The Vina Siegel Crucero Estate
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 holds today by far. 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.
Today, the winery has a capacity of over 3 million gallons and the company owns over 1,850 acres of vineyards in Colchagua. Their wine cellar has state of the art technology, such as vertical pneumatic presses, vacuum filters, and stainless steel tanks with total temperature control, for both cooling and heating. Viña Siegel Winery is still a family operation, with Alberto Siegel as chairman and chief winemaker. The winery has two consultants in enological matters.
The Vina Siegel Crucero Vineyard
The varieties of grapes grown are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Carménère, Syrah, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, with other new varieties being added as markets demand. Viña Siegel is currently working with terroir consultant Pedro Parra to design a new site in Los Lingues, which will be planted with several new varietals, including Carignan, Grenache, and Mourvedre. The winery produces a range of varietal wines, along with reserve wines that highlight the quality of the grapevines born in this valley. The Colchagua Valley is truly a synthesis of the country’s way of life and wine has been produced here since time out of mind. This area, which has deservedly been raised to the category of estate bottling in wine making, has maintained its prestige due to the great quality of its wines. One of its noted symbols is its high quality Cabernet Sauvignons, and its red wines in general. Its variety of soils and climatic variations, some warmer, some cooler, have given the region innumerable attributes for grapevine cultivation.