Quinta das Ratoeiras was in a state of complete abandonment when in 1993 the Luiz de Castro family bought it. Recognizing the unique characteristics of the soil («xisto» rocks and red clay of the Guadiana river), and counting on the natural spring water, the plantation was begun with 3 hectares of orange groves, followed by 17 hectares of vines and finally 4 hectares of olive groves, all of them equipped with a drip irrigation system.
The most suitable varieties of grapes for this type of soil were selected. For red wine grapes: Shiraz, Trincadeira, Aragonês, Alfrocheiro and Cabernet Sauvignon vines were planted. For white wine grapes: Roupeiro (Siria) and Antão Vaz were chosen.