Thinking back on family traditions from her childhood, Maria Manuel used to love seeing her parents dressed up for the induction ceremonies into the Brotherhood of Port Wine.
Maria Manuel Maia has a strong sense of responsibility. The executive heiress of the 100-year-old wine producer, Poças Júnior, has, for the past decade, shared management duties of the company with six members of her family, including: four cousins, her father, and one uncle. The emotional attachment to the project is undeniable, but assuring that the company stays within the family also requires managing relationships and a good dose of pragmatism.
An agricultural engineer trained at the Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Maria Manuel
joined Poças after finishing her studies, in 2005, by assuming managerial duties of viticulture on the family's farms, one in each subregion of the demarcated Douro region. Work on the vineyard kept her in Vila Real. Nevertheless, she has logged many kilometers traveling through the windy roads in the the heart of the Douro. To get from this mountainous city, where she resides, to the Poças farm on the outskirts of the region, in Fóz Coa, it takes about two hours. At times, the trip is difficult. Other times she revels in the allure of the Douro and the way it never ceases to amaze her. It is because of the light and the many beautiful spots along the way.
The attachment to nature and to the vineyards is a constant. Maybe it wouldn't be this way in a landscape surrounding a vineyard with intensive production. Maria Manuel truly appreciates the biodiversity of the Douro region.
Thinking back on family traditions from her childhood, Maria Manuel used to love seeing her parents dressed up for the induction ceremonies into the Brotherhood of Port Wine; another side of the life of wine producers which also influences her. She likes cinema and reading the newspaper. She played handball, and takes surfing lessons whenever she can, around Porto, where she is originally from. As soon as she finished her postgraduate program in enology at the Catholic University of Porto, in 2015, she returned to doing regular exercise as well. In life, as in work, keep calm and drink wine.