My grandfather, António Silvestre, was originally from Torres Vedras and moved to Ferreira do Alentejo in the 1960s, where he was drawn to the grape business. He made a significant investment in refrigeration units and, at a time when the country didn’t import grapes, the farm company Silvestre Ferreira produced grapes all year long!
Then my grandparents and my father moved to Brazil, where I was born, and in 2000, after my grandfather became ill, my father returned and took over the business. He named it Vale da Rosa after the farm where he used to play and because he remembered how the company’s products were known in Ferreira as “the fruits from Vale da Rosa”.
Two years ago, we thought it made sense to open the house to the public, considering we have something different to show people. Visitors can tour the vineyard and the packing facilities, when it's the season they can help with the harvest, bring children to build a scarecrow, go on activities with any of our partners, or have lunch at the vineyard.
We don’t have a house at Vale da Rosa, so we turn the vineyard into our dining room. We serve local cuisine for lunch made with local ingredients like tomatoes, olive oil, sausages, pork, the always-loved Serpa cheese, olives, and, in the Summer, melon, cantaloupe, watermelon, gazpacho! You’ll spend a great afternoon with us, and I’m delighted to welcome you.
We don’t have a house at Vale da Rosa, so we turned the vineyard into our dining room. We used to host business lunches there, and that’s when the idea first arose. We don’t have a kitchen either, so we cater all our food from our local partner, a restaurant in Ferreira do Alentejo.
Our story and mission
My siblings and I studied in Lisbon, and I came to work in the family business six years ago, after a six-year career at a law firm. At the moment, I live in Ferreira do Alentejo, I have two children, and most of the family is involved in the business.
We aim for a high-quality product, we harvest it by hand, and we want to show people this is a 100% Portuguese product and how it’s made.
Two years ago, without any promotion, we were visited by thousands of people. We, then, realised people appreciated the vineyards growing in lattices, an unusual and higher vine. We felt we had something different to show people and that's what draws them.
I think our choice was a natural one. Alentejo has enormous potential, and we need businesses that draw the attention of more young people, more families, to shake this up a little.
In the future, I’d like to build a tourist park revolving around grapes. We’re taking small steps and, with the help of our visitors, we’ve been showcasing Vale da Rosa’s potential. For now, it’s something small, slightly homey, but just as charming.
Moved by passion
We used to come here for summer and Christmas holidays when we were kids after my grandparents returned to Portugal. Not coming to Alentejo didn’t even cross my mind! I remember the pig slaughters, picking grapes, having free-range chickens in the garden and picking eggs, buying chickpeas in bulk at the local grocery store and watching the woman who helped my grandmother picking the good chickpeas on the kitchen table. These are the fragrances and memories that reel us in. Today I feel like a complete Alentejana. They say friends are the family you choose and I think homelands work in the same way. I chose Ferreira do Alentejo.
If you come to Ferreira do Alentejo in the Summer, don’t miss the opportunity to cool off at the river beach of Odivelas.
I was always treated well here. People from Alentejo are very sentimental and affectionate. I remember them asking me many questions about Brazil and asking me to speak with an accent or ask me how to say a specific word. All my memories are made of strong feelings, values, affection.
The tradition of “Cante Alentejano” (a traditional type of song in Alentejo, classified as UNESCO World Heritage) is strong in Ferreira do Alentejo. Festival Giacometti began in May 2018, dedicated to folk singing and music.