Located in the region of Vale do Jequitinhonha where both the cities of Capelinha and Agua Boa are situated, Fazenda Santa Maria is made up of 95 Hectares of coffee spread over 348 hectares of land. The region is known for its beauty with a landscape full of waterfalls, caves, coffee plants and eucalyptus plantations. The region has a rich cultural history with ancestry linked to the indigenous people who once inhabited the region as well as once being a trade route for gold and diamond production.
The farm was acquired by Sergio Meirelles & his wife Lucilla in 1984 and it is now run by their daughter Mariana and her husband Claudio Gutierrez who have been at the farm since 1998. As well as coffee the farm has diversified to also a running dairy farm and eucalyptus farm. The Meirelles family ensure the health of the farm, workers and environment by adhering to certificaMINAS standards including the protection of spring water supplies, local forest management and the recycling of the water used at the washing station for pulping. The farm has 10 permanent employees with some who have worked with them for 30 years since they first took ownership.
During harvest the coffee is harvested manually with local workers coming to help pick the ripe cherry. Once picked the coffee is pulped with floaters removed. The coffee is then centrifuged to remove all water before the beans are laid out on the patio to dry for 10 – 15 days on the patio depending on the weather. Sometimes if there is too much rain the coffee will be mechanical dried where the temperature is monitored closely to ensure it never rises above 40°C. Once dried it is then allowed to rest before being milled and bagged.