Dona Antonia de Ferreira
Important name in the history of wine in Portugal, both for table wines and for port. In the early 19th century, one of the most remarkable women in wine. Dona Antonia de Ferreira. Married her cousin of the same name and. When he died, she continued to run his wine business. Respected by the entire port trade even during this most conservative period, she was also much loved by her family. On one occasion she took one of her daughters out of the country so that the girl should not be forced into an unwelcome marriage with an influential man (and later was able to marry the one of her own preference). Dona Antonia escaped drowning in the accident on the Douro when Baron Forrester disappeared when their shallow-bottomed boat capsized, because she and her companion floated to safety on a sandbank. Borne up by their crinolines.
Her name isstill remembered vividly in the port world, for once. When I took a taxi and was trying to make the driver grasp my rudimentary Portuguese to the effect that I wished to go to the Ferreira establishment, he suddenly understood: ‘Ah, the House of the Ferreira lady!’ Ferreira ports demonstrate ‘Portuguese style’ ports superbly – finely-knit, sensitive wines, their great vintages are remarkable and worth the serious attention of port lovers. Their table wines, privileged by a tradition of great winemakers in the firm, are very good.