Quinta do Fundo was created in the 1950s by Joaquim and Hermínia Bouça and was based on the inheritance of the land received from Hermínia’s parents, who lived in Casa da Eira, in Paradança, municipality of Mondim de Basto. Despite living in Lisbon, the couple wanted to maintain the connection to their family roots in Mondim de Basto.
The land had no infrastructure, including only vines in bardos and cow paddocks. In the first half of the 1950s walls were built around all the beds and the perimeter of the property, as well as the first phase of the main house, using mainly local stone (granite from Mondim).
Also at this time the burdocks were removed and continuous high branch vines installed throughout the property. This structure was conceived by the owner and built in Lisbon, with iron purchased from CP (locomotive boiler tubes), and was later assembled at the Quinta with the support of a ramadista, dedicated exclusively.
In the second half of the 1950s, the main house was expanded to its current configuration to house the couple’s extended family of 7 children and the intervention in the ramada vineyard throughout the property was also completed, a feature that still gives it a unique originality today.
In the 1960s, livestock farming began, with the construction of a cowshed on adjacent land, which housed 12 bulls for fattening and as many cows for breeding. The activity of fattening cattle involved growing corn on the property’s land and buying hay in bales from the Alentejo. Weight monitoring was carried out on a special scale and with a high frequency, a situation that made high demands on the staff working on the farm.
But the production of vinho verde was the Quinta’s core activity. Harvesting and pruning mobilized a large number of local workers, as long wooden ladders were needed to access the high branches, most of which are more than 3 meters high. The grapes were crushed in the house’s lagares and the wine stored in purpose-built concrete vats. Part of the production was sold in bulk and the other bottled for consumption. The farm also had 2 presses and a still where brandy was produced with the stalks of the grapes, which aged in wooden barrels.
These times were particularly lively on the farm as they involved the family and workers from the region. Abundant traditional meals were prepared to replenish the energy expended in physically demanding tasks, usually made in iron pots, with the highlight being the well-known “rich” corn, a traditional dish from the Basto region (crushed corn, accompanied by pork).
With the death of the owners in the 1980s, the two eldest sons inherited the property, and the central core, which corresponds to the current configuration of the farm, was left to Fernando, who has always followed his father more closely in the management of the farm.
A new phase of Quinta do Fundo began in the early 1990s with the creation of the agro-tourism project.
The property has undergone extensive renovation works, with the installation of 5 bedrooms in the main house and the adaptation of the outdoor spaces to the new functionalities. The former hayloft has been converted into 2 suites, the former irrigation tank has given rise to a swimming pool of generous and unusual dimensions and a tennis court has been built on the west side of the property.
On July 29, 1993, Quinta do Fundo was granted a license for agrotourism.
As a pioneering space in the region, it has evolved in a sustained and successful way, having attracted tourists from all over the country and abroad. Partnerships were developed with tourism-related organizations, namely the Michelin Guide, where Quinta do Fundo was given a prominent position.
In the meantime, investment has also been made in the wine production process to create Quinta do Fundo own-brand wine, with VQPRD certification.
In 2013, lower vineyards were planted with the region’s white grape varieties, which complemented the white (azal, pedernã, loureiro and trajadura) and red (vinhão, padeiro de basto, borraçal and rabo de ovelha) grape varieties in the existing high vineyards, allowing for significant optimization of production.
With the evolution of experience in the tourist area, new services were developed, namely the realization of events, a situation that led to an additional investment phase in infrastructures for this purpose, in the eastern part of the property, where the old house of the Quinta’s caretaker was located. A party room with capacity for 150 people was created, called “Sobrado do Alambique”, where the old recovered alembic still is kept.
More than 20 years after the start of the tourism activity, the opportunity arose for Fernando’s youngest son, Rodrigo, to take over the continuity of this project. Since his childhood connected to the property and the region, he now shares these strong ties with his wife Joana and their 3 children, Afonso, Catarina and Pedro.
The couple is committed to bringing a new dynamic to Quinta do Fundo, based on a model of strong cultural and natural identity, but with high levels of comfort, in line with the current demands of the tourist market. And where the provision of new services in partnership with local agents, preserving the history and authenticity of the property idealized by grandfather Joaquim, will be a constant priority.