Joana Freitas follows in the footsteps of her mother, producer Leonor Freitas. In the winery located in Fernando Pó, Peninsula of Setúbal, does everything a little, but also travels through the four corners of the world to publicize and promote family wine. In love with the area, you don't see yourself doing anything else.
She is the daughter of one of the national reference producers. Did this influence her in choosing to work in the wine area
? No doubt it influenced. Ever since I was a kid, I've always wanted to hang out with my grandmother, go to the field to see the workers in the vineyard, and help or 'get in the way' of their work (laughs). When my mother took over Casa Ermelinda Freitas with my grandmother Ermelinda Freitas, the desire to work in this sector grew even more. I have always been very involved in everything from the development of brands, as well as being present in negotiations with customers, and in the work of bottling.
From the moment the first product was born with our name, I had no doubt that that was exactly what I wanted to do.
Do you remember the first time you tasted wine? I
remember, and I thought it was something fantastic. How does the grape, sweet, become a liquid full of flavors and sensations...
There was a time when there were hardly women working in this sector, but today there are already several, and excellent professionals. What do you think about i
t? What makes us really true professionals is the love and dedication we have for the project we are in. It's not the type, it's inside each one.
What are your duties at Casa Ermelinda Freitas, specifically? There'
s a difficult question, because i don't perform a single specific function. There are areas to which I am most dedicated, such as the area of export and marketing, but I also perform a little of all the areas that make up the world of Casa Ermelinda Freitas. In what is related to the export area, I have traveled more to other continents, for example, to Asia, where I have visited China and Japan, and also to the American Continent, to the U.S., country where I made my first trip to take over this function. What I develop in these trips is the search for partners. When we already have them, I monitor sales and boost Casa Ermelinda Freitas in their respective markets.
If you hadn't been pregnant with the world of wine, what other profession would you c
hoose? It would have always gone to the wine world or something related to agriculture. It was always what I liked, develop and see a product grow.
There is a wine bar (Wine Not?) in Chiado, lisbon, which your winery supports. What's the concept, how does it wor
k? The winebar in chiado was an innovative partnership for Casa Ermelinda Freitas, which arose from a challenge and for the good relationship we have with Ruth and João, owners of the restaurant. The concept is to try our wines with the good snacks created by Wine Not?, always finding a touch of the products of the Peninsula of Setúbal region and some of the Casa Ermelinda Freitas winery, in the heart of Lisbon.
One of your last projects in the cellar was a very special space dedicated to the family...
Yes, the space 'Memorias e Afetos Casa Ermelinda Freitas' is something we always want to create. We didn't want to call it a museum. The whole space has a lot of meaning for the family, because it was the place that gave rise to what is today casa Ermelinda Freitas. It is there that the dedication and presence of all generations before me is found, that motivated me so much and led me to fall in love with wine.
I know all family members have been involved in this project. Do you feel that it is the strength of the family that contributes to this succ
ess? There is no doubt that the family is the most important. But I can not forget the spectacular team I work with every day, which invest everything for the success of Casa Ermelinda Freitas with great professionalism and affection. That's how my grandmother always worked, and my mother continued. I feel fully integrated into this qualified team.