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Dona Antónia Awards

Dona Antónia Awards

The Dona Antónia Adelaide Ferreira Awards, which have been given out since 1988, aim to recognise and praise Portuguese women who have followed exceptional life paths, standing out for their human qualities, entrepreneurship, leadership skills and desire to be and do better, seeking their own development.

Throughout these 35 editions, all the winners have left their mark on the Portuguese economic, social and cultural scene, where each one has become the protagonist of a singular and unique narrative, following Dona Antónia's legacy.

Dona Antónia Adelaide Ferreira (1811-1896), the “Ferreirinha”, stood out as one of the most remarkable figures in the history of the Douro Wine Region - a symbol of an entrepreneurial and charitable vision, generous with the most disadvantaged, and resilient. She fought the chaos and misery that hit the Douro region due to the phylloxera plague, which ruined vineyards and the lives of many farmers. The heiress of a wealthy Douro family with an important activity in the cultivation of vines and the production of Port, Dona Antónia encouraged research into more advanced wine production processes, new large vineyard plantations and large acquisitions of land and wine from fearful and decapitalised owners. At a time when men essentially held power, she overcame the difficulties and took over the leadership of the family business - developing, with distinction, what would become Casa Ferreira today.

After around 85 years of service to the cause of the Douro Wine Region and her fellow Douro citizens, Ferreirinha is now remembered by everyone as an example of female empowerment, of inestimable kindness and social responsibility, with a mythical aura in the world of business and wine - a woman ahead of her time. Dona Antónia Adelaide Ferreira said that "everyone in their own land should do everything for the good of humanity" - at Sogrape we immortalise this way of embracing life, valuing those who actually do it.

Until 2013, the Dona Antónia Awards honoured only one woman a year. In recent years, Sogrape has awarded two women in the existing categories of the Career Consecration Award - which honours a career of consolidated work deserving of public recognition - and the Revelation Award - which recognises women with a significant life journey and who are in a phase of affirmation and development.

The winners of last year's Dona Antónia Awards were:

  • Teresa Gouveia, Career Consecration Award - Cultural and political manager and one of the greatest female figures in Portuguese politics over the last 40 years.
  • Inês de Castro Gonçalves, Revelation Prize - Biomaterials engineer and scientific and biomedical researcher interested in medical devices for antimicrobial and cardiovascular applications.

One of the goals of Sogrape's Global Sustainability Approach - Seed the Future - is to inspire happier and more responsible lives, promoting a more inclusive, transparent and qualified society where gender equality and female empowerment play a crucial role in the company's values.

If you want to learn more about the Dona Antónia Awards, past winners or even more about the history and legacy of Dona Antónia Adelaide Ferreira, click here.