Deep in Alentejo, a family has spent two decades transforming its rich landscape and ruined buildings into a fruitful vineyard and boutique hotel.
The Herdade da Malhadinha Nova estate was bought 20 years ago by the entrepreneurial Soares family. Initially intended as a winery, the 450-hectare property in Albernoa, Beja, has evolved into a hospitality destination that, in addition to wine, also produces organic goods from the family’s olive groves, orchards and vegetable gardens.
From business management to their famous wine label design drawn by the children, each family member has made their mark on the enterprise, which they say offers a ‘real experience’ of rural Alentejo.
Ruined buildings on the estate have been brought back to life as six accommodations – totalling 30 rooms – each renovated with its character and style that celebrates local culture. They feature an exclusive Malhadinha crockery line by Vista Alegre, locally-baked clay tiles, and decorations by British designer Umut Yamac and regional Alentejo straw chairs and carefully curated artisan pieces and antiques.
Cork and holm trees line the horizon while Portuguese Lusitano horses, Alentejana cows, Iberian black pigs and merino sheep remind guests of the authentic Alentejo way of life.