I’ve always wanted to live in the countryside and in 1996, I had the opportunity to move with my husband to the house that has been in the family for several generations, I didn’t think twice. I love the beauty and the History of this place, and that’s what I try to share with our guests. I'm the one welcoming visitors and show them the chapel, the cellars, do the wine tasting, and host lunch or dinner at the Palace. All visitors are greeted at my house as my friends.
What sets us apart is not only the wines, but the History of this place. Our visitors can see or try foot stomping during the harvest in 19th-century marble presses where the traditional method of stomping grapes is still used nowadays. They can see ancient olive oil vessels and take a walk in a garden full of history! They also have the possibility to have a meal at the Palace, an architecturally rich place and with original décor and tableware. All the products at the table are local, sourced from our vegetable garden and local high-quality producers.
It is an experience that can only be lived here. I'm very proud of being the guardian of this house, with such history and unique memories. Today, if you asked me to move to Lisbon, I would promptly refuse.
Quinta de D. Maria is also known as Quinta do Carmo. After the story of the king and his mistress, a chapel in honour of Our Lady of Carmo was built here in 1752.
Our story and mission
For 150 years, wine has been produced in this state but it was only in 1988 that my husband, Julio Bastos, started to sell the famous Quinta do Carmo Garrafeira. In 1992, we started a joint venture with the Rothschilds, and after 8 years together, we sold our part. Finally, after the renovation of the winery in 2000, we started producing D. Maria wines, with the first harvest in 2003.
When we started with the wine tourism business, we thougth it was important to stand out. So, with such a special house, opening it to our visitors was the best idea and we host most lunches and dinners at the Palace.
Nowadays we have 80 hectares of vineyards. The harvest is done manually, and all wines are produced with our own grapes.
Inside, the walls are all covered with 18th-century tiles, and the marble, typical of the region, is everywhere. The interior décor, the furniture, and even the tableware and silverware we use to serve our meals are original.
Some people tell me this is the most unique experience they’ve ever had and I love sharing these stories with them.
A wine with a taste of history, where every detail makes a difference.
To say that nothing happens in Alentejo is a big fat lie. To me, Alentejo is the place where everything happens! It’s the place with the best quality of life and where everything is happening: great wines, great projects, great cheese factories, great restaurants, fantastic cuisine, a spectacular lifestyle without the traffic jams. Everything is a bit far, but we get used to it. And, furthermore, the beauty of Alentejo is unique.
I’m very hasty, but I got used to the calmer rhythm, and I even try to tone my restlessness down because I believe that’s the right way to live.
When it comes to cuisine, this is a prosperous region. We can find a bit of everything, and it’s easy to get high-quality products. In our case, the cheeses we serve during our wine tastings come from a local producer, and the same happens with beef.
Estremoz is a lively city, to me the liveliest city in Alentejo, and where living is easy. I love being on this farm! I like the quietness.
Then, Alentejo and the Estremoz region add a diverse local cuisine to all that. We have an incredibly varied cuisine, with wonderful cheeses and sausages. I’m also a big fan of “migas” (an Alentejo-style dish made of mashed bread and meat, typically seasoned with garlic and coriander), black pork, and the delicious local sweets and desserts.
Most people don’t know this, but the Estremoz marble has been famous for a really long time. The Roman temple in Évora has marble that came from the Estremoz quarries.