My name is Mário Pinheiro, and I invite you to come and discover Herdade do Ribafreixo, in Vidigueira. Here you’ll not only be able to get to know a wine project from scratch, but you’ll be able to enjoy local wines and food, with a backdrop of vineyards.

After 11 years living here, I guess I can say I’m a little from Alentejo. But I was born in Mozambique, my father was from the Portuguese Beiras region and my mother from Minho, I lived in South Africa, and only came to Portugal in 2004.

I met Nuno Bicó on a hunting ground near Mértola, and Herdade do Ribafreixo was born from that meeting, a project built from scratch. I think we’re one of the few wine projects that chose the climate, the terroir, the vineyards, and the rootstocks!

Vidigueira benefits from the proximity of Serra do Mendro. This natural barrier creates a corridor of winds blowing from the Atlantic, but because the mountain wraps around this place, it naturally stops them. Thus, the thermal amplitude is higher, which is essential to produce white wine. Also, the schist in the soils makes them a lot more mineral.

We chose the highest point of the property to build the cellar because we needed it to be underground. And I thought, with this view, it would be a great opportunity also to open a gourmet restaurant.

Our vineyards are always beautiful, seen from the restaurant. In the Winter, the fields also have their charms, with just the leafless trunks. In the Spring it becomes more luscious and, then, in the Summer, the vineyards are in full, with bunches of plump grapes waiting to be harvested. And the Autumn is gorgeous: we have different types of vines, so some of the leaves turn red, others turn yellow, others turn brown. It’s like a rainbow in the vineyard.

Even if you come to Alentejo for just one day, you’ll have a terrific time here: you can do wine tastings, go on a guided tour of the winery (and see it work during the week), you’ll be amidst a spectacular vineyard, and the restaurant has breathtaking views. It will be a full day!

After 11 years living here, I guess I can say I’m a little from Alentejo. But I was born in Mozambique, my father was from the Portuguese Beiras region and my mother from Minho, I lived in South Africa, and only came to Portugal in 2004.

I met Nuno Bicó on a hunting ground near Mértola, and Herdade do Ribafreixo was born from that meeting, a project built from scratch. I think we’re one of the few wine projects that chose the climate, the terroir, the vineyards, and the rootstocks!

Vidigueira benefits from the proximity of Serra do Mendro. This natural barrier creates a corridor of winds blowing from the Atlantic, but because the mountain wraps around this place, it naturally stops them. Thus, the thermal amplitude is higher, which is essential to produce white wine. Also, the schist in the soils makes them a lot more mineral.

We chose the highest point of the property to build the cellar because we needed it to be underground. And I thought, with this view, it would be a great opportunity also to open a gourmet restaurant.

Our vineyards are always beautiful, seen from the restaurant. In the Winter, the fields also have their charms, with just the leafless trunks. In the Spring it becomes more luscious and, then, in the Summer, the vineyards are in full, with bunches of plump grapes waiting to be harvested. And the Autumn is gorgeous: we have different types of vines, so some of the leaves turn red, others turn yellow, others turn brown. It’s like a rainbow in the vineyard.

Even if you come to Alentejo for just one day, you’ll have a terrific time here: you can do wine tastings, go on a guided tour of the winery (and see it work during the week), you’ll be amidst a spectacular vineyard, and the restaurant has breathtaking views. It will be a full day!

"Once we built the cellar, I thought a restaurant with local traditional food and this fantastic view would work out well and be very welcoming. And that’s exactly how it turned out! People feel so comfortable here that they end up staying for the rest of the day."
Mário Pinheiro

I’m impatient. I like things done yesterday, not today or tomorrow. But I realised there’s a little something called Nature, ruthless and with its own timing -- the growth of vineyards, how the quality of wine changes over the years, etc. Today, at least in that area, I’ve begun to pace myself with nature’s rhythm.

Follow Us:

Our story and mission

Unlike other “herdades”, Ribafreixo is not a property that we inherited. We bought several smaller farms, with pastures, olive groves, and dry land, that we consolidated into one large property. Where there used to be an old house, we built the farming centre and planted everything from scratch. We replaced everything with new vineyards, except for a plot of Antão Vaz vineyards that is now 45 years old.


My professional background is in high-tech, not the wine industry. This allows me to have an outside view of the business that gives it a different perspective. At the moment, we produce wines that are unbeatable in the quality/price ratio.


Building everything from scratch allowed us to prepare the soil, using techniques to work the hard land better and drain it. We also worked a lot on developing the vineyards and, after two years, we began producing wine. Our vineyards are 7, 8, and 9 years old. One year ago, we planted an extra 22 acres of vineyard that should start producing in two or three years. We don’t buy wine, and we don’t buy grapes -- it’s all produced by us.

I firmly believe that 80% of a good wine is as great as the fruit that enters the cellar. That’s why we produce wine in a minimalist way: without any chemicals and using cold processes. Until 2011, we produced in a nearby village, but now we have a modern winery which can produce up to one million and a half of bottles. At the moment, we produce 700,000 bottles. 

Things to do
Herdade da Ribafreixo

In the land of Alentejo white wine

At Herdade do Ribafreixo you can visit a state-of-the-art winery where, in addition to the traditional wine tastings, you can take part in the harvest or uncover the secrets of the local cuisine.

Thing to do
Baixo Alentejo
Guided tour to the winery & tasting of 3 wines
This tour starts at the panoramic balcony of the winery introducing the company’s History, explaining the terroir, and the...
from € 7.50
Thing to do
Baixo Alentejo
Guided tour to the winery & tasting of 6 wines
This tour starts at the panoramic balcony of the winery introducing the company’s History, explaining the terroir, and the...
from € 15.00
Thing to do
Baixo Alentejo
Tour & tasting of 3 wines and regional products
This tour starts at the panoramic balcony of the winery introducing the company’s History, explaining the terroir, and the...
from € 15.00
Thing to do
Baixo Alentejo
Tour, Tasting of Wines and Cheeses
This tour starts at the panoramic balcony of the winery introducing the company’s History, explaining the terroir, and the...
from € 15.00
Thing to do
Baixo Alentejo
Tour of the Winery & Picnic
This tour starts at the panoramic balcony of the winery introducing the company’s History, explaining the terroir, and the...
from € 30.00
Thing to do
Baixo Alentejo
Tour, Tasting of 3 wines and lunch
This tour starts at the panoramic balcony of the winery introducing the company’s History, explaining the terroir, and the...
from € 50.00
Thing to do
Baixo Alentejo
Tasting of six wines paired with local products
This experience begins at the winery's panoramic terrace with a small introduction of the company's history and a description...
from € 20.00
Thing to do
Baixo Alentejo
Pairing of 5 wines and 5 foods
This experience begins at the winery's panoramic terrace with a small introduction of the company's history and a description...
from € 20.00
Restaurants
Restaurante da Adega

Tradition with a view to the vineyards

At Restaurante da Adega, the cosy atmosphere and the widespread terrace with a view to the vineyards is an open invitation for lunches that will linger on until evening.

Restaurant
Baixo Alentejo
Menu Ribafreixo

from € 10.00

Committed to white wine

"We mostly produce white wines, but our red wines have grown in popularity. We now have 70% white wine and 30% red wine, but that ratio will soon change to 65% and 35% respectively. Our white grape varietals are Antão Vaz, Arinto, Verdelho, Syrah, and Alvarinho, but we also produce Chenin Blanc, a grape varietal from the Loire valley that the Portuguese customers are fond of."
Mário Pinheiro
Herdade do Ribafreixo

Location

South

Baixo Alentejo

Know the region

I knew Alentejo as much as I knew 80% of Portugal… After he moved from Mozambique to South Africa, my father came to Lisbon. I came to Alentejo every now and then, but I would mostly visit the homelands of my parents. Today, I think Alentejo is gorgeous -- wild, with the plains and open space -- and it’s a quite different side of Portugal.


Vidigueira makes excellent white wines but also great red wines. The wines here have high acidity, because of the climate, the high concentration of minerals, and the terroir, but are also very fragrant.


I think I’m even becoming slightly territorial with Alentejo. Nowadays, when I hear someone telling a joke about Alentejo people without any Alentejano around, I tell them those jokes are best told to “alentejanos” because they have a great sense of humour! 

They found Antão Vaz grape seeds at the São Cucufate Roman ruins near Vidigueira. That is an endemic grape varietal in this area.

First-hand news

Subscribe to our newsletter for updates and special offers. We await you in Alentejo.