Owning a family estate winery was a boyhood dream fulfilled for John Ferreira. Nonetheless the wish granted is proof to Roman poet Horace’s quote, “Life grants nothing to us mortals without hard work.”

The winery is owned and operated by John and his wife Maria, who both immigrated to Canada with their families as young children. John and his siblings toiled along with his parents converting the land from sagebrush to orchard. In 1979, he and Maria bought the orchard and operated it for 20 years with their three children before planting the first vineyards. The first grapes were sold to wineries such as Township 7 for its award-winning wines until John and his winemaker son Michael opened their own winery in 2007. In fact, the basis of the stunning Mediterranean-style winery you find now is the independent packing house they had established for the production of fruit. The hard-working family connection extends to the art viewed inside the tasting room: resident artist is Maria’s sister Carmen Tomé.

Michael trained under distinguished winemaker Michael Bartier and from the beginning there has been a cult following for the big red wines. Today the Chardonnay, Viognier and other whites are gaining traction. The “Canadian Wine with a Portuguese Twist” made in a “true to the fruit” philosophy available only in small lots results in favourites flying off the shelves. To ensure you don’t miss out, join the mailing list. Learn about wine festival events such as Bifana’s and Wine, 11:30 am to 3 pm, May 4th. For just $15, you get a glass of wine along with a traditional Portuguese sandwich while they last! For information on it and the annual Paella event in July, it’s best to follow Quinta Ferreira on Facebook and Twitter.

~ Roslyne Buchanan