Siegel Wines is a vineyard of deep-rooted family tradition and trajectory that for generations has taken up the art of producing wines with identity, reflecting their place of origin and the family's commitment to excellence.
They are located in the Colchagua Valley, heart of the renowned wine making region of Chile.
Alberto Siegel was born in Santiago in 1946, the third generation in Chile of an Austrian family. His grandfather was an Austrian architect that built some very important and traditional buildings in downtown Santiago, at the beginning of the 20th century, including the Chilean Federal Reserve.
His father, Don Germán, was a viticulturist that spent most of his career in charge of Viña San Pedro's vineyards near the town of Molina, 140 miles south of Santiago. There Alberto grew up, literally in the middle of the vines. It was not a surprise when he decided to study Agronomy and specialize in winemaking at the Universidad Católica in Santiago.
After finishing high school, he spent a year working in wineries in Germany, and upon his return in 1971, he joined the German company Bayer. His job was to sell fertilizers to farm owners in the Colchagua area, 100 miles south of Santiago. Through this job he got to know almost every land owner, most of which were grape growers and wine producers.
A few years later and as a natural consequence, he started to act as a wine and grape broker, selling the production of small owners to the big Chilean wineries. He established Sociedad La Laguna, and he soon became the most important Chilean broker in this field, a position that he still holds today. There is hardly any Chilean person or company involved in the wine business that has not dealt with Alberto Siegel at least once.
In parallel, and together with his father, Alberto founded Viña Siegel in 1980. They started planting vineyards in Colchagua and building the Winery in Santa Cruz. When Don Germán died in 1998, Alberto became the owner, together with his family. In the beginning, Viña Siegel only sold bulk wines to the biggest Chilean wineries, like Concha y Toro, San Pedro and Santa Rita. In 1997, Alberto decided to enter the bottled wines business and made the necessary investments to go ahead with this project.
Alberto Siegel, father and son
The Colchagua valley is located in the Central Zone of Chile. It is a 'Transverse Valley", which means that it is a valley formed by a river, the Tinguiririca. The Colchagua valley is the leading fine-wine producing region in Chile.
It is in this valley where, more than 30 years ago, Alberto Siegel grew his first vines which would later become Siegel Wines. Now they have more than 700 hectares (1,729 acres) planted, which are geographically located from the Andean foothills to the coastal zone of the valley.
Los Lingues - One of Siegel's principal vineyards, it consists of 170 hectares (420 acres). It is located in Los Lingues, Alto Colchagua, which is in the foothills of the Andes Mountains. It has a Mediterranean microclimate typical of the Andean foothills, influenced by constant fresh winds that descend from the mountains. The breeze present in Los Lingues throughout the day allows the vines to be well-ventilated and a constant temperature maintained, leading to a perfect ripening of the grapes which makes this valley unique.
The soils in Los Lingues are characterized by having excellent drainage, and are of Alluvial-Colluvial origin with the soil going from fine sand to clay and granite. There is little organic and fertile matter. Vina Siegel has found more than 60 different types of soil here. With an exceptional combination of rocky soils, it is perfect for varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan, Petit Verdot and Grenache. Also there are moderately deep clay soils, which are ideal for Carménere, Syrah, Mourvédre and Malbec. The climate and soils of Los Lingues give rise to more structured wines, with great body and color, smooth tannins of dry fruit and an exceptional balance.
El Crucero - This vineyard is located in Palmilla. It has 60 hectares (148 acres) of Cabernet Sauvignon. The wines they produce from this vineyard are characterized by being more concentrated, with mature fruits and very sweet tannins. El Crucero experiences a very diverse climate, warmer during the day and very fresh at night. It is grown on alluvial soils, created from the waters of the mountain range.
San Alberto de Peralillo - This vineyard is located 6km inland from Peralillo in a sector called Parrones, at the extreme west end of the Colchagua Valley, an ideal place due to its coastal-influenced climate. This coastal influence allows for the production of excellent quality wines, and the cool climate helps to prolong the maturation and delays the ripening of the fruit. Furthermore, it is composed of a magnificent soil for the cultivation of vines, originating from the large volcanic eruptions of the 'Ring of Fire' in the high Andes Mountains. Here they have 205 hectares (506 acres) planted with 8 different varieties. The wines produced from this winery are fresh, subtle, elegant with a fast evolution and easy to drink. The slow and late maturation helps to maintain fresh fruity notes and less-structured wines due to the more volcanic soils.