Álvaro Mendes de Vasconcelos came from a noble family connected to the powerful House of Braganza – he was a knight from the house of the Duke of Braganza and alderman of the city of Évora. The building of the Esporão Tower is seen as a sign of the need to establish a new lineage which, amongst other things, usually built a tower or stronghold as symbols of their position in society. The primary use of this type of tower was accommodation; however, at the end of 15th century, those towers that existed in Portugal were less likely to used so because they were generally too small. They could also have been used as safe havens for people and goods, in emergencies. However, they were essentially symbols of lordship and military power.
A quadrilateral measuring 14.40 by 10.90 metres, the Esporão Tower is an unusual shape – it is relatively wide when compared with previous or even contemporary constructions. At a later date, however, it was used as a model for other towers, which demonstrates its influence on those built in the Alentejo.
Today, the Esporão Tower is the symbol of Herdade do Esporão’s wines, having now regained its former splendour and importance. The Esporão Tower is the most important and representative of the buildings that make up Herdade do Esporão.
On the ground floor of the Tower visitors can enjoy the archaeological museum, where a number of objects found at Esporão and the Perdigões settlement are on display.