The Story Behind the Label - Bangor's Captain Spotswood Pinot Noir.

Captain Spotswood Pinot Noir

Captain Spotswood is our un-oaked Pinot Noir and has been crafted from our young Pinot vines. Captain Spotswood displays true cool climate red fruit flavours. It has been made in a lighter, delicate, fruity style, ideal for pairing with a wide range of food including Tasmanian seafood, pasta, lamb and duck, and can be enjoyed with friends and family all year round. 

Enjoy a glass of Captain Spotswood Pinot Noir at the Bangor Wine & Oyster Shed, and order from our online store.


The Story Behind the Label

Captain John Spotswood

Captain John Spotswood

Captain John Spotswood, a retired army officer, was the first settler to be granted land at what was to become Bangor, including the land where Bangor's vineyard now stands. Early accounts record that he rather enjoyed a drink, and we expect he would have fancied a glass of our Pinot Noir, bearing his name.

Captain John Spotswood (b. 1875 in Ireland, d. 1859 in Hobart) was the first settler to be granted land on property that would later become part of Bangor. As a retired soldier, he was granted 2650 acres in 1831, where he farmed a range of crops.

During a tour of Tasmania's east coast in January 1838, Lady Jane Franklin (the wife the Governor of Van Diemens Land) visited Captain Spotswood and remarked on his house, farm, and his drinking habits! An extract from her journal reads as follows:

After breakfasting early on Wednesday morning the 3rd we took to the boats and passed from them into the cart which was standing in the water with four bullocks yoked to it, a convenience we owed to Captain Spotswood, a settler on E. Bay , who was awaiting us with Captain Harbury of the Eliza.  On the shore Captain Spotswood’s countenance and manner indicated in its heaviness and melancholy the correctness of the character which had been given me of the individual, viz., that he has occasional fits of drunkenness which palsy all his faculties. I was told that he will go on temperately an soberly for a length of time, and then at the first temptation arising from a visit to town he will give himself up to course of prolonged and brutalizing intoxication. Captain Spotswood is a middle-aged man, a widower with 2 daughters.
He was a captain in the 84th regt. Which he was obliged to quit in consequence of his irregular habits. He got a maximum grant shortly before on Forestier’s Peninsula of 2560 acres, which he sold immediately to Dr. Finlay [Imlay] for 2500 guineas. This information I had from Captain Booth. [Port Arthur Commandant]  Captain S. Informed me himself that he had lived 7 years on the Neck, and that his estate which he calls Callaba [Colaba] from a place near Bombay consisted of 400 acres, 50 of which are in cultivation, his crops being wheat, turnips, potatoes, peas, etc. He said it was only third rate land. The distance across the Neck is 600 yards. In crossing this distance in the bullock cart we passed the farm of Captain S. The dwelling house which we declined entering is built of wood. But seems a respectable building having a deep sloping roof. The property commands a double view towards Norfolk Bay on the S. & E. Bay bounded by Maria Island on the North.
Captain Spotswood's Cottage

Captain Spotswood's Cottage

The area known as Colaba includes the current site of the vineyard and a number of surrounding paddocks. Captain Spotswood's cottage stood opposite Bangor's vineyard until January 2013 when it was sadly lost in the large bushfire that destroyed much of Dunalley and surrounding areas, and covered 2000 hectares of Bangor. The cottage and what it represented held a special place in the heart of the current custodian Elizabeth Dunbabin and her family.  We have been fortunate enough to be able to honour the memory of Captain Spotswood through this wine label, and also through the convict bricks from his chimneys that we were able to salvage after the fire and re-lay as a beautiful hearth in the Bangor Wine & Oyster Shed. Come and enjoy a glass of wine with us by the fire and admire this piece of Tasmanian history.