Name of establishment
Herdade dos Grous, near Beja in the Alentejo
Style and ambience
Your very own Alentejo estate! Set in 1,465 acres of natural rural landscape including lakes, fields, olive groves and vineyards, the Herdade itself comprises a series of buildings including the main house (the location of reception, restaurant, lounge bar and wine shop) plus outlying luxury cottage-style lodges offering private accommodation.
Accommodation is in a choice of single-storey lodges close to the main building or in a separate manor house on the far side of the lake, with 24 rooms in total. The lodges each comprise of a lounge/dining room with a kitchenette, a double bedroom, a separate bathroom, and a walk-in wardrobe, and from your own front door you look out over the lake. There’s a log fire in the lounge, perfect for winter evenings, and if the décor is of the comfortable-if-a-little old-fashioned variety, it’s perfectly in keeping with the style of an Alentejo country estate. Who wants trendy sofas or cutting-edge lighting effects?
Food and drink options
Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served in the dining room in the main house. The cuisine is hearty, rustic and traditional Alentejo-style, including superb organic lamb, beef and pork farmed on the estate. The food is wonderful and we suggest you go very hungry! An outside terrace with views over the lake and the vineyards is open in fine weather.
For something a little lighter, there’s also the choice of cheeses, presunto and other tapas dishes from the bar.
In a relatively short time, Herdade dos Grous has established itself as one of the leading wine estates in the Alentejo, and tours of the winery are topped off with wine tastings of some of the vineyard’s finest products, including the Reserva, 23 Barricas and Moon Harvested.
The winemaker is permanently trying new oaks, new processes and new ideas to encourage the wine to shine. 70 hectares are planted with grapes, 11 with white and the remainder with red.
The Moon Harvested wine is a beautifully romantic wine and is harvested on a full moon in August for exactly one hour. The winemaker decides by the light of the moon which grapes will be used from the Alicante Bouschet variety.
23 Barricas is a slowed-down process and after many tastings we decided this was our favourite! The grapes are harvested by hand, left for 5/7 days in the open and then gently trodden by large mechanical ‘feet’ that replicate the old way of treading grapes. The result is truly gorgeous!
The vineyard produces more or less 18000 Herdade dos Grous Tinto Reserva, 7000 Herdade dos Grous 23 Barricas and 8000 bottles Moon Harvested per annum.
Outdoor pools and a lake for swimming, plus a large lakeside sauna.You can also go boating, cycling, horse riding or walk for miles around the estate. The scenery is idyllic, and this is a perfect place for nature lovers, photographers, painters and birdwatchers, or just anybody who has forgotten what clean, fresh air is like, and how stress-free life should be in an ideal world.
The Herdade is operated as part of Vila Vita Parc, one of the Algarve’s leading luxury hotels, so you expect - and get - the same five-star standards. The lucky people who work for the hotel’s owning company however get to use the Herdade for much of the year for training and incentive programmes, so accommodation is only usually available between November and March. Book now!
You’ll need to drive a couple of minutes from reception, where you check in, to your accommodation, so don’t unload your suitcases on arrival.
It’s a short drive into Beja, one of the Alentejo’s most historic and interesting towns - well worth a visit if you can tear yourself away from the Herdade for a few hours.
Is it part of a chain or a marketing group?
Vila Vita Hotels also operates a series of luxury hotels in Germany and Austria.
On the outskirts of Albernoa, about 17km south of Beja on the IP-2. Clearly signposted - look out for the billboard on the left just after the village of Entradas.
Check the website for availability and special offers.
Accommodation is only usually available from November to March, but the restaurant and wine shop, including tastings and tours, are open all year round.
The corporate group who use the Herdade during the summer are housed away from the main building and restaurant and have their own dining facilities, so you will not be over-run by ‘suits on holiday!’