Love of Family
Werner and Helle Siegert always had a special connection to the land. Even working as a marketing executive, Werner found time to garden in the neighboring plot of land, growing a bounty of vegetables. Instead of lemonade, their three daughters, Katja, Annika and Christa, could be spotted on the corner in summer selling zucchinis to earn pocket money.
In 1986, the family moved from the Bay area to Quito, Ecuador. It was an amazing experience. While there, the family fell in love with a beautiful hacienda an hour outside the busy capitol called La Cienega, which they take to mean 'lovely pond.' When it was time to retire, the oldest, Katja, suggested they return to California to live on the land and grow grapes for wine. Helle and Werner found the perfect site in 1994, with gorgeous views, massive oak trees and, of course, a pond. So they named it La Cienega.
In 1997, Helle and Werner planted 16 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, their favorite varietal. The first harvest in 2001 was true to its Alexander Valley credentials, and over the next 18 years, La Cienega sold its reserve quality, hillside crop to two prominent local wineries. Werner also cultivates small parcels of Merlot, Malbec, and Zinfandel, which he uses to make two private estate barrels each year.
The family dreamed of crafting wine to sell commercially. In 2015, Katja and her husband Sam Newman joined the business to embark on creating the vineyard’s own label. They planned to make one barrel of Cabernet Sauvignon in 2018 to see how it tasted. Sadly that same year during harvest, just after celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary, Helle succumbed to health problems and joined her Viking ancestors. While the family mourned, harvesters brought in the largest, high-quality crop in La Cienega’s history – a whopping 93 tons. As fate would have it, the family would be making much more than one barrel. . . We expect the inaugural La Cienega Vineyard 2018 Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon to be an elegant, rich, and complex wine (or as Helle would say, “the good sh—t”).