Maria Ferreira, founder of Quinta Ferreira Winery, near Oliver, passed away suddenly on December 19. She was honoured by hundreds in the wine industry. (Contributed)

Maria Ferreira, founder of Quinta Ferreira Winery, near Oliver, passed away suddenly on December 19. She was honoured by hundreds in the wine industry. (Contributed)

Okanagan winery founder, Maria Ferreira, honoured

The 64-year-old passed away suddenly on December 19

An influential figure across the South Okanagan wine region was honoured by hundreds of individuals after Quinta Ferreira Estate Winery announced on social media the sudden passing of co-founder, Maria Ferreira.

Surrounding local wineries shared their condolences and spoke to how Ferreira was not only an inspiration to them but also supportive of new wineries in the area.

For 40 years Ferreira worked in the Okanagan, starting with an orchard and transforming it into a successful winery.

The 64-year-old passed away suddenly on December 19. A week later, her funeral was attended by hundreds in the community of Oliver, many of them members and leaders of the wine industry.

“She always had a smile, she was always giving, she was always willing to learn, to help,” said her daughter Christina.

Maria was born in Fundao, Portugal and immigrated to Canada in July 1964 with her family. Growing up in Portugal, the wine was a part of the culture. From a young age, she helped her parents make homemade wine in their basement.

She was also known for her business sense. After moving to Canada, Maria and her husband purchased the orchard and operated it and a packing house for more than 20 years. In the last 20 years, they transformed their property from the orchard into the Quinta Ferreira Estate Winery.

“My parents’ dream was always to own a winery,” said Christina.

Quinta Ferreira Estate Winery is a family affair.

“It’s very family-run,” said Christina. “My brother is the winemaker, my parents are often in the tasting room. The whole concept of coming to the winery was (that) you’re a member of the family. That’s how you’re treated when you come there.”

It’s no secret that Ferreira influenced the wine region.

“(She) ensured the style of the wines is true to the fruit,” said Christina. “Still with that European flavour.”

Throughout the years, Maria engaged with the Portuguese community and the farming community, nurturing many relationships. Outside of wine, Maria was a very active member of the community of Oliver.

On a personal level, Christina said she learned lots from her mother and reflected on morals instilled in her from a young age.

“To always give and share. And she never judged.”

Now, the family is focusing on next steps for Quinta Ferreira Estate Winery. Christina said aside from making the wine, Maria did just about everything, even helping her son make the wine on occasion.

“We are moving forward, of course,” said Christina. “We are going to do the best that we can to continue to give that love, that passion and that friendly customer service that my mom always gave and to continue building those relationships.”

“That was a big thing for my mom. Make everybody feel like you’re a member of the family.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

There is no true picture of how many youth in Penticton are experiencing housing instability or true homelessness. The Foundry and the city of Penticton are trying to find that out.
How many youth are experiencing homelessness in Penticton?

Foundry Penticton and the City have partnered on a youth survey open until March 13

(Pacific Coastal Airlines photo)
Potential COVID-19 exposure on March 1 Penticton flight

Interior Health lists a public exposure for the Pacific Air Flight from Vancouver on March 1

Isaac Gilbert is running for council in the by-election for Jake Kimberley’s vacated seat. (Submitted)
First candidate for council by-election makes himself known

Isaac Gilbert is making a second run at council after receiving 19.63 per cent of the vote in 2018

Coldstream’s Kalamalka Secondary has teamed up with Globox on a fundraising raffle for its graduating class of 2021. (Photo supplied)
Okanagan secondary school grads glowing over fundraiser

Kalamalka Secondary teams with company on fundraising raffle, replacing annual apple pie fundraiser

The Town of Osoyoos is looking into allowing two food trucks at the downtown plaza over the summer, which would require updates to several town policies and bylaws. (Kevin Clark - Black Press Media File)
Osoyoos council to weigh allowing additional downtown food trucks

The proposal would be aimed to benefits the summer’s downtown plaza

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

Sarah Cotton-Elliott said she believed her children took a back seat to arranging equal parenting

Multiple people were injured at a Vernon home following an early-morning break-in Saturday, March 6, 2021. (Black Press file photo)
Multiple people left injured following break-and-enter in Vernon

Police believe the early-morning break-in was targeted and not a threat to the general public

Kelowna General Hospital (File photo)
Second COVID-19 outbreak declared at Kelowna General Hospital

One patient and one staff member on Unit have tested positive for the virus.

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

A Coldstream resident who found an owl struggling on her property in March 2021 is now spreading awareness of about the knock-on effects of rodent poisoning. (Kathy Renaud photo)
Okanagan owl ‘fighting for her life’ after ingesting rat poison

Coldstream resident warns against the use of rodenticide due to risk of secondary poisoning in raptors

Most Read