Quinta dos Vales opens its first residential wine resort in the Algarve
Algarve-based winery Quinta dos Vales has introduced The Vines, a brand-new resort of holiday homes, located in the heart of the renowned wine estate. The doors opened in June for the small resort with just 16 stand-alone houses, each comprising two independent villa suites. The balance of interior to exterior areas is ideally suited to the concept of vacation homes, as holiday-makers in the Algarve tend to spend the majority of their time outside. Each villa suite features one bedroom, a bathroom with walk-in shower, an open-plan kitchen and living room, as well as a private terrace, adjacent to a cosy private relaxation area. For the very first time, the estate offers private individuals the possibility to purchase property on its grounds.
The Vines offers a turnkey buy-to-let solution, which allows the owners to reap the benefits of owning a holiday home — even including a four-year rental guarantee — but with the operational management delegated to the estate’s team. But what truly makes this a unique proposition is that owners are given the option to combine a holiday home with a small, privately-owned vineyard. The Winemaker Experience, a unique project that sees wine-lovers become winemakers, each with their own vineyard plot, for a fraction of the investment normally needed to purchase a winery. Attracting clients all the way from the Swiss Alps to South Beach, Florida, the project, which can be managed remotely, allows wine-lovers to authentically be in control of their own production, without the stress and hassle of starting a commercial operation.
Usually owning a small vineyard would be considered a luxury pastime, a dream for any wine-lover which they would be happy to simply realise without excessive costs. Whereas this one-of-a-kind project even offers the possibility of realising the dream of one’s own wine production, whilst still making a profit. Most people know the saying “you can’t have your cake and eat it too”, but in this case, the winery created an opportunity where this is more than possible. By purchasing both a vineyard and a holiday home, wine- lovers can get the best of both worlds, as a luxury lifestyle investment is suddenly converted into a sensible return-generating asset-based investment, without fear of inflation and more profitable and more fun than any bank investment available these days.
The Winemaker Experience needed to fulfil three criteria: it needed to be 100% authentic, care-free, and affordable. Simple criteria but difficult to achieve as they contradict one another. In order not to be a marketing gig, but fully authentic, each participant had to have as much decision-making power as a winery owner would have, but without the need to invest years of work and millions into the project.
Volume was another crucial point of the project, as participants should not need to worry about having to sell their wine, just producing enough for self-consumption and the always-needed birthday and Christmas presents for friends. The final criteria set by the founders of the project was affordability, which has been achieved, as it is now possible to produce a wine with an upfront cost of only €30,000 to €60,000 for a vineyard parcel and running costs ranging from €8 to €11 per bottle.
The estate’s winemaking team educates and guides participants through the production process, providing use of the winery equipment and specialised personnel, who encourage each participant to make the important decisions themselves: which grape variety to choose, when to harvest, whether to age the wine in oak or not, which type of barrel to use, the type of bottle, cork, and so forth.
“We were adamant that before going live with the promotion of The Winemaker Experience it had to be perfectly fine-tuned,” Karl Stock, founder and owner of the wine estate, explains. As soon as the marketing activities started, the client reaction was immediate, the number of private winemakers has almost doubled already. Investing in both the vineyard and the buy-to-let solution, clients can sit on their own terrace overlooking their privately owned vineyard, drink their own wine which is more than paid for from their rental returns.