AGM 2019 January 17 Minutes



Minutes of the AGM held on January 17, 2019 at Hotel Sol y Mar, Calpe.

Numbers present 47

President Paul Nicholls called the meeting to order at 18.30.

  1. Apologies for Absence were received from:

Neil Robertson and Vicki Wyatt

Andrew & Kathy Johnson

Hilary Blackwell

Pauline and David Welpton

Ron and Amalia Watson

Tony and Cherry Cabban

Jutta and Brian Courtenay

Hugh & Beverley Stewart

Allan and Rosemary Murdoch

Netty Sayers

Sarah Richardson

2.  Approval of 2018 Minutes

The minutes from the previous AGM were approved unaltered

  1.  Matters Arising


  1.  Presidents Report

Paul Nicholls presents the President’s report for the year.


President’s report: January 2019.

It is my pleasure to present the President’s report for the year. Here is the summary in brief:-

Ten tastings catered for 614 people attended, and we tasted 52 different types of wines, that was 5 more than the previous year, our wines tasted this year have ranged in cost from 3-4 Euros to 36-60 Euros.

We still have a full membership; more from the membership secretary in his report later on.

We have had another full and active year and have tasted some really excellent wines

After last year’s AGM held in La Senia in January 2018, 64 members enjoyed an excellent dinner and a tasting of “Wine from Balearics”.  With an average points score from you of 85.82.

On the 15th February we tried out a restaurant that we have not been to for many years, the Hotel Swiss in Moraira. 61 Members attended, where Los Aljibes presented 6 of their best wines. I was able to negotiate a good deal with them which was ‘a free tasting’ of their wine. “NO COST TO THE CBWS”. And for this free tasting I offered to take orders for their great wine for our members and secured 1,583.27 Euros of wine for our members.  This was delivered to my house and distributed to the members who ordered the wine. The average wine score on this occasion was 86.97

March 15th  found us in the Restaurant Abiss – Calpe where I was pleased to welcome the first of our ‘in house presenters’: Keith Pacey.   Keith  presented  “ Wines of Aragon ”   this was a presentation of some really outstanding wines, and you the members thought so too; with the best average point score of the year, a score of 88.86

In April 51 members returned to Ca La Iaia where we were presented with wines from Bodegas La casa agrícola de Pepé Mendoza from D.O. Alicante. We were pleased to be able to meet Pepé Mendoza himself on this occasion.  Good wine with a score of 87.72.

On May 17th it was Punta Negra, MR Les Rotes, Denia. And for me, and I know you agree, it was the highlight of the year. Nani Ramon from Bodega Edetària came to present and entertain us with some wonderful wine.  On this occasion we tasted 6 wines and each table had 6 wine glasses for each of us. This enabled us to compare and contrast all of the wines over the entire evening and not rush to finish off a wine quickly because you have to clear the glass of the current wine.  It was interesting to revisit the first wines to see the changes over time of the wine in the glass. We had more than ample wine and I did go over budget on this occasion on the back of the fact that the February wine tasting was free. Nani not only presented his wine he conducted a small Quiz and the prizes for correct answers was a Magnum of wine supplied by the bodega at NO Cost To us.  This was such a popular meeting that the comments later were things like.    ‘That was the best wine tasting EVER’. ‘Such a wonderful presenter. The wine score on this occasion was 88.65.

We ordered wine from this bodega as well, to the sum of 579.52 Euros, again delivered to my house for distribution. All the monies paid for the wine on this occasion and the one in February went through the books of the wine society for transparency, and I thank Shirley for her help and cooperation in this, as it gave her a little extra work. Thank you Shirley.

June 21st – Puerto Blanco – Calpe, I was unable to attend this meeting and I asked Maureen to deputise for me, thank you Maureen. Wines to be presented by my second ‘In house Presenter’ Andrew Johnson. Both Andrew and Kathy did a fantastic job in this great location and the wine score was an average of 85.88, with 74 members and guests attending.   I was sorry to miss this as I believe the wine was served from decanters to bring out the qualities of the wine.

20th September  – La Senia, Hotel Nou Roma – Denia.  John Davis was the presenter.  John has decades of experience in the wine trade and he gave a fascinating insight into his theme of “Is climate change a good thing?”  The wines were from Galicia and the average score was again 85.88.

On the 18th October we were at  Punta Negra, MR Les Rotes, Denia again. My third ‘in house presenters.’ Caryl and Gordon Sellars with the help of Mary Anderton  presented the ever popular “Whose Wine is it Anyway?”  here the score was 87.56

November 15th – Ca La Iaia – Moraira  Wines presented by Bodegas Vinicola Real   65 members 85.30 score

December 6th – Nau Nau – Puerto Jávea  In December we returned to Nau Nau in Javea Marina for my last presentation. where 53 of us enjoyed our usual light hearted Christmas tasting and, for a final time, I could Present my choice of wines which proved very popular indeed.

In the past this wine society has been dominated by men. And to address this situation I decided to ask for more help from the fair sex.

So ‘the vote of thanks’ at every meeting has been given by a lady. My Vice chair is female.

Later on in this AGM we will have our first Lady President.   I am pleased about that.  The reason any society runs so well is not because of one person. I have, and my predecessors have been very lucky, to have had such a great committee and wine trip team. There is no doubt that, without the help of so many people, this would not be the association it is, so a very sincere thanks to all my committee and also the other people who are all very willing to stand in and help when asked.

So, in summary we have had an excellent year;

Thank you for all comments received, the efforts of everyone, and the fun we have enjoyed together.

I, like others have been honoured to lead this society.

I have tried to make it as light hearted as possible and now, I conclude by thanking every one of you for the support you have given me.


  1.  Membership Secretary’s Report

Tony Cabban prepared his report and in his absence Tim Fawle read it out to members:

We realised in March 2018 that attendance numbers at tastings were falling.

Let me tell you just a few numbers:

I compared the number of members attending 3 or less times in 2015 it was 30%, in 2018 it has risen to 42%. In 2015 only 2 members did not attend any tastings that number rose to 10 in 2018.  Also 59 of our 132 members, that is 45% are what many people refer to as Swallows, in other words they spend less than 6 months a year in Spain.

When the Venues and Menus team book a restaurant part of the price negotiation involves telling the restaurant how many people are expected to attend. If we consistently fall short of the expected numbers then the restaurant will want to increase the price or will be reluctant to reserve the space for our exclusive use.

So in April this year we decided to admit 8 waiting list members and have admitted more members since to reach a membership of 132 at present. We need sufficient members to satisfy venues but at the same time we want to avoid turning members away or having overcrowded tastings.

We ask that you have confidence that we will manage numbers carefully and agree to our recommendation that the maximum number of members permitted be raised from 120 to 130 with flexibility being given to the Committee to increase or decrease that number if necessary.

This motion was proposed by Gaby Ferenczy and seconded by Gordon Sellars

  1.  Treasurer’s Report

Shirley Sloggie distributed the Financial Report. Membership income remained stable.

Expenses were lower than expectations. For the year 2018 the society had a deficit of €854 against a budget of a profit of €78.  We carried forward a bank balance of €2,225 for 2019.

A question was asked why we had made losses on tastings and it was explained that funds had built up over the past few years so a concerted effort was made to spend the surplus funds. Members have always enjoyed the opportunity to taste wines at a higher price than they would normally spend. It has never been the intention to make profits on wine tastings but ensure that good quality wines are tasted and costs are covered.

The financial report was proposed by Martin Bentley and seconded by Barbara Priest and then unanimously approved by members.

  1.  Election of President

Paul Nicholls advised that only one nomination had been received for the position of President. Members present were therefore invited to propose and second Vice President Maureen Holliday as President. This was proposed by Joan Easter and unanimously agreed by those present.

At this stage Paul Nicholls handed over the chair to the new President.

  1.  Election of Vice President

The only nomination for the position of Vice President was Tim Fawle and the President invited approval from the membership. This was unanimously agreed by those present.

  1. Election of Treasurer      

After 4 years as Treasurer Shirley Sloggie has decided to stand down.  Mike Granville volunteered to take up this position and was proposed by Hugh Epsom and seconded by Mary Anderton and unanimously agreed by those present.

  1. Election of Secretary

The only nomination for the position of Secretary was Paul Smithard and the President invited a proposer and seconder for this nomination. He was proposed by Colin Donadio and seconded by Debbie Theophilus and unanimously approved by the assembly.

  1. Election of Membership Secretary

Tony Cabban has offered his resignation and Ron Watson has offered his nomination.  This was proposed by Susan Blewett and seconded by Gordon Sellars and unanimously agreed by those present.

  1. Venues & Menus Team

After 4 years in the position Sue and Colin Donadio will stand down. Susan Blewett has accepted this nomination and will be assisted by Netty Sayers when required.  This was proposed by Pat Pacey and seconded by Carol Bentley and unanimously agreed by those present.

  1. Proposed Budget 2019

The President advised that the 2019 budget is forecasted to have the same level of membership as 2018 and that tastings will reflect a small overall loss of 50€. The overall objective is to provide quality wines and meals as in previous years.

14  Proposed Programme 2019

The President outlined her programme for the year 2019, which appears on the web site.

  1. A.O.B.

Colin Donadio advised the meeting that he and Sue will deputise for Susan Blewett in February who has a family commitment in the UK. A new venue Restaurante Amanecer has been selected for this tasting as La Senia in Denia is closed for alterations.  The meeting room for the AGM was provided free from Hotel Sol y Mar.

Finally Colin commented that within the confines of good budgeting there is a fine balance between venues and cost. The more prestigious venues have higher charges but will be balanced by the lower cost venues whilst making sure that we retain a good standard. The same standards will be maintained this year.

There being no other business, President Maureen Holliday closed the meeting at 19.30.