Old House Vineyards

The Black Fantail

New Zealand, Nelson


The Black Fantail

A convincing Pinot Noir, well matched to beetroot, endive and game bird salad. Produced by a British couple who purchased vineyards on the unirrigated clay and gravel soils of Upper Moutere, Nelson. With just seven vintages behind them, this wine charms on the nose whilst delivering power on the palate.

WBSS24 The Black Fantail 2019

Family-Owned Gem: Old House Vineyards

Old House Vineyards is a family-owned vineyard in Upper Moutere, part of the Nelson region, located in the Northwest of the South Island, New Zealand. Sheltered by hills to the east, south, and west, Old House Vineyards enjoys high sunshine hours and a moderating coastal climate on the unirrigated clay and gravel soils of Upper Moutere.


A Journey from the UK: The Bathgate Family

Ian and Jeanne Bathgate and their two sons moved from the UK to start a new life making wine in Upper Moutere, Nelson. Ian has always been interested in wine, starting his collection when he was eighteen. After years of talking about it and looking all over the world for the ‘best’ location, the decision was made to emigrate to New Zealand, and in particular the Nelson region. To make the move, Ian gave up the family business, Jeanne took early retirement as a 747 Captain for British Airways, and their sons delayed going to university. One son has now finished his studies in NZ, with degrees in viticulture and wine science, and is now working as a winemaker.

Vineyard Evolution: Planted in 2000, Purchased in 2014

Initially planted in 2000, they purchased the 20ha vineyard in 2014. They spent the next few years improving the vines before making their first wines in 2017. Grapes are harvested and sorted by hand, fermented, and matured in French oak barrels. The aim is to be one of the best producers in the region, pursuing quality rather than quantity.

Expressing Terroir: Unique Wines for a Special Region

Rather than try to copy Burgundy, or any other region, their aim is to make wines that represent the soils and climate that make the Upper Moutere area so special and unique. Everywhere in the vineyard, there are New Zealand Fantails (Māori name, Pīwakawaka). These friendly little birds hop around and sit on the wires next to the vignerons, chattering, as they work in the vineyards. It seemed only right that they should also appear on the estate’s labels.

Rare Elegance: Bathgate Reserve Pinot Noir

Like the Black Fantail, Bathgate Reserve Pinot Noir is also very rare, being made only in exceptional years. 2019 was such a year. The grapes were handpicked and sorted in the vineyard, cold soaked, de-stemmed, and fermented in small bins with the cap being plunged by hand three times a day. The grapes were then pressed into new French oak barriques. After 12 months, the wine was transferred into used (3-year-old) French oak barrels for a further 6 months. The wine was bottled un-fined and unfiltered, to produce a vegan-friendly wine with layers of dark fruit and spice, great balance and structure with velvety tannins and a long, persistent finish.



Soothing aroma of ripe red berries, cherry, black fruit and plum. Powerful on the palate; presence of spices, especially black pepper and ripe black fruit. A deep wine with a persistent finish. The oak is more noticeable in the mouth than aromatically.


A powerful Pinot Noir, well matched to beetroot, endive and game bird salad. Alternatively, grilled lamb and onion purée.


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WBSS24 The Black Fantail 2019

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