Dona Antónia Adelaide Ferreira, known as “Ferreirinha”
…, was born in Régua in 1811, and was one of the most prominent characters in the history of the Douro region.
When she died at the age of 85, she left the largest national Port wine company and a vast body of charity work. She was a simple woman, with boundless energy and great courage. Independent from her husband, power or political influence, she built an empire, fighting against adversity and injustice. When the devastating phylloxera pest, caused by an insect that destroys vine roots, struck the Douro, she reacted immediately: she travelled to England in search of information, helped other farmers in the region, employed thousands of workers to rebuild the vineyards, supported schools and hospitals, and protected the poor. Thanks to her, the Douro region thrived again. Vineyards, olive groves and orchards. And roses and roses. Not only for their beauty, but because of the discovery that, since roses are more fragile, they give early signs of disease, enabling treatment and salvation. Therefore, they are a symbol of recovery. They’re a symbol of determination. They’re a symbol of the tenacity and kindness that characterised Dona Antónia’s life.