“To the Banished.”

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John Boyle O’Reilly

Sometimes the good intentioned get into no good situations. Such is the story of John Boyle O’Reilly. Irishman by birth. Poet and activist by passion and trade.

In 1867 John Boyle O’Reilly was banished from England to Australia on the Hougoumont - the last ship to transport convicts to the down under British colony. He was sentenced to 20 years of servitude for his role in the Fenian Conspiracy - an uprising against British rule in Ireland.

Aboard the Hougoumont, Mr. O’Reilly, along with a fellow convict, produced seven issues of a newspaper called The Wild Goose. The handwritten pages of poetry, stories, articles, jokes and songs were read aloud to the other passengers to keep spirits up during the long passage.

While imprisoned in Bunbury, Australia, Mr. O’Reilly formed a strong friendship with a local Catholic priest, Father Patrick McCabe. In 1869, Father McCabe helped O’Reilly escape the colony. The men took a rowboat up a river and out to the Indian Ocean. On the dunes, O’Reilly hid while waiting to be picked up by an American ship. The captain of that ship had second doubts and sailed past the men.

For two weeks, Mr. O’Reilly continued to hide in the dunes while Father McCabe made new arrangements. On March 2, 1869, an American ship, the Gazelle, picked O’Reilly up. He was free. Or so he thought.

The ship arrived in to Roderquez, Mauritius – a British colony. Upon docking, it was boarded by police who had been informed that a convict from Australia was aboard. In fact, there were two.

James Bowman had blackmailed his way onto the ship. While John Boyle O’Reilly hid on the Gazelle, Mr. Bowman was handed over to the police.

It was in Mr. O’Reilly’s best interest to keep changing ships. So he did.

From the Gazelle he changed to an American cargo vessel, the Sapphire. When the Sapphire docked in Liverpool, he changed to another American ship, the Bombay.

This would be his final change of ships and Philadelphia would be his next destination.

Upon arriving in America, he was given a hero’s welcome by Irish-Americans. Mr. O’Reilly settled in Charlestown, a Boston neighborhood. He wrote for the Pilot, a local newspaper, as well as go on to publish several works of poetry.

More importantly, you could argue, is he changed his stance on use of force as a means to change. Mr. O’Reilly believed that the way to Independence for his native country was not by military action, but rather by bringing-up the status and well-being of all layers of society.

Cheers to John Boyle O’Reilly, we say.

The 19 Crimes

The men featured on our wine labels are not those of fiction. They were flesh and blood. Criminals, artists and scholars. In history, they share a bond – receiving “punishment by transportation” for violation of one of 19 crimes and becoming the first settlers of a new nation.

2014 Shiraz Grenache Mataro

A gang of three not to be trifled with. The Shiraz of this blend broods with dark fruits, licorice, and round ripe tannins. The red and blue fruits of the Grenache focus its plush flavor. Finally, the Mataro brings it all together resulting in a complex, layered blend that rewards the curious.

2013 Shiraz Durif

A notorious duo known to be bolder when brought together, this blend greets you with a dark ruby hue in the glass and drops hints of licorice, dark fruits, and vanilla as the aroma passes by. Chalky, ripe tannins anchor a concentrated flavour and a persistent taste that beckons you back again and again.

2013 Shiraz

Its red and maroon hues peer out from inside the glass. An aroma of sweet vanilla, chocolate and fresh red berry fruits beckon you in for closer inspection. Those daring enough to investigate are rewarded with a soft, rich finish.

2014 Red Blend

Intensity resides within each pour of this blend. The bright hues of dark berry fruits shine as the strong vanilla aroma rises from the glass. Flavours of chocolate and cedar spice are accomplices in a finish that is soft, fruity, and fresh.

2014 Cabernet Sauvignon

Wonderful paired with a scheme for an evening’s escape, this wine conjures up red currants, dark berries and sweet vanilla oak in a passing smell. Caramel lurks in the back. Firm cabernet tannins and red fruits let the flavor linger after each nip.

2014 Red Blend

Intensity resides within each pour of this blend. The bright hues of dark berry fruits shine as the strong vanilla aroma rises from the glass. Flavors of chocolate and cedar spice are accomplices in a finish that is soft, fruity, and fresh.

2014 Cabernet Sauvignon

Wonderful paired with a scheme for an evening’s escape, this wine conjures up red currants, dark berries and sweet vanilla oak in a passing smell. Caramel lurks in the back. Firm cabernet tannins and red fruits let the flavor linger after each nip.

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The Banished