Photo by Wanda Haynes

Wanda Haynes,

Certified Sommelier

Fact is often stranger than fiction and this is certainly true in a brand of wine from Australia. The brand is “19 Crimes”, and the history behind the labels is incredible. The men and women featured on the labels are real and not fictional characters. 

British rogues guilty of at least one of the 19 crimes were sentenced to live in Australia, rather than be put to death. This type of punishment was referred to as “transportation” and began around 1783. Many of the criminals perished at sea during the long trip to Australia.

Often the crimes were committed in the name of political rebellion, and by today’s standard would be considered less offensive.

Treasury Wine Estates is the company that manufactures 19 Crimes they have locations in Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and in the US. 

Hard Chard features the only female convict on their list of criminals. Jane Castings was a mother of four children. She was sentenced to seven years transportation for receiving stolen cheese and bacon. Hard Chard is a delicious partially oaked chardonnay, and is full bodied, rich, and loaded with grilled pineapple.

The Banished This red blend has a touch of sweetness, and produced from Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache. The wine has plenty of dark chocolate and warm vanilla tastes. James Wilson Joined the British Army as a 17-year-old under an assumed name. In 1866 he was arrested for deserting his military duties, and sentenced to death. However, this sentence was commuted to life. He too was transported to Australia. 

To see their entire portfolio of wines, go to:

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