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Cellar Rats was started in 1989 by a group of friends and WITS Wine Tasting Society members interested in continuing their quest for knowledge about wine. The founder members of Cellar Rats were: Jeanette & Terry Odgers, Paul Linton, Clyde Clarke, Nigel Redman, Andy Redman & Geoff Carter.

Our first tasting was presented on 11 April 1989, in a noisy Italian restaurant, to ±12 people by a very brave Clive Torr. From this inauspicious start we moved to Porta Romana and, drawing heavily on the WITS Ski Club, of whom many of us were members, we began to attract increasingly large numbers. At one stage we had paid-up membership of 83 people, and had to institute a wait-list policy to become a member!

Unfortunately our happy days of wine & Mexican taxi-drivers at Porta Romana ended with their liquidation and we began a brief but unpleasant nomadic existence, moving from restaurant to restaurant, before finding a more permanent home at the Megawatt Park Club.

After a number of years at Megawatt Park their venue rental policies changed and we found ourselves back on the street. Luckily we found our next home, Morningside Country Club, almost immediately and have enjoyed their hospitality since.

As the tasting club has developed, we have created a number of traditions revolving around wine. These include the annual RATS-VATS TASTING EVENINGS and the BEAUMONT WINEMAKING CHALLENGE.

Of course, our involvement with wine doesn’t end there. We have had wine-themed rallies, train trips, sports days, wine tours, Midmas weekends, quiz-evenings and, since 2001 – the most ambitious project yet – our annual SPRING WINE FESTIVAL. We’ve even had a few weddings of folk who have met at our tastings!

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