The South Okanagan wine industry loses a beloved member
The Okanagan wine industry is mourning the loss of a beloved community member. Maria Ferreira, the matriarch and heart of Quinta Ferreira Estate Winery in Oliver, passed away suddenly on Dec. ,19.
Maria was born in Fundao, Portugal and immigrated to Canada in 1964 as a child with her family. Her family joined many others to settle in the lush farmlands of Oliver B.C. It was there that she met her husband John, who had also immigrated from Portugal when they were just teenagers. The couple enjoyed a long and wonderful life together with their three children Christina, Michael and Nicole.
John and Maria operated a successful orchard and packing house operation for 20 years, but her dream was to build a winery. They began replacing fruit trees with grapevines and her dream was manifested in 1999 when Quinta Ferreira opened to the public.
“As a mom, she always helped us follow our dreams and would provide advice so we could reach our goals," her daughter Christina said.
"She really instilled that Quinta Ferreira is a family run business with family values and every guest should be treated as a member of the family.”
Maria Ferreira was also a passionate community member, always helping neighbours and supporting initiatives, local charities and fundraisers.
As a testament to this support, Christina said more than 300 people attend her mom's funeral services.
"People coming from throughout B.C. and Alberta. Many Quinta Ferreira customers have shared the relationship that they built with my mom and how some wine club members chose to drive to the winery to pick up their wines so that they could visit with my mom,” she said.
Maria leaves behind a legacy of love and her spirit will live on through her children, grandchildren and the Quinta Ferreira Winery brand.
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