Orlando Almeida/Global Images
Barbara and Georg Thomann
Still living in Switzerland, we fell in love with Portugal in the 1970s. At that time, the country was still a hot tip among European holiday destinations, and travelling within the country was still quite adventurous. However, from the very beginning, we were enchanted by the originality and multifaceted beauty of this country and its immensely kind people.
When we decided to move to Portugal in 1995, it was clear to us that this should be to the Alentejo. This enchanting landscape with its rolling hills, cork oak forests, olive groves and vineyards appealed to us early on.
With the purchase of Herdade da Mata we started our "second life", so to speak, working in agriculture was a completely new territory for us. The first years were intense and involved a lot of effort and work. We learned and experienced many things, we made good and sometimes difficult experiences, we invested a lot of time and personal commitment.
From the very beginning we have never regretted our decision, a decision which was also supported by our family, and we appreciate the high quality of life in our wonderful home Herdade da Mata.
The creation of our little paradise would not have been possible without the support of many people. First and foremost Carlos Branquinho, our manager, who has been with us since the beginning.
Carlos Santana Branquinho is not only the manager of Herdade da Mata and our right-hand man, but he has also become a family friend and confidant over the long years of his working with us.
Previously during his studies in Alter do Chão (equine management) and Beja (agronomy) he regularly trained and took care of our private Lusitano horses.
After finishing his studies he had a demanding position at the stud farm Monte da Ravasqueira before moving full-time to Herdade da Mata. He is now in charge of all aspects of Herdade da Mata.
"At Herdade da Mata we try in everything we do to keep in mind the preservation of the environment and the management of resources to avoid unnecessary expenses, develop sustainable agricultural practices and in this way have a balance between production, animal welfare and the environment."
Carlos Branquinho, Direktor
At Herdade da Mata, climate and environmental protection is an essential concern for us and our employees. Biodiversity, sustainability, quality and animal welfare must be a reality and not just rhetoric.
Water, energy and every important resource is used responsibly and carefully at Herdade da Mata.
Thanks to the size of the Herdade, we can and want to manage Herdade da Mata in a very extensive, environmentally and animal-friendly way.
Endangered indigenous breeds are of special concern to us, and we are particularly proud of our herd of pure-bred Garvonesian cows.