The McBride sisters are making a name for themselves in the wine industry with their diverse mix of flavors. The two sisters have created a collection that embodies two continents and one unique style.
Robin and Andrea McBride were raised in completely different countries and had no idea about each other. It wasn’t until 1999 when their father passed away that the two of them were able to connect. Robin was a California girl, born and raised in Monterey, and Andrea grew up in New Zealand, where her mother was from. Neither one of them had a relationship with their father, but when he developed cancer, his dying wish was to connect his daughters.
“I had come out to Alabama to visit some family during Christmas of 1999 and the phone rang and they said, ‘it’s your sister, your sister has found you,'” said Andrea. “I was scheduled to go to New York the next day, and within 24 hours of that call, Robin got on a flight and we met at LaGuardia Airport.”
At the time that they met, Robin was 25 and Andrea was 16. Wine was not in the mix yet, but they both noticed early on that they grew up in wine making towns. Robin was living in Atlanta and Andrea had to go back to New Zealand for school after the first time that they met, but a couple of years later, Robin was back in Monterey and Andrea had graduated high school and started college at the University of Southern California.
“I had been working in corporate America in international sales and I worked with a lot of importing and exporting companies,” said Robin. “When Andrea and I got to know each other, we both shared an appreciation for wine and winemakers. We had talked about it for two or three years and then we decided to get into the business.”
In 2005, the McBride Sisters started off as wine importers. They wanted to learn about the business and how to cultivate wine, so their time as importers gave them a lot of knowledge. The sisters did not see a lot of diversity when they first entered the wine industry. However, that did not stop them from pursuing their dreams and their importing business became a success.
“When we first started in 2009, it seemed like there wasn’t a lot of diversity at all,” said Robin. “There were not a lot of women winemakers and even less women of color winemakers. It was quite shocking to us, and people also found us pretty shocking.”
The McBride Sisters importing business gave Robin and Andrea the opportunity to create their own wine and now the duo has an entire collection. Their wines are unique in the sense that they are made in both New Zealand and California.
“Under the McBride Sisters Collection, we have a sparkling Brut Rosé and a Sauvignon Blanc from my backyard and we have a Chardonnay and Red Blend from Robin’s backyard,” said Andrea.
The collection is sold at Ralph’s and has wines for people who want a sweeter taste and for people who want a stronger taste. For more information about the sisters, visit www.mcbridesisters.com.