AGM January 2023 Minutes

Costa Blanca Wine Society

Minutes of the meeting held on January 19th 2023 at Restaurante La Senia, Denia

The meeting was called to order by President Tim Fawle at 18.00.  31 Members attended.

Read more: AGM January 2023 Minutes

  1. Apologies

Rod & Mary Anderton.

Hilary Blackwell-Landis

Kathy & Andrew Johnson

Alan & Rosemary Murdoch

Phil & Eliza Fraser

Anders & Tone Kongsgaard

Neville & Sara Richardson

  1. Matters Arising from the last (2022) AGM

There were no matters arising from the Minutes of the previous AGM and so these were approved unaltered.

  1. Membership

Helen Granville (Membership Secretary) reported that we had 131 Members at the start of 2022.

During the year sadly four members died. Twenty-two members didn’t renew their membership either due to ill health or returning to their home countries.

We had eleven new members.

We ended the year with 116 members.

So far in 2023 five have not renewed their membership, 80 members have renewed and hopefully the majority rest (31) will rejoin.

  1. Financial Report

Treasurer Mike Granville handed out copies of the Society’s financial position as at the end of 2022.  The Society is in a strong financial position with assets of €2644.

The accounts show a €163 loss for the year after a provision of €500 for a new web site.

Membership receipts were down in 2021 as there were no fees charged because of the Covid pandemic – other than new Members joining at a discounted rate.

It was stated that the Society didn’t want a big bank balance as it aimed to provide Members with the opportunity to taste better and more expensive wines.

The accounts had been checked by Keri Theophilus and our thanks go to Keri for his help.

Anyone who wants more information on the approved accounts, then please contact Mike Granville.

  1. President’s Report

Last year was a very good year for CBWS with lots of interesting activities and varied tastings provided by the newly formed Tasting Team.

Review 2022


A total of 42 members attended the tasting in the La Senia Restaurant. As it was our first tasting of the year various Committee members selected their wine to present. The wines were well chosen, receiving favourable comments from the attendees, together with the excellent menu that was provided by the restaurant.


On a spring-like evening at Restaurant Republic, Denia, with a beautiful sunset over the mountains and marina we welcomed 50 members and 4 guests. This was the first tasting hosted by our Tasting Team members, Caryl & Gordon Sellars, and it did not disappoint as you would expect! My thanks to Caryl and Gordon who presented the wines which they had chosen to be paired with a tasting menu.


As members of our Tasting Team Neville and Sara Richardson organised a tasting of Wines from the Bodega Los Aljibes, near Albacete, which was visited by CBWS members several years ago and whose owner, Manuel Morante presented to us via Zoom during lockdown. Neville and Sara visited the vineyard recently to select the wines and had negotiated some very good prices.

Manuel offered us the opportunity to buy the wines tasted at ‘wholesale prices’ and agreed that if our order was over €1,500, we would receive a further 15% discount. The tasting clearly went well because between the 34 of us we placed orders on the evening of over €1,500, in fact, following the tasting which we extended the offer to all members that exceeded €3400!

In tandem with this tasting Neville and Sara had developed a very interesting wine related quiz, which, coupled with these good wines and food offering from Los Amigos, resulted in a very convivial evening. Many thanks to Neville and Sara for their hard work and preparation in making this tasting a great success.


The April tasting was hosted by Tasting Team members Paul & Helen Nicholls at restaurant A Bordo, Javea on Thursday April 21.  51 members attended to enjoy wines from the Priorat region, one of the most prestigious DO’s in Spain. Paul and Helen presented some great wines from this region and of particular interest was that the forthcoming May Wine trip would be to Monsant which borders the Priorat region so those attending the wine trip could make comparisions. Our thanks to Paul and Helen for hosting this tasting.


Wine Trip

The first Wine Trip to take place since the Covid lockdown was to the DO Montstant.  We first visited this DO in 2009 and discovered some excellent wines.  Montsant is the youngest DO in Spain having been founded in 2001.   It was carved out of the DO of Tarragona and is in a horseshoe shape and almost totally surrounds the DO of Priorat.   It produces high quality wines, mostly reds, with wines approaching the quality of Priorat, but at slightly lower prices. In the last 20 years this region has really developed with new, progressive bodegas and now consists of over 60 bodegas in the DO.

A great trip for the 28 members who joined the Wine Trip Team and purchased just over €9000 of these great wines.

Also thanks to the Wine Trip team, Sandy Fawle, John and Shirley Sloggie and myself  for the detailed preparation and planning that is essential to the success of these trips.

May Tasting

The May tasting was hosted by Tasting Team members Neil Robertson and Vicky Wyatt at the MR Hotel Les Rotes, Denia.

43 members and guests attended with Neil introducing his guest speaker, Brian Howard, a seasoned wine professional from London to present to us.  Brian is a founding member of Wine Intelligence.  This company, founded in 2002 conducts projects on behalf of wine businesses in more than 35 wine markets.

The evening was extremely interesting with Brian providing us with insights into the changing trends in the wine business as well as a selection of Spanish wines for the tasting. The organisation by Neil, Vicki and Brian, together with an excellent food offering from the hotel and the preparation to make it a success was very much appreciated.


Many of you who were here in June participated in a visit to local bodega Pepe Mendoza in Lliber which was organised by Neville and Sarah Richardson who as members of the Tasting Team came up with idea to visit a local bodega in place of our normal tasting and dinner.

The visit did not disappoint. Pepe is a local producer of very good quality wines concentrating on local and historic grape varieties. He is passionate about his craft, has hosted UK Masters of Wine and his wines have featured in the UK Wine Society wine lists. He was unable to attend our visit but his very competent winemaker Christian hosted us with a professional presentation of the wines.

Everyone had an opportunity to buy the wines that were tasted and the fact that the total amount of wine purchased was €2400 demonstrated our opinion of his wines. Many thanks to Neville and Sarah for organising the visit.


We started our September tasting in the beautiful setting of Puerto Blanco, Calpe, and the evening was hosted by Tasting Team members, Andrew and Kathy Johnson, where 41 members and guests enjoyed wines under the heading of Past Presidents Partners Preferences. Wines were presented by Maureen Holliday, Sandy Fawle, Helen Nicholls, Kathy Johnson and Caryl Skelton who had chosen one of their favourite wines.


The October tasting was held at Restaurante La Senia in Denia. Tasting Team members Hugh & Gillian Epsom organised a light-hearted evening, ably supported by Neville Richardson. 43 people attended

This wine tasting followed a concept introduced some years ago by Gillian and Hugh Epsom.  It was a blind tasting called Whose Wine Is It Anyway? Neville Richardson helped with the presentations and helped provide convincing incorrect wine tasting notes. The winning table was that which correctly guessed which of the three presenters was actually telling the truth!


This tasting was held in the new premises of Los Amigos, Javea. During our May Wine Trip to DO Montsant we visited Acustic Celler which is a family business with bodegas in Montsant and Priorat. The owner Albert Jané was invited to attend one of our tastings to introduce more members to his excellent wines.  We were impressed with his passion and enthusiasm and more importantly with the quality of his wines, many produced from very old vines.

The wines we tasted achieved over 90 points from the various wine guide publications and members were invited to purchase these wines at a special price.  Members purchased €2,700 of his wines


There were a total of 49 members who attended the December tasting at A Bordo, Club Nautico, Javea. The December tasting is always hosted by the President who had chosen a selection of some of his favourite wines.

As it was a Christmas event there were no formalities such as wine scoring or descriptions of the wines, except on a general basis as this was a social occasion where members could enjoy good wines together in a convivial atmosphere.

With great sadness… 4 members passed away in 2022.

Martin Bentley,

Keith Pacey,

Phyllis Sutton

Norman Easter.

All of these people thoroughly enjoyed and contributed to CBWS through their friendship, knowledge and participation. We will miss you.

In summary, apart from the above, this has been an excellent year for CBWS. The establishment of The Tasting Team has resulted in some new ideas into our Tasting Programme which is so important as we move forward. I would like to thank everyone involved for their enthusiasm, initiatives and execution in making sure their tastings achieved a high standard.

Also to our Committee:

  • Mike for keep us on track on our finances
  • Helen for managing Membership
  • Neville for his ideas and extensive wine knowledge
  • Paul for ensuring our communication to members is interesting and informative.
  • John for managing the website and providing new initiatives on how we can develop in 2023
  • Penny for managing the bookings and scores each month
  • Sue for her meticulous planning with our menus and venues.
  • Netty for helping out when required.
  • Sandy for keeping me on track and managing our table layout at each tasting.

Each member of this team ensures that our planning and organisation runs smoothly so all of us can enjoy the social and interesting pursuit of wine tasting as well as developing friendships.

  1. Election of Committee Members 2023

All members of our Committee have agreed to continue for 2023

Election en bloc – Proposed by Gordon Sellars.  Seconded By Beverley Stewart

6a.  Vice President

There has been one nomination for Vice President which has been vacant for some years. Neville Richardson has offered to fill this position.

Proposed by John Sloggie.  Seconded by Patrick Harrild

Tim Fawle said that he was delighted that Neville will be our Vice President and as you know he has demonstrated some great initiatives and in the future will help guide the Wine Society moving forward.  He is travelling back from Australia and New Zealand where he and Sara have tasted wines from 8 different regions.

6b.  President

Tim said that he had been President of CBWS for several years and will be standing down from this role in 2024. The wine society has been an important part of his life and will continue to be so but it is equally important that we have a new President to bring freshness and new ideas.

  1. 2023 Programme

January 19 – La Senia, AGM – Tasting Top 5 Wines scored in 2022 hosted by Tim

February 16 – Javea Golf club – Wine Distributor Presentation hosted by Neville and Sara.

March 16 – Los Amigos, Javea. South American Wines hosted by Hugh & Gillian

April 20 – Republic Lounge, Denia hosted by Gordon and Caryl  Sellars

Wine Trip to Calatayud May 9 – This Trip is fully subscribed with a waiting list.

May 18 – MR Hotel Les Rotes Visit of Bodega Marques de Riscal Wines hosted by Paul and Helen

June 15 – Puerto Blanco, Calpe. – Restaurant Sommelier wines paired with food.

Andrew & Kathy Johnson are looking for members to help host this presentation.

September 21–  Location a local Riu Rau. A tasting of local grapes and their related wines hosted by Tony and Cherry Cabban

Autumn Wine Trip – Date and location to be finalised

October 19 – Visit to bodega in the Valencia region arranged by Neil Robertson and Vicki Wyatt. Their plan is to try something completely new. This will take the form of an overnight “Tasting Dinner, Bed & Breakfast” event outside our normal geography of Tasting Dinners. It will be restricted to Members Only. The maximum number in total will be 28, limited by the hotel capacity.  Members will need to arrange their own transport.  Further details will be issued nearer to the date.

November 16 – Los Amigos Javea, Christmas Wines from Bodegas Blasco hosted by Andrew & Kathy

December 7  President’s Selection. A Bordo, Javea hosted by Tim Fawle.

  1. Website

John Sloggie is developing an improved website and will be incorporating an online booking system for the monthly meetings. Work is in progress on this and will be developed over the next few months.

  1. Any Other Business

9a.  Hugh Stewart expressed disappointment that some Members &/or Guests chatted during presentations.  This was particularly bad-mannered if an external speaker was involved.

Tim Fawle advised that guests would only be allowed to attend 2 tastings as ‘Guests’ as the idea was that their interest in wines and the Society would encourage them to join the Society.

9b.  Patrick Harrild asked what the ideal size of the Society was?

Tim Fawle advised that it used to be 100 – 120 Members as we were limited by the capacity of the restaurants.  There are now more ‘swallows’ in the Society and Brexit has also restricted the time people spend in Spain and so we are open to new Members, who traditionally have come via ‘word of mouth’.  The Committee has plans to invite 1 or 2 members of the press to our Tastings and hope that this publicity might also attract a younger group.

It was important that numbers don’t drop too low or we will lose the speciality of exclusivity in restaurants/venues.

Gordon Sellars added that, when he was president a few years ago, it had been a struggle to keep Tasting Attendances down to 65 – 70 but now understood that we needed to encourage more Members.

There being no other matters arising, thanks were given to everyone for their attendance and the meeting was closed at 18.47.

Paul Smithard                       CBWS Secretary

22nd January 2023