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 1.86ha 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 Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon blend, but in 2020, 100 litres of Semillon were bottled separately and only 135 bottles are available.
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 here since opening her business in 1997.