VATS Committee Meetings 2008

MINUTES OF VATS COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON 8th January 2008

Present: Rob Shaw, Bernd Sonnenberg, Dave Moss, Hanneke van Linge

Financial Report:

In Future, socials must pay for themselves, stricter budgets are to be given to chefs up front.
More fundraiser's, raffles etc. to be done in 2008.
Any tasting where food or snacks are provided are to be charged a bit extra, not just for guests,
but for the members as well.
Suggestion to be made at AGM to increase annual membership to R100 and/or weekly fees to R25, as fees
to members have not gone up in several years, while the running costs have gone up tremendously, and are
likely to do so again in 2008.

Tasting Co-ordinator's report:

Six of the Best Tastings to be held more frequently (every 2 months). Presenters to be given enough prior notice
to be able to approach estates to donate wines.
Date for Gluhwéin tasting to be set and Rats to be invited.
Valentine's Day tasting not to be a Rosé theme this year, committee to give thought to alternative theme.
Suggestion to contact the producers of the Vats Top 20 wines of 2007 and advise them of said ranking,
in order to encourage them to come and present to the club.
Suggestions for tastings: top Italian Varietals, Muscadels, Sauvignon Blanc, Clone tasting, Pinot Noir.
Hanneke to approach Rudolph / Henry), Chenin Blanc Association, Boxwine, Woolworths /
Checkers / Spar / Pick&Pay Imports, Whiskey, Brandy, Sake.
26/2 to be a spicy food and wine pairing by Catherine Rebel.
Micro-brewery beer tasting - Dave to procure pineapples, Bernd (who has been a member of a micro-brewery
association called WortHogs for a number of years) is to brew pineapple beer and to encourage more
Vats members / Committee members to join WortHogs, which means we can organise more tickets for their
annual brewing festival. Oliver's input to be sought as he is also a member.
Bernd will find out dates for WineX and see if we want to schedule a tasting that week or not.
Next social to be on 16/17 February. Hanneke to send out an e-mail requesting suggestions for a theme,
possibly Japanese. Rob to look into availability of the Golden Harvest Lapa.
Hanneke to look into the viability of The Wilds and Zoo Lake.
Bernd to look into whether his friend's farm in Broederstroom is a viable option for a second social.

General:
Hanneke still looking into buying 12 decanters for blind and six of the Best Tastings.
JP and Reinhardt delegated to organise a Vats Camping Trip during a weekend in May.
Vats involvement in Brightwater Commons Oyster Festival in June to be researched.
This is a nice opportunity for the club to make some money. Suggestions of offering cheese platters
(incorporating cheese/wine/olive pairing suggestions), biltong and pate's, kebabs, or some or other food
stall, or possibly even using members' skills to produce a visitors' brochure for the show were discussed.
Hanneke to liaise further with Judith Lee.
The 2007 committee are all available for duty again in 2008.
Laurie to be approached to look into the possibility to design a standing banner with the Vats logo.
Tasting sheets to be printed by Bernd/Rob combo, as Rob no longer has easy access to a colour printer.
Dave to negotiate cupboard space with BCC.

Beaumont Challenge:

It was suggested again that the winemaking process be supervised and co-ordinated by one person this year.
Dave to approach Kevin and/or Rudolph.
Grappa to be made again.
Bernd & Dave to source a 2nd / 3rd fill barrel, and to ask Oliver if he could transport it up for us.
Oliver to be asked if we could borrow his crusher to augment the traditional stomping.
Winemaking steps to be put on the Website Forum.



Minutes of Vats Annual General Meeting held on 22nd January 2008

Dave opened the meeting by thanking the 2007 committee members for their efforts, as well as Rainold for his
contribution to the scoring and Mike for all his work on the website.

Treasurer's Report::

The club's finances are looking healthy, if anyone wants a digital copy of the income & expenditure statement,
they can contact Rob Shaw, his details are on the website.
It was proposed to increase the weekly tasting fees and annual membership fees to R25 and R100 respectively.
This was approved unanimously.

Chairman's report:

Dave listed the various functions held during the year 2007, details of which are on the website.
He thanked all who were involved in the organising thereof.
Mention was made of the trend for socialising at the tasting venue after tastings, as opposed to going out to a
restaurant for dinner. It was felt that this created a good rapport within the club and should be encouraged;
Dave exhorted the club to get more involved with the wine making at the Beaumont Shiraz Challenge, and
mentioned the aim to eventually create a 4-star wine.

General:
A proposal was made to have name tags for members. Richard Hulse offered to source these.

Nominations:

Nominations for the 2008 committee were received for Kevin Ryan, Rainold Petersen and Denny Newcombe.
All declined to stand. The 2007 committee indicated their willingness to stand for 2008.
This was unanimously approved of by the members present.

Dave thanked the members, ended the AGM and proceeded to the Chairman's Tasting.


Minutes of Vats Committee Meeting held on 1st April 2008 at the BCC

Present: Rob Shaw, Bernd Sonnenberg, Dave Moss, Hanneke van Linge

Financial Report:

Report attached as per Rob. Overall funds are looking healthy, we haven't touched the bank account,
but the cash-flow may start looking dismal if we carry on spending like we have.
The club needs to look into more fund-raising activities, as there have been a lot of expensive tastings.
Suggestions are raffles, socials etc.
If at all possible, more tastings should be sponsored, not paid for with club funds.

Tasting Co-ordinator's report:

Rudolph lined up to do a 6OTB Pinot Noir, with emphasis on trying to get as many wines donated as possible.
Aim to do a 6OTB four times per year, funds permitting.
Bernd has plenty of tastings lined up, but is waiting for lots of responses and confirmations.
Food and wine pairing is very topical, we should try to do more in that vein.
For big shows like Juliet Cullinan and WineX, when there is probably only a small group, can we look into moving
the tasting to someone's house instead of spending money on the BCC hire?
Possibly look into Debbi van Flymen's venue in Rosebank.
Look into the possibility of donated vertical tastings from estates we have strong links with, suggestions are Beaumont,
Guardian Peak, Perdeberg.
Dave to contact Bergkelder to look into the possibility of having them present a Terroir tasting.

General:
Dave still waiting for feedback from Rado on getting the use of a cupboard at the BCC for glasses, spittoons, etc.
Dave to speak to Cheryl regarding sourcing and costing individual name badges with vats logo.
According to comments from new tasters who have found us via the website, the directions to the club need to be
displayed more prominently.
Apparently the page showing past scores is password-protected, any reason for this?
The events page only shows items until September 2007.
Mention should be made (to attract and inform potential new tasters) of the after-tasting snacks and drinks that have
become a regular occurrence.
Perhaps a new page could be created with all the pointers and info a potential taster would need to attend their first
tasting - directions, info on glasses, perfume, punctuality, social afterwards etc.

Beaumont Shiraz:

Dave has sourced a barrel, it will cost approximately R700, Oliver has offered to transport it up to Gauteng.
To give some thought to a nice gift for Oliver from Vats and Rats for his involvement and availability for pretty much
everything we throw at him.
We want to have a look at the mailing list, Mike to be asked to print or e-mail a list of the database.
Using the mailing list as a tool for wineries to promote their products.
This should be restricted to presenters who have actually come to present to Vats, and then only in the year in which
this happened. This should make it more attractive to presenters and hence easier for the tasting co-ordinator to lure
good estates to Vats.
The possibility of the club earning a small fee (possibly per case) to cover costs and facilitate distribution to members
should be investigated.

Oyster festival:

Finalised dates are 31 May and 1 June, 11am - 6pm
Geoff Carter co-opted onto the committee for the durantion to assist.
Details to be discussed at a dedicated meeting, but possibilities are a coffeeshop, champagne lounge,
stickies / unusuals / port / gluhwein, cheese/olive/fruit platters.
Cost is R1750 per garage-size stand, including trestle tables with tablecloths and plastic chairs.
Judith would like us to nominate a charity for the auction. If they could provide a few bodies to help at the auction,
and some promotional material for their cause. Hanneke suggested FreeMe. Dave asked to be auctioneer, will approach Hilary.

Vats 25th celebration:

Preferably outdoors, possibly Hennops or Golden Harvest.
Debbi van Flymen's venue to be looked into as a possibility for a catered event.
Delegate a member of long standing to round up founder members (Geoff Carter volunteered).
Date to be established by e-mail within committee.
Perhaps combine with an extra-special tasting.
Separate meeting to be held to thrash out details.
Meeting adjourned.

Minutes of Vats Committee Meeting held on 22 September 2008

Present: Rob Shaw, Bernd Sonnenberg, Dave Moss, Hanneke van Linge

Minutes of the AGM were read and accepted and are to be submitted to the website.
Minutes of the committee meeting of 1 April were read and accepted, with the following matters arising:
Dave has managed to get approval for our exclusive use of one of the kitchen cupboards above the microwave at the BCC,
he will liaise with BCC to get it secured;
Dave to look into procuring individual name badges for Vats members, possibly to liaise with Cheryl;
Website - Dave is to speak to Mike regarding the website, and the committee feels they need access to be able to
upload onto the site themselves. Rob has a copy (`dump') of the site on his pc.
The acquisition of a barrel for the Beaumont Shiraz was not deemed necessary after all;
Oliver Meckler was happy with his gift of Mikasa glasses;

Financial Report
Rob is still trying to finally split the finances of the Oyster festival and the 25th birthday party. He needs a few more pieces
of information to do a full recon, but that should be finalised by the end of today's meeting;
BCC - we owe R1620 (includes tastings until the end of September);
The signatories for the call account (which is still under the signature of Mike Stokes) are to be updated. Rob to get the
appropriate forms from Standard Bank. If Standard Bank no longer offers the option of “club” accounts, this account is
to be closed and a suitable account opened at another bank. Hanneke has information on Absa's club accounts if necessary.
A letter is to be drafted on behalf of the committee that PersonNameRob Shaw is currently the club's treasurer and is duly
empowered to sign on the (new) account.

Tasting Co-ordinator's report
Bernd feels we should look for an alternative to Geoff's traditional first tasting;
21/10     Judith Lee (Dornier)
27/10     Beaumont taste-off. Venue - approach Rats (BCC not available on Mondays), alternatively approach Debi van Flymen;
28/10     Hanneke to offer tasting skills workshop, at her home if necessary (WineX week)
November is still open, except for the Lourensford tasting
9/11     Potjiekos competition at Hennops, Bernd to organise cooks (nr 2 or 3 pots to be used)
2/12     Hanneke to do annual bubbly tasting
9/12     Bernd to do “token” tasting with social afterwards
16/12     Public holiday - some form of social
Ideas for tastings for 2009 - Hanneke (Mead), Kevin (Beer), Oliver (Riesling, or Port & Chocolate, possibly for November 08),
Oliver (Blending workshop), Chris de Klerk (tasting skills “workshop')
Bernd would like to stand down as tasting co-ordinator. All to give thought to possible candidates, Bernd will approach JP, Denny, Kevin

General-
Wine glass carriers - Hanneke to get price for wooden 8-glass carriers from Cheryl
Bernd to look into pricing nylon carriers for 6 Mikasa glasses
Beaumont Shiraz
Dave to speak to Kevin - waiting for Kevin for good time to bottle, approx. 2 weeks before 27/10)
An alternative venue for punch-downs is required for 2009
2009 venue for stomping - possibly Hanneke's place;


Minutes of Vats Committee Meeting held on 2 December 2008 at the Fish Diner

Present: Rob Shaw, Bernd Sonnenberg, Hanneke van Linge

Tastings have been sorted out until early February, but have not yet been updated on the website;
Olga and JP have offered to research 6 OTBValue Viognier tasting;
Scoring at Best Value tastings - Our Vats scores could be compared to the industry scores.
Kevin has offered to do basic regression calculations (he has access to free membership to this type of mathematical software)
Website - as Mike has indicated that he is extremely busy due to his business activities, perhaps Kevin or JP to be approached to do it;
Budget for snacks for after-tasting social on 9/12 to be around R25 per head (approx. R1000). Hanneke to e-mail bookings.
Isabel and Gail have offered to help;
Dave has resigned from the Vats committee, but will still be asked whether he wants to host the annual Chairman's tasting and AGM.
Budget for tasting to be around R1800;
All three remaining committee members have indicated willingness to stand for 2009;
A suggestion is to be made at the AGM to institute a 5-member committee;
Isabel has indicated willingness to be trained as tasting co-ordinator and is willing to stand for committee in 2009.
The extra portfolio would take more responsibility for organising socials etc, which is currently shared between mostly Bernd, Rob and Hanneke;
BCC fees are going up from R175 per night to approximately R200 per night in 2009;
Reminder to be made to members that the annual fee is going to be increased to R100, as per the 2008 AGM. Tasting fees to stay at R25;
Geoff to be approached to offer a Beginners Tasting Skills Workshop, possibly on an annual basis early in the calendar year.
Novice tasters to be approached, possibly individually, and encouraged to attend. Les Sutcliffe is a possible alternative;
Oyster Festival 2009 - The decision to participate again in 2009 was unanimous, we are waiting for dates from Judith Lee;
Pourers to be used at all tastings, to avoid over-pouring, to speed up the pouring and to encourage tasters to listen to the presenter,
rather than fuss over the labels;

Suggestions for tastings next year -
Mouritz from Worthogs (close to brewing festival)
Hanneke (Mead, Mead Beer)
Izzy / Di van Rensburg (Cocktails)
Heidi R-D (Brandy / CityCognac / placeArmagnac styles tasting)
Whiskey (Whiskies of the World?) Hanneke to ask Wanderers for their contact
Hanneke (Organic / Biodynamic)
Chris de Klerk (Fleur du cap Terroir tasting)
Catherine Rebel (Food and Wine matching)