Annual General Meeting 2014

Annual General Meeting 20th February 2014 – Café del Mar – Moraira

President Andrew Johnson Opened the AGM Meeting at 18.30

Andrew informed the 63 Members that under Spanish Law we were obliged to verbally announce the AGM at 18.00 scheduled for 18.30. Secretary James Blackwell confirmed that this duty had duly been carried out.

Apologies for Absence

Tim/Sandy Fawle, John/Shirley Sloggie, Gill/Peter Webb, Norman/Jean Easter, Gillian/Philip Steff, Colin/Sue Donaldio, Jeanne/John Millington and John/Beth Atkinson.

Approval of AGM Minutes 2013

As the AGM Minutes had been available on the CBWS Webpage since March 2013, Andrew asked the Meeting to accept them as being read and approved. There were no objections.

Matters Arising

There were no matters arising.

President’s Report

Andrew started by thanking all for the confidence that had been shown in selecting him as president for the past year – and for the privilege that members had bestowed on him. Andrew admitted happily that he had found the year testing, educational, rewarding, challenging, tempting, fulfilling, very sociable and very enjoyable.

He went on to remind those present that the only change to the 2013/14 programme was the decision to switch the Christmas Dinner to the Parador in Javea. That was an inspired decision. The cost for the event was 30% lower than in recent years, the quality of both food and service were excellent and by negotiating “dry” that is without wines, we were able to serve some outstanding wines from the past year. The Wine Taster of the Year awards were announced by Gaby and presented by Gordon.

We introduced the Abiss in Calpe for the first time and both the Champagne bar, where we had the welcome drink overlooking the sea, and the restaurant performed very well.

The innovation did not stop with the venues! We had our first olive oil tasting, as part of last March’s tasting of fantastic wines from Toro, and in November we had a special pairing in recognition of our visit to Ribera Del Duero this coming May. The menu was carefully chosen from selected ingredients brought in from Castile and Leon, and in fact we tasted wines from the Ribera Del Duero on no less than 5 different occasions last year, often in comparison with wines from elsewhere. So we should all board that bus a little wiser about what we might expect!

We had our first “Past President’s Pairings” at the La Senia, in Denia last September, where Keith, Tim and Gaby each presented 2 wines with a connection – same grape variety, DO of origin, producer, style etc. This was a great success, as was our return to the restaurant in January where our 3 bluffers – Colin Donadio, Kathy Johnson and Hugh Epsom successfully challenged our tasting skills by describing each wine as 3 different types. The assembly managed to identify 2 of the 5 wines tasted. Great fun!

It would be remiss to overlook the 2 excellent trips that our wine trip team organised in 2013, a trip to La Mancha in May, followed by a shorter trip to Jumilla in the autumn. In both cases we met innovation working so successfully alongside tradition, and tasted award winning wines, in a variety of bodega styles. Thank you to Tim & Sandy, Gaby & Margaret.

In October, just a couple of weeks after the visit to Jumilla we invited Bodegas Bleda, one of the wineries visited, to present at that month’s tasting. They brought their premium range and those wines scored among the best of what was a high scoring year. Attitudes to Jumilla have certainly changed!

Indeed we tasted some outstanding wines last year – and a number at the expensive end of the spectrum. On some occasions we tasted just 4 or 5 exceptional wines. By contrast, in June the Vice President and the CEO of the Alicante DO were our guest presenters and shared no less than 7 wines plus 3 sparkling wines with us! It was fascinating to see how Alicante wines have also developed into award winners and the evening brought great feedback. We tasted wines ranging in price up to €34 a bottle! However most were heavily discounted and a number were free of charge. So he wished to express thanks to all the many bodegas and suppliers who supported us so generously.

As David will demonstrate, our membership continues strong, with new members arriving throughout the year; and our finances remain robust. Members had supported a budget surplus for the year, and despite subsidising two events, as was agreed and the sheer quality of the wines tasted, we have contributed a slightly better surplus to our reserves. Andrew shared the view of others that a healthy reserve could be somewhat lower than ours currently is and he hoped that we can now drink some of those reserves at future tastings!

He continued by pointing out in 2013 we had the best average attendance in the last 7 years (at least), even allowing for the 112 who attended the Canor celebration in 2012! We were 5% up on 2012 and 6% up on the 7 year average.

And, as agreed at the last AGM we have renewed the website, which is now the main source of information on the Society’s activities. Thank you to Gaby

Andrew emphasized that he had been blessed with valuable friendships and a capable, generous and hard working team. He went on to say some thank yous -To James, our secretary. James cool counsel has encouraged and gently corrected at times, and his efficiency and communication had helped to keep him and us on track.

To David, our treasurer and membership secretary, who is one of those whose job is constant. David deals with subscriptions, member applications and the waiting list, resignations and the occasional failure to pay – not to mention the accounting for each tasting. David’s trusted contribution is most valuable.

To Penny, who also has a constant round – receiving bookings for each tasting in the weeks before and calculating the scores in the days that follow, before the bookings start to flow in again for the next tasting. And to Sandy (supported by Caryl) who manages the table allocations on the night.

To Hugh & Gillian, who have chosen great venues, selected tasty menus, negotiated some excellent prices with the restaurants – and coped with changes and foibles so calmly.

To Gaby, who quietly gets on with the website and communication – and provides his advice and guidance to help us stay on the straight and narrow.

To Gordon, who as Vice President has been there to support and encourage, to translate when needed – and to stand in at the October tasting. And to all your “other halves” for being there.

An important thank you to ALL our members, who have been so full of support and appreciation. Andrew went on to expresss a special thank you to his wife Kathy; whose patience, encouragement and calming words have been invaluable in what he believed has been a most successful year for the Society.

Andrew concluded by wishing the incoming President, the Committee and the Society continued success and enjoyment. Graçias!

Treasurer’s and Membership Secretary’s Report

David Pierson asked those members present to have a look at the elaborate report that had been handed around and commenced with an outline of the financial accounts for year ending 31.12.2013. The Society had assets of € 5907.12 and David considered the finances were sound. The society had continued to subsidise some tastings and several Bodegas had been generous. It is proposed to reduce the balance between € 1500- 2000 over the next 3/5 years, and the Budget for 2014 had been adjusted to reflect current and anticipated levels of expenditure.

On Membership David reported that at the end of 2013 we had 120 members today 20.02.2014 we had 116 paid up – there were two still due, with two others on the waiting list. David in addition mentioned that we are still obtaining a steady flow of new members and that the average attendance had increased in 2013 over 2012.

There were a number of voting matters that David explained to the AGM.

The proposal that we limit membership to a maximum of 120.

The Annual Subscription is held at € 20 for 2014 and 2015.

Acceptance of accounts for 2013.

Acceptance of proposed budget 2014.

Appointment of David Horne as Auditor for 2014.

Derek Hesslington and Keith Pacey proposed and seconded approval of the Financial Accounts.

David wished to thank David Horne for auditing the accounts 2013. He also recommended to members that when they pay for an item via the bank – they should send him an email to confirm and ensure that their names are on the payment slip.

Election of President

Andrew and Kathy Johnson proposed Vice President Gordon Sellars as the next President. Gordon was approved by a show of hands. There were no objections.

Andrew duly stepped back and handed the Chair to Gordon for the remainder of the meeting. Gordon thanked Andrew for his efficient and successful term as his predecessor and only hoped that he would meet the members’ expectations and fulfil his task with the same enthusiasm and skill.

The 2014/5 programme was available on the Web up until May and all of the venues were already fixed and on the web. Final details had to be worked out but we would be at Ca ia ia on 20th March and the Marriot on 17thApril.

Election of Vice President and Committee

Tim Fawle had been proposed by Gordon Sellars and seconded by Caryl Sellars. The members approved of the nomination and subsequently Gordon asked the members to approve of the rest of the Committee standing for re-election. In addition Sandy Fawle was nominated by James Blackwell and seconded by Gaby Ferenczy to be a full member of the board of management as she carried out numerous tasks for the Society. Members approved of the nominations.

Proposed Budget 2014, Annual Subscriptions for 2014 and 2015.

President Gordon Sellars asked for the Treasurer’s budget, subscription recommendations and membership limit of 120 to be approved. In addition members were asked to approve that once the 120 limit is reached a Waiting list is maintained, and that to maintain membership – members must attend at least one meeting per calendar year. Annual subscription is due by 31st December. If not received by the 31st January – membership is terminated. Annual Subscription to be held at € 20 for 2014 and 2015.

 All proposals were duly accepted.

Proposed Programme 2014

Gordon had touched on the provisional programme and indicated again that members should look at the website for information. The site was updated regularly and when planning ahead members are recommended to refer to the web information.

Appointment of Auditor for 2014 accounts

David Horne was unanimously approved and thanked for offering to be the Auditor for the 2014 accounts.


A member asked whether it would be appropriate to give the Auditor an enumeration. David Pierson mentioned that we had in the past invited the Auditor and partner to one of the Wine Tastings each year and naturally paid for their dinner. That would continue.

Gaby reported that there were currently 43 booked in for the May Wine Trip and that members wishing to try and join the trip should have their names on a Waiting list in case there are any cancellations. Sandy Fawle is dealing with that aspect.

CBWS President Gordon Sellars closed the AGM 2014 at 19.10.

James Blackwell-Landis, Secretary                                                                                                                                                                                                                            23rd February 2014