Herdade do Vau

Alto Alentejo (interior)


  • 19th century manor house
  • Quiet and remote location overlooking the banks of the Guadiana River
  • Outdoor swimming pool with sun terrace
  • Wine Estate – Tastings and guided tour possible
  • Walking routes through the vineyards

Miguel de Sousa Otto is an economist who was convinced he could produce an elegant wine, with aging potential and low alcohol content in the poor soil conditions of the Alentejo. Many friends told him this was impossible.

In 2006 he purchased 350 hectares (865 acres) of typical Alentejo terrain overlooking the banks of the Guadiana River and planted 12 acres with vines. In 2010 he produced his first wine with the label RISO Sousa Otto & Friends and currently has a small production of 25,000 bottles.

The original 19 th century manor house was in ruins and in 2012 he decided to renovate the property and has brought to life the traditional building in the most sensitive manner. Interestingly, parts of the structure which were added - bathrooms for instance - are finished in smooth, polished concrete to indicate a departure from the original. The result is an airy cool structure with large bedrooms from which there are wonderful views over the surrounding landscape. From the terraces and the large swimming pool the views are to the Guadiana River, vineyards and pastures.

This is a place to relax and to dream and to sample some excellent home cooking accompanied by the estate’s wines. There is no WiFi, other than in the study which used to be the original bake-house whose outside wall housed recesses for pigeons. There is no television, no minibar in the rooms and mini safes just are not required! The parking area is hidden so as not to be visible from the house and the tennis court is a short walk away to the back of the house. Nothing disturbs the quiet and remoteness of the location yet Beja, one of the main towns of
the Alentejo is only 22km away and Serpa 21km. At nights the darkness reveals the heavens as you have never seen them before.

An evening meal is included on your arrival day as it will take you a day or two to find your bearings. Further meals have to be pre-ordered in advance at breakfast, are payable locally (cash only) and we recommend you eat here.

A home to meditate and dream and escape the realities of life – wonderful.