australian producer each year.

Next month’s tasting will concentrate on Taylors, but there may be a couple of Brown Bros to ensure a reasonable white element to the tasting. This will surely be another top evening. More detail as it becomes available later.

This will surely be another top evening. More detail as it becomes available later.

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