Quinta das Ratoeiras is a family estate of 36 hectares, located next to Vila de Frades in the municipality of Vidigueira, Alentejo, Portugal. The site was originally known as “Ratoeiras”, meaning mousetraps, because its dense tree cover made it a favourable place for the local people to set traps to catch birds, a common practice at that time.
Besides a house and a barn, the estate originally had one hectare of «galega» olive trees and 2 hectares of «laranja-pera», an orange native to Vidigueira. But the true value of the estate, which had been completely abandoned since the 1960’s, consists of two natural springs and five wells, all still in existence and providing abundant water.
Between 1994 and 1998 other parcels of land were acquired, and two more hectares of “New Hall” and “Valencia Late” orange trees and four hectares of «Cobrançosa» olive trees were planted. After obtaining the licenses, 17 additional hectares of vineyards were created, all equipped with drip irrigation systems. In 1999, a neighbouring parcel of land was also bought and the existing house (in ruins) was transformed into a charming rural hotel, placed right in the middle of a vineyard, which serves as a reference in wine and rural tourism.