“I have the most beautiful job in the world.”
James has strong roots in agriculture, the Frost family having been farming in the South of England for generations. Growing up in Dorset, he was born with an inherent empathy with nature and agriculture. Like his grandfather, who in his time had moved his farm from Somerset to Dorset (by train!), James was looking for new opportunities in pastures green…
On leaving school he spent seven full and exciting years in the army, which took him to some interesting places, including France, Nepal and Iraq. In Münster, Germany, he met his wife to be, Ann von Fürstenberg and began his life’s project at the Quinta de Sant’Ana in 1992.
For James, taking up this opportunity meant he could make his dream of producing his own wine come true. He devotes himself to his wine with great vision, fondness and almost fatherly affection: in the vineyard, the cellar and - of course - in the glass!
“Surely I have the most beautiful job in the world.”
Ann is an adventurer by nature. Being the middle child of seven, she came to Portugal when she was little. Until the revolution in 1974, the Fürstenberg family lived here at the Quinta de Sant’Ana. Afterwards, Ann grew up in Westphalia, going to boarding school near Lake Constance.
After completing a course in pottery, she studied art in Florence, and then moved on to graphics & design. After marrying James, they decided to reawaken the family’s vineyard in Portugal from its slumbers, which had lain fallow for many years.
Ann and James have moved mountains together. With courage, energy and creativity Ann has built up her varied and exciting life’s work: being an event and party planner has given her a broad canvas to express her innovative ideas and artistic energy.
But her pride lies in her family: during this time she has also given birth to seven sons. With her loving way she is a source of inspiration at the Quinta, very much at the core of the Frost family.
António Moita Maçanita
“Winemakers and Viticulturists are equally important partners in the enterprise of wine production. High quality wine is only possible as a result of human skills interacting with nature in the three-stage process of creation, transformation and conservation of fruit that begins in the vineyard and ends when a bottle of wine is emptied into your glass.”
“Like father like son” – as the grandson of a Colonel and the son of a chemistry professor, António has it running in his veins: discipline, courage and a taste for adventure, combined with curiosity and an interest in science – in short, the ideal «oenologist ingredients». It comes as no surprise that when he graduated top of the class in Agro-Industrial Engineering, he lost no time to build up his experience in the California (Napa Valley, 2001) and in Australia (d’Arenberg, 2003). In return for playing for the Pays-Medoc Rugby Club he got a placement at Chateau Lynch Bages in Bordeaux, France.
Back in Portugal he achieved his first successes and by the age of 25 was consulting five wineries, constantly developing the new concept of a “Portuguese terroir”.
António is regularly invited to join the juries of international wine contests. His wines are consistent national and international prize winners. He is no doubt one of the leading Portuguese winemakers of his generation, crafting wines which are recognized in the most prestigious competitions and publications and we are proud to work with him.
Heart and Soul
The Quinta’s Heart and Soul, Virginia is a phenomenon.
She has been working at the Quinta for over half of her life. From the tender age of ten she was brought up in the household where she served as a maid. Quick and nimble, she proved herself in the kitchen, and was soon running the big house, taking care of children, animals, gardens, fields - anything! She looked after Ann and her brothers and sisters when they were young, and has kept her watchful eyes on them ever since. She still comes in every day, less quick, less nimble, but her sheer presence causes a shriek of excitement from the second generation and a sigh of relief from the first – to us, she is a mother, grandmother, friend, and adviser – our rock!
Marcos' stage set is the kitchen. Born and brought up in the Algarve he spent many years practicing a form of martial art technique. This, together with his professional training in the Hotel School Faro, has taught him discipline, stamina and creativity that he now applies to his cooking. Contrary to the profession’s knife swinging reputation, Marco is of a gentle, inquisitive nature, always keen to expand his culinary realm.
He came to us on recommendation of Henrique Sá Pessoa, "Portugal's Jamie Oliver", who had been involved in restructuring the Quinta's kitchen concept. Since then, Marco has fully embraced our family-centric project, leading his small team with elegance and engagement to delicious levels. Together with his kitchen staff he regularely impresses our guests (and us) with excellent quality food.
Marketing Strategist, Event Manager & Sales
Paula is a local girl - her parents make the best cheese in the area - but the word "local" gives the wrong impression: she has worked for various IT multinationals in and outside the country and has brought with her lots of experience in marketing, communication and event organization. She is highly creative, a talented designer, has amazing "soft skills" and with her Portuguese looks and charm is also at the forefront of sales. Focused, calm, efficient, loyal Paula is an invaluable member of our team, never loosing her sense of humour.
Tourism, Wine & Events Manager
Born and raised on the beaches of Southern Alentejo, Catarina came to Lisbon to study Turism and Events - after all, what better way to share the best of Portugal with the rest of the world? She brought to the Quinta lots of experience in planning and event solutions, and makes hosting demanding corporate clients look easy. A perfectionist by nature, once started on a project, will not let go until everybody is pleased with the end result. Catarina was introduced to wine relatively recently but took to it like a fish to water and now receives groups from all over the world for visits and wine tastings. If you see a graceful red-haired girl with a big welcoming smile you know it is her!
Mara & Ângela
Both Mara and Ângela have joined our team recently and have made themselves utterly irreplaceable already! Mara originates from Brazil, a trained teacher and Ângela has also been involved with education and is local. At least one of them is practically here round the clock as they deal with the crucial task of orders, suppliers, staff, front office, never ending shopping lists, last minute errands, set ups and set downs - on top of this they never forget a smile. This shows the stuff they are made of...
Born in the fairytale town of Sintra on the "International Day of the Family", Flávia's family has always been her priority. Here she looks after the accounts and everything in the office between Health & Safety and printer problems. And us. She does this in a caring and nearly motherly way and yes, we all feel she is a bit like a fairy!
Warlen, Luis Pedro, Vagner, Mikay
Our Action Men
There is not enough space here to describe the amount of jobs they do in an average week, but in a nutshell they look after the vineyards every single day, with all the detailed and skilled dedication that this responsible job requires. Warlen and Vagner are both from Brazil and seem to have that samba spring in their steps. One can easily spot them in the vineyard as their enormous straw hats bob up and down between the vines. Mikay is from Romania and “good disposition personified”. Luis Pedro is a trained electrician and on-site-DJ from the next door village where he single-handedly puts on the best summer parties in the region!
The whole Quinta is kept healthy, beautiful and functional through their great team-work, come wind, rain or, as most commonly is the case, sun shine!