Caroline Rillema and husband, Ray Kilian, own a small 3.5 ha farm in Baardskeerdersbos, near Gansbaai and Elim on the Southern Cape coast. They were pioneers in the area in 2003, following on the heels of Lomond, situated 10km away. Their vineyard – of only 1.86 ha containing Sauvignon Blanc and just 8 rows of Semillon – was planted in 2004. Whilst the viticulture is done by Caroline and Ray, the grapes are crushed and vinified by Dirk Human of Black Oystercatcher. Most of the grapes go into their Celestina Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon blend.
Celestina means ‘little celestial one’, referring to the splendid stars in the milky way which hang like jewels above the earth on which these vines are grown. Breezes from the sea, only fifteen kilometers away, cool the vineyard down at night, enabling the vines to draw energy again for the day ahead.
Caroline is also a longstanding fine wine merchant in Cape Town, who has been selling wine since opening her business in 1997.