In wide Alentejo, in Vidigueira to be more precise, I found a traditional midi grange combined with the northern feeling and hospitality
Since 2002, Filipe and Sofia, the owners, both from Oporto, found in this southern piece of land the peace and lifestyle that makes them happy. Here they share tasks: he, a winemaker by trade, manages the cellar and wine production, whereas she looks after the property’s marketing and touristic activities.
The grange comprises a main house, where D. Josefa, the live-in cook, prepares and serves all daily meals. Near the main house are 11 suites, every single one thoughtfully furnished and decorated by Sofia’s mother, as well as a swimming pool, so very welcome during Alentejo’s hot summer.
The plan for the day started with a safari in Serra do Mendro at 9am. I must admit I thought it would be difficult to wake up that early on a Sunday – especially after having been welcomed the previous evening by a lavish typical meal, including cação (dogfish) soup and ‘migas com carne de porco’ (a traditional dish made with hard local break and well seasoned pork meat), perfectly paired with Herdade do Sobroso Cellar Selection.
But I was wrong! Waking up was very easy! Getting up and opening the shutters and window, watching the sun rise slowly over the Alentejo’s plain, softly warming up as the hot Summer day unfolds, was enough to get me moving and eager to explore!
In the main lounge, a beautiful breakfast awaited, lovingly filled with local delicacies, before we would hop on the jeep and hit the road.
Indeed, no matter how long you have to spare, when you come to Herdade do Sobroso, you must take this safari! From the top of Serra do Mendro, you get a view over the whole property, from the house to the pool, covering 128 acres of vineyard, laid out as if drawn with a ruler, down to Guadiana River, the orchard and olive grove, until Beja further away, clearly visible on clear blue sky days.
On the way, we encountered shy deer families, some wild boars and, of course, a wide range of birds, since this is a considerably sought after spot, by both Portuguese and foreigners, for bird watching.
Because we were short on time, that morning we only went up the mount but, if you have time and need to disconnect from the city, I recommend coming here and spending a few days in the country. The grange also offers hot air balloon rides over the river, kayaking on the lake, boat rides on the Alqueva dam, picnics in the vineyard and, naturally, visits to the cellar and tastings with Herdade do Sobroso wines!