I’ve always lived in Reguengos de Monsaraz, surrounded by vineyards, but I was never particularly interested in them. Growing up, “my” countryside was where I went with my father who worked as a veterinarian for the City Council. At that time, the vineyards were just a part of the landscape. My connection to wine began when I started working as a wine tourism supervisor for a large producer in Reguengos. It was such a fascinating world that I immediately fell in love with it and, since then, I’ve never stopped wanting to learn more.
After working in Reguengos for a few years, I accepted the challenge of coming to Adega Mayor. Nowadays, I travel every day to Campo Maior from the beautiful village of Telheiro, near Monsaraz.
The Adega Mayor project was created as a way to link this part of Alentejo to a work of reference, one that allowed us to go back to our roots, always reminding ourselves that we come from Campo Maior, and to take the town and the region to all corners of the world.
Adega Mayor looks to the future without overlooking its origin story. To know Adega Mayor is to know a land of wine and coffee, learn its History, and taste both products. It’s like taking a trip back in time, from when the vineyards began to its current incarnation as an avant-garde signature winery, where we try to be different at every step of the way. Besides, our table has always room for one more.
Renowned architect Álvaro Siza Vieira honoured us when he agreed to design the house, and we believe it adds value to the project. He chose the location for the building, and he stayed true to that original draft he drew on a paper napkin. When we look up from the vineyards, it’s just perfect.
Our story and mission
To me, one of the most exciting aspects of the Adega Mayor project is how it was designed to grow in a new direction, connecting the arts with the wine. From the very beginning, Adega Mayor has been related to architecture, painting, literature, and photography.
The experiences were designed to set us apart from the other cellars in the area, and that’s only possible because each one of the Adega Mayor’s team members brings their personal touch to each tour. All tours flow very naturally, to allow maximum interaction and sharing.
There wasn’t any project like this in the wine industry in Campo Maior. Mr Rui Nabeiro started the Adega Mayor project so the region wouldn’t lose its wine producing tradition.
All our tasting experiences are fully immersive. We want people to grasp what they’re tasting, and we source all the products we use in those tasting sessions from this region. The olives are ours, which we then use to press into olive oil in Campo Maior, the marmalade is a project by the Nabeiro corporation, the bread is from Campo Maior.
We always resort to local producers and local partnerships because we believe that’s the only way the region will continue to grow.
Tradition with a future
I feel at home in Alentejo. It’s peaceful, tranquil, and people have a very authentic lifestyle. Alentejanos are genuine, warm, and welcoming. That human side is essential to me, being with each other, with family, with friends.
Your senses are stimulated continuously in Alentejo. We look to one side of the road, and we see vineyards, we look to the other side, and we see mountains, we look ahead, and we see olive groves. All this change in colours is fascinating. And because Alentejo is mostly flat, we can look far beyond, almost to infinity, and that is captivating.
In Campo Maior, wine and coffee coexist side by side
Wine and food are essential in Alentejo’s way of living. Even if you only went for a glass of wine at a local tavern, they would always give you a bite to eat. And where there are food and wine, there are always three or four locals chatting. There’s a local saying that roughly translates into “a bottle of wine and an apple can feed a crowd.”
There’s a sharing feeling inside every one of these taverns. Today in wine tourism the experiences are a little different, more exquisite, but this feeling of sharing remains the same.
Festas do Povo (People’s Celebrations, in English) is a local event that’s one of Campo Maior’s calling cards. They have one peculiar trait: it’s entirely organised by volunteers, so they don’t have a fixed calendar. These festivities only take place when the people decide to make it happen.