AGM Minutes 18 January 2018 at La Senia Denia
Numbers present 64
President John Sloggie called the meeting to order at 18.30.
- Apologies for Absence were received from:
Mary and Rod Anderton
Rick and Margaret Steedman
Felicity and John Fitt
Allan and Rosemary Murdoch
Debbie and Keri Theophilus
Tim and Sandy Fawle
Jutta and Brian Courtney
Barry and Pam Burnett
Pauline and David Welpton
Jeanne & John Millington
2. Approval of 2017 Minutes
The minutes from the previous AGM were approved unaltered
3. Matters Arising
4. Presidents Report
Here is the summary in brief: Ten tastings catered for 623 people and we tasted 47 wines (excluding random cavas and beers). Two wine trips were enjoyed by 67 people in total and we tasted at least 40 wines at bodegas – (plus others at dinners, bars, hotels – indeed anywhere we could lay our hands on a drink) – and spent some €7700 on wines to bring home.
We have had another full and active year and have tasted some excellent wines. I pledged to try to have all presentations in English and this has been achieved.
We still have a full membership and waiting list.
Satisfaction from you, the members, seems pretty high and I have managed to dent the bank balance a bit – more of that later.
So – I believe that, with the help of my committee, I have achieved what I set out to do two years ago.
After the AGM held here in La Senia in January 2017 62 members enjoyed dinner and a tasting. This evening was my choice of wines so we tasted 3 of the highest scoring wines from our tastings in 2016 plus 2 new ones.
When I agreed to remain president for 2017 Shirley and I had already committed to 3 months of travels so Paul hosted the next three tastings. Thank you Paul.
In February we returned to Restaurante Cumbrae for the first time in many years. Paul hosted this evening which was on a theme of “wine of the future: wines of 2017”” and was presented by Casa del Vino in Javea. 64 members and guests were present for this tasting
In March we were at the Restaurant Abiss in Calpe with 54 members. This evening’s wines were presented by the 2016 wine tasters of the year – Keith, Renate and Ted.
In April 46 members returned to Ca La Iaia where we were presented with wines from Bodegas Vizar near Valladolid
I was back in harness for the May meeting at las Rotas in Denia where 71 members and guests we were presented with wines from Vina Elena in Jumilla.
June was our traditional end of term visit to Puerto Blanco where 71 members and guests were entertained by a first class tasting from John Davis. John has been in the UK wine trade all his life and agreed to come over to speak to us. I gave him a brief for the evening and he then sent me a selection of wines from which I was to choose. Sourcing them was a challenge but we ended up with some exciting and different wines and an excellent presentation.
In September we started our autumn series in La Senia and welcomed 51 members and guests to a tasting presented by Father and Son Joan and Eduard Morell from Bodegas Vinyes del Terrer near Tarragona. We had visited this bodega on our May wine trip but I was so impressed with their wines I wanted to invite them to a tasting. On our wine trip we had spent some €1500 on wine purchases and after this event we spent a further €1300. Clearly popular wines!!
In October we were back in the Restauarnt Abiss in Calpe where 64 members enjoyed our annual “Whose Wine is it Anyway” presented by Gordon and Caryl Sellars and Mary Anderton. Each year Gordon and Caryl make subtle changes to the format and each year we find out we are not quite as clever as we thought we were! One thing is clear and that is that we should never believe a word that this trio tell us! Who would trust a Scot??!!
In November we welcomed 74 members and guests to Ca La Iaia for a tasting provided by Mathias Pawlita from Bodegas Patrocino from DO Rioja. It was interesting to hear the efforts put in to present to us. Mathew had driven that afternoon all the way from Rioja and was returning first thing the next morning. So he spent two days in the car just to present his wines to our group.
Finally in December we returned to Nau Nau in Javea Marina where 58 of us enjoyed our usual light hearted Christmas tasting and, for a final time, I could indulge myself with my choice of wines. This year we blind tasted a favourite wine of mine and, despite reading the tasting notes, slightly redacted of course, no one guessed the grape, country or wine. It was a 2006 Chateau Musar from Lebanon. This was considerably better received than the Beaujolais Noveau from the previous year.
At this event we presented awards to the wine tasters of the year. In 2017 the winner was Renate Pluis and runners up Andrew Johnson and, in third place, Keith Pacey.
I also presented a prize to the only two members who had achieved 100% attendance in 2017 – Gillian Ashworth and Hugh Epsom
Finally I had a number of bottles of wine that had been left over from tastings so organised a raffle to distribute these amongst members.
In addition to the tastings we arranged the usual two wine trips. The first in May was to the DO of Tarragona with 32 participants and the second in October to DO Almansa with 35 participants. Both trips were very well received and we did manage to find some unusual and different wines and venues. I don’t think any of us had visited a wine cathedral before nor taken lunch sitting on top of wine tanks!
So, in summary we have had an excellent year and, from comments received the efforts of all your committee and wine trip team have been well received.
We were a little concerned at one stage that numbers at the tastings were a bit low but we looked at this and concluded that this was just due to circumstance rather than lack of interest. We had several members sick, some tending grandchildren and a number travelling.
We do occasionally get comments about the fact we go to the same venues. It is not that easy to find alternatives! We need a venue that is of high enough standard for our discerning members, will accept 70 people, will allow us to bring our own wines and, most importantly, will give us exclusive use. Suggestions of venues are always welcome. As I have said many times however we are a wine society and not a dining club so the focus should be, first and foremost, on the wines we taste.
As you will hear from Shirley’s report we have doubled our net spend on the tasting this year over last. This has been caused by a combination of items. Firstly we have been subjected to price increases from almost all our venues. Secondly, we have been tasting some really good wines. Thirdly, the bodegas are not able to be as generous as in the past with freebies. An analysis of our costs has shown that, although we pay just €30 each, the average cost per head over the past year has been just shy of €38. This has not created a problem as we have good reserves but Paul will have more to say about this later!
I’ve said it before but the reason this society runs so well is not because of any one person. I have been very lucky to have had such a great committee and wine trip team over the past two years. All my team just gets on with the job to produce the result everyone enjoys. There is no doubt that, without the committee and wine trip team, this would not be the association it is so a very sincere thanks to all the committee and also the other people who are all too willing to stand in and help when asked.
I have been honoured to lead this society for the past two years and I conclude by thanking every one of you for the support you have given me.
5. Membership Secretary’s Report
Tony Cabban reported that we maintained our target membership level of 120 but in September we allowed 5 more members on the wait list to join because attendance numbers at tastings seemed to be falling. Since then tasting numbers have risen again, so we believe that holding Membership at 120 is correct.
In 2016 67 members attended 4 or less times, in 2017 56 members came 4 or less times so more frequent attendance in 2017.
There are 12 people on the waiting list , however it is highly unlikely that that number of members will not rejoin so most of them will have to come as guests.
6. Treasurer’s Report
Shirley Sloggie reported that income and expenditure was broadly in line with expectations. Membership income remained stable. Loss on the tastings was far great than anticipated due to increased prices from venues and the wine we have tasted. We made a small loss on the wine trips which was compensated for by the surplus last year.
Expenses were in line with expectations but sundries were higher than normal due to the purchase of new bags and batteries for the PA system together with a new power pack.
For the year 2017 the society had a deficit of €2800 and we carry forward a bank balance of €3200
7. Election of President
John Sloggie advised that only one nomination had been received for the position of President. Members present were therefore invited to propose and second Paul Nicholls as President. He was proposed by Andrew Johnson and seconded by Joan Easter and approved unanimously.
At this stage John Sloggie handed over the chair to the new President.
8. Election of Vice President
The only nomination for the position of Vice President was Maureen Holliday and the President invited a proposer and seconder for this nomination. She was proposed by Colin Donadio and seconded by Gillian Ashworth and approved unanimously.
9. Election of Secretary
The only nomination for the position of Secretary was Tim Fawle and the President invited a proposer and seconder for this nomination. He was proposed by Hugh Epsom and seconded by Hilary Blackwell and unanimously approved by the assembly
10. Venues and Menus
Colin Donadio updated those present on the current venues and menus situation. He and Sue had found the work time consuming, but rather than step down, they have spread the load by enlisting the support of volunteers to handle individual venues. He was now only looking for assistance for the October and November venues. He also commented on the pressure from restaurants to push up their prices which were now 35€ per head and in some cases even higher.
11. Tastings Price 2018
The President followed on from the John’s and Colin’s comment about the rising cost of menus and wines and noted that the price of €30 had been static for a number of years. He therefore advised that the committee at its last meeting proposed that the price for members would be increased from €30 to a minimum of €35 and guests to €40. In exceptional cases where expenses are much higher the charge may be higher but only if notified in advance by the newsletter and for that tasting only.
12. Proposed Budget 2018
The President advised that the 2018 budget was in line with 2017 except with the increase in the meal charges he anticipated the loss on the tastings would be reduced to €1500 over the year. He anticipated the society would make a small surplus of €78
13. Proposed Programme 2018
The President outlined his programme for the 2018 year, which appears on the web site.
14. Accounts Reviewer 2017/2018
Keri Theophilus has agreed to continue in this role for another year.
Andrew Johnson raised the issue of the size of financial reserve which the society should hold. This has been looked at in the past and it was agreed that the new committee should address the matter again.
President Paul closed the meeting at 19.20.