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Clair de Lune Vineyard in South Gippsland is owned and run by Brian Gaffy. Find out more about his operation and winemaking philosophy on this page.

Established in 1997, Clair de Lune Vineyard is nestled in the rolling hills of the Strzelecki Ranges, South Gippsland, Victoria. The 12 Ha property has a 4 Ha vineyard consisting of three distinctive soil types, variation and aspects which add to the diversity, character and complexity of the cool-climate wines produced here.

Winemaker Profile

Boutique winery Clair de Lune's owner/winemaker, Brian Gaffy, has experienced more than fifteen vintages and is renowned for his consistency in producing high-quality cool-climate wines.

The picture on the right shows Brian transferring Merlot pressings from 2013 to an oak barrel for storage and maturation.

Brian is not an interventionalist and wants his wines to reflect the originality of his terroir at Clair de Lune. To achieve this he works extremely hard in the vineyard, believing that the creation of a healthy vineyard will in turn produce magnificent fruit.

He also likes to keep up-to-date with and employ the latest in traditional winemaking techniques, suited to his small, boutique operation.

Although not strictly organic, many farming practices he employs are based on a minimal chemical approach. Clair de Lune wines are not industrial in texture or style but display a uniqueness of flavour and character that embodies the magic of our terroir.

Brian selects and hand-picks berries (i.e. small-sized grapes) at optimum fruit flavour and ripeness. These berries are then gently hand-pressed, to ensure maximum flavour and wine quality. The juice is then transferred to premium oak barrels for fermentation.

Which Oak?

Brian chooses to use French oak barrels for his Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. 

For his Shiraz and Merlot he prefers to ferment in American oak.

The decision-making process behind the choice of oak generally relates to the tannin structure and the variety of berry. Pinot Noir berries tend to have a thinner peripheral boundary (or skin) (in comparison with Shiraz grapes), in which lies a larger proportion of the tannin structure. American oak is heavier and coarser than French oak and more capable of processing a greater tannin volume in berries, such as Shiraz and Merlot.

Cost of the barrels alone is not the basis for the choice of oak used.

Bacchus' Bar and the Cellar Door 

Visitors may come to Clair de Lune and sample our wines at the "Bacchus' Bar" Cellar Door. Bacchus in Roman mythology was the God of Wine, Women and Song (sounds like a merry old soul, doesn't he?).

When you visit our Bacchus' Bar, the winemaker himself will serve you and guide you through a complete tasting of our product range - an opportunity to discover and learn. Please don't expect an up-market tasting facility. The tasting areas (indoor and outdoor) are in the winemaker's own mudbrick home and therefore offer a relaxed, lived-in atmosphere. In fine weather you can sit in the outdoor area to have your tasting and in inclement weather tastings are conducted inside his home.

Please follow the links placed at both the top and bottom of all pages to learn more about Clair de Lune and thank you for visiting our site.

James Halliday Four-star Winery

Brian Gaffy of Clair de Lune Vineyard transferring merlot pressings