VISITING Celeste Karoline Lønstrup
CEO AND FOUNDER OF CELESTE VIN
Trine: CELESTE… I AM CURIOUS AS TO HOW A YOUNG GIRL LIKE YOU HAS ENDED UP IN A WORLD THAT TRADITIONALLY ONLY IS KNOWN TO BE FOR MEN AT +40?
Celeste: Yes, it still baffles me. But long story short, I traveled to Northern Italy at the age of 19 without having a concrete purpose with the trip. I’ve lived there as a child, so it was natural for me to pick Italy. What was meant be a one and a half months stay, working as a waitress at a random restaurant, ended up becoming almost 2 years as a master-apprentice at one of Italy’s oldest and most respectable wine-castles.
Trine: WOW… THAT IS AN WILD AND FUNNY STORY.
Celeste: Yes, it is actually and I don’t quite understand myself either, but I got taken under the wing of Giorgio Rivetti, who is one of Italy’s most brilliant and iconic wine-producers and the owner of La Spinetta Winery. He’s in his 60’s and is a fantastic man, who knows everything about wine. He offered me to be his student and pass on his knowledge and teach me everything about wine, from scratch. At this time I had never even tasted wine, and had no interest in it… Alcohol to me was something I drank for the effect… Meaning getting drunk - and fine wine was definitely not for me. But suddenly I was caught by it and I realised how intriguing a world it is. So much hard work, knowledge and science goes into the production of good wine… And a human dedication beyond our imagination. It’s incredibly fascinating.
It was the whole Rivetti-family who took me in and I became like a child of the household. Especially Giorgio Rivetti’s sister Giovanna, who’s 75, became one of my best friends. She is one of the coolest and strongest woman I know. She still gets up at 5 o'clock in the morning to work in the wine-field when they harvest, even though it’s very demanding physical work. Overall she is just a force of nature, who gathers the whole family in her Italian way… She is truly something
special. I have received so much from Giorgio and the whole Rivetti-family; experiences, knowledge, in-sight and ever-lasting deep friendships.
Trine: THAT IS SUCH A LOVELY STORY, AND MUST HAVE BEEN AMAZING TO BE A PART OF… I WOULD HAVE LOVED TO HAVE EXPERIENCED THAT.
Celeste: Yes, it really is - and I feel deeply grateful for it. It gave me the hunger to take it all one step further; opening my own wine-import. I missed my family in Denmark, so I decided to return back home. Now I have united the best of both worlds, where I get to pass on and share my knowledge and understanding of wine. I have opened ‘Celeste Vin’, - a wine-shop in Østerbro in Copenhagen, where I sell wine from all the producers I’ve gotten to know during my time in Italy. I travel to the region as often as possible, to taste new great wines. I make, among other things, a lot of wine-tasting events where I explain about the different wines and their stories behind. I think it is so much fun, and a blessing to be able to share my experiences from my time with Giorgio and his family…
Trine: THAT SOUNDS WONDERFUL AND I AM VERY IMPRESSED BY HOW MUCH YOU HAVE EXPERIENCED AND CREATED WHEN I THINK ABOUT THE FACT THAT YOU’RE ONLY 24 YEARS OLD.
Celeste: Thank you. It has also been hard at times. I have been through periods where I really had to focus on separating work from leisure… It all just collided into one and other, and I had difficulty separating my working-self from my private-self.
Trine: I KNOW THAT TOO… I ESPECIALLY THINK IT IS AN ISSUE
WHEN YOU ARE VERY PASSIONATE ABOUT WHAT YOU DO… IT CAN BE HARD TO SEPARATE THINGS.
Celeste: I definitely struggled with that and I felt I needed to deal with it… Like actually separate me as a private person from the business and be able to be both. It was suddenly very clear to me how, in the long run, this could end up having the wrong consequences, if I didn’t take it seriously. The success of the business, or lack there of, should not dominate my life and there should be more to my existence than that matter.
Trine: THAT’S COOL… THERE ARE SO MANY WHO DOESN’T REALISE THAT, UNTIL MUCH LATER IN LIFE… MAYBE NOT UNTIL THEY ARE HAVING A BURN-OUT OR OTHER DEBILITATING THINGS. I WOULD LOVE TO HAVE BEEN THIS ARTICULATE ABOUT THESE THINGS AS YOU ARE, MUCH EARLIER ON IN MY LIFE. I THINK IT IS BOTH COOL AND BRAVE THAT YOU AT SUCH A YOUNG AGE, HAVE MADE IT CLEAR THAT YOU HAVE TO BE CONSCIOUS OF IT.
Celeste: It is definitely something I take an active participation in creating and practicing every day.
It’s an exciting and fun world I’ve gotten myself into. And I feel a
huge joy when passing on what I’ve been given. I have great gratitude and humbleness for having been taught by one of Italy’s biggest and most acknowledged wine-producers. I know I am privileged, but it can’t take up all of my time and I can’t let myself be defined solely by the success of my business. That’s very important to me and I’m learning that balance is the key to a connected life.
Trine: I UNDERSTAND VERY WELL WHY THEY TOOK YOU IN AS PART OF THE FAMILY… AND THAT GIOGIO CHOSE YOU TO BE HIS APPRENTICE.. HE COULD SURELY HAVE CHOSEN MANY OTHERS… BUT FOR ME YOU ARE KIND OF AN OLD SOUL AND IT MAKES PERFECT SENSE THAT YOU HAVE STARTED YOUR OWN LITTLE WINE-HOUSE, AND THEN YOU ARE ALSO JUST A VERY INTROSPECTIVE HUMAN-BEING…
THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME CELESTE AND FOR SHARING YOUR EXPERIENCES AND THOUGHTS.