Quinta do Quetzal is set in the heart of the Alentejo region on the rich slopes of Vidigueira. It is close to the oldest known Roman winery in Portugal and Spain. The microclimate and our hills make it the perfect location for a unique terroir. Here the grapes grow on soil rich in Schist, our local mineral stone. The area around Vidigueira is generally sunny and warm, but its positioning on the foothills of the Serra do Mendro gives plenty of cool winds that comes straight off the Atlantic ocean. These conditions lead to big variations in temperature, giving the grapes the heat to ripe and the cooling breezes to recover. The focus is on limited production of concentrated and top quality grapes in order to create a wine that expresses the character of the surroundings.
To complete the Quetzal experience a new building with a restaurant, shop and art center was opened. The building is partly covered with Schist. The building both stands out and fits into its surroundings seamlessly. The use of natural local flora completes the visitor’s experience of the natural habitat of the Alentejo.
A FAMILY WINERY
Cees and Inge de Bruin are collectors and patrons of contemporary art. They, together with their family, have had a warm relationship with Portugal for more than 40 years. Through Quinta do Quetzal they hope to share their passion for Portuguese culture, nature, food and wine with others. Every year, in collaboration with their daughter, Aveline de Bruin, they create a new exhibition on the estate. Their own collection and connections in the art world will be a starting point for each exhibition.
THE PEOPLE AT THE QUINTA
Meet the winemakers that bring together ancient techniques, fertile terroir and the perfect grapes, and transform them into pure works of art.
Our resident winemaker
‘Only when the grapes reach their full potential can you make the highest quality wine. I smell, taste, sample and analyse them every day, so that I know exactly when they’re ready to be harvested.’
José Portela (1976) was born and raised in Torres Vedras where he studied winemaking. After finishing his degree in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Évora, he gained valuable experience working for several reputed brands in the Alentejo and Ribatejo before going back to the University of Évora in 2009 to do a post-graduate degree in oenology. He has been the resident winemaker at Quinta do Quetzal since it was founded.
Our flying winemaker
‘The vineyards are my palette, the grapes my paint, and the barrels my pencils! I strive to turn every bottle into a masterpiece.’
Rui Reguinga (1966) was born and raised in Almeirim, in the Ribatejo province, where he dreamed of a career in the wine business. His dream came true from the moment he finished his degree in Food Engineering at the Lisbon School of Agronomy, when he set off to work in the Champagne and Bordeaux regions of France. He then went on to work for several of the best-known brands in the major wine-growing regions of Portugal, and has worked as an advisor on various projects in Brazil, Argentina, Sri Lanka and Austria. Since 2010, Rui has been our flying winemaker here at the Quinta do Quetzal.
Our general manager
‘The quality of the soil, the perfect microclimate, a high standard of land management, handcrafted winemaking, and the perfect, motivated team; I make sure we have exactly what we need to create wine that deserves to be called art.’
Reto Jörg (1963) was born in the Netherlands to Swiss parents and has always had a close connection to agriculture and vineyards. After leaving University, he worked in Switzerland, Belgium, England and Argentina before coming to Portugal in 1986, when he started working in agricultural consultancy. He has designed and carried out several winemaking projects in the Alentejo, and has managed projects in Spain and Sri Lanka.
Since 2001, he has been responsible for the Quinta do Quetzal project. He also manages the development of the Quinta do Quetzal and Guadalupe brands and raises brand awareness in several markets.
Our consultant Chef
‘Cooking is largely based on intuition. It is something that comes from within, and my passion is for Portuguese cuisine.’
Pedro Mendes (1974) was born in Lisbon and stumbled into a career as a chef, having spent most of his life thinking he would be a lawyer. He began his career as a chef in Belgium, going on to travel around Europe, working in The Netherlands, France, England and Ireland. In recent years he has been both owner and chef of countless restaurants. He is a consultant chef and author of several books, one of which is ‘O Renascer da Bolota’ (‘The Acorn Revival’), published in 2013 and the first book about the culinary use of acorns to be published in Portugal. The book contains a collection of the chef’s own original recipes, which he shares with the world. He is heavily influenced by the food of the Alentejo, which he greatly admires.
Our Resident Chef
João Mourato was born on the 15th October 1995 in Portlegre in the Alto Alentejo region. He was brought up in the countryside, surrounded by the earth itself, cork trees, vines, olive trees and yellow fields of wheat. His childhood and these surroundings shaped João, as he always loved going for walks in the countryside and tending to the animals, the vegetable patch and the vines. Before he knew it, he was picking vegetables he had planted and was cooking them himself. He began working towards building a career as a Chef, and so, naturally, after having completed his course at the Higher Institute for Tourism and Hotel Studies in Portalegre (where he now teaches), and after doing internships at the Vila Vita Parc Resort & SPA and at the Grande Real Santa Eulália Resort (Algarve), he started work at the Alentejo Marmòris Hotel & SPA in Vila Viçosa. João Mourato has been the resident Chef at the Quinta do Quenzal Restaurant since 2016. His aim here is to bring together the memories and traditions of the country-living that so inspires him, with a culinary sophistication that reveals a palate created by the simple ingredients he gets from the ground itself.