Cecilia Wines is located in Olifants River and was named after the grandmother of winemaker Cerina van Niekerk and patron saint of musicians, St. Cecilia. Cerina van Niekerk, besides being a winemaker also a trained concert pianist, started Cecilia Wines because of her involvement in a local community music project. For this project Cerina produces a wine, Cecilia Pinotage, that comes from old bushvines from an unirrigated vineyard at an altitude of approximately 400 meters in the hills between Clanwilliam and the Atlantic Ocean. The vineyard was planted in 1965 and delivers very low yields of grapes with exceptional quality.
Cerina van Niekerk grew up in Paarl, in the heart of the Cape Winelands, but love and wine took her to the Olifants River region. There she works as a winemaker at Klawer Wine Cellars and Cecilia Wines. Throughout high school she spent a substantial amount of time in front of a piano, but a desire to be involved in farming lead to a Diploma in Enology from Elsenburg Agricultural College. The travel bug lead to vintage experiences in New Zealand, France, Australia and the USA before settling back in Paarl at the former Seidelberg Wine Estate as winemaker in 2003. In 2018 Cerina and her husband Jaco moved to Citrusdal, where he manages production for Piekenierskloof Wines. This opened up new possibilities for Cecilia Wines. Together with Jaco she established a non-profit company for the managing of the project’s funds and other resources. The most recent development is the appointment of a music teacher that will spend time at several schools and after care centers each week, in addition to the teaching of individual instruments, commencing January 2021.