THE OLDEST OF THE FOURTH GENERATION AT SOGRAPE, MAFALDA DREAMS OF CONTRIBUTING TO THE CONTINUED GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE COMPANY.
Mafalda Guedes considers it a privilege to be able to work everyday in the place where she was born, and where she is happy. Nobody ever told her to work for Sogrape. She didn't just decide one day that this was going to be her career path. It is an emotional connection that was inherited from her family. A link between the lives of her grandfather, her father, her uncles, and her own.
As far back as she can remember, Mafalda has had this personal relationship with the company that Fernando Van Zeller Guedes developed. When she was little she would put messages on her father's door, asking him to call her and take her to work with him. She spent the holidays there at the company. Sometimes, she would mischievously climb aboard the forklift. Other times, she would go from room to room making photocopies to make a list of the company's wines, decorating the name of each one.
Today, as manager of the markets of Sogrape Wines, Mafalda Guedes has seen the business from many angles, and admits that she has an emotional and historic relationship with the company's farms in the Douro region, places in which she has had many personal experiences. But every region is unique and has its own charm, and she could never choose a favorite. There are stories in almost all of them; in Quinta Azevedo, in Minho, where she gotinside the vats when she was going to spend her summer holidays with her grandparents, or in Herdade do Peso and its seemingly endless vineyards. Certainly her newest and most intense passion, this Alentejo brand, with land in Vidigueira, will never fade from her memory as it was the first one that she managed. Her commitment to making the brand a point of reference in the world of wine is a mission she will never abandon.
The oldest of the fourth generation at Sogrape, Mafalda dreams of contributing to the continued growth and development of the company, but she also knows that business is not only about emotional dedication. The company has an internal policy which stipulates that successors seeking a position at Sogrape may only compete for one after having acquired a number of years of experience outside the company. In accordance with this obligation, Mafalda Guedes began her professional career in financial marketing, and, upon the conclusion of her management studies at the University of Oxford, experienced various realities and cultures of the world.
Her acceptance to work at Sogrape, in 2011, drove Mafalda to attend a post-graduate program in enology at the Catholic University of Porto, because she wants to be able to speak with sophistication about that which defines her career.