Robin and Andrea McBride have done what most would consider unimaginable within the wine industry, but for them, like most big moments in their lives… every step of the process has been pretty kismet, according to Robin.

In 2005, the McBride sisters started their wine journey when they began importing grapes from New Zealand (called Aotearoa by the indigenous Maori people). By 2009, they began to cultivate juices together, and before they knew it, in 2017, the sisters began producing wine straight from their respective homes in Monterey, CA, and New Zealand under the McBride Sisters Collection label that they are known for today.

When recalling what makes her most proud of this journey, Robin honed in on their initial vision and mission for entering the wine industry, and that was “changing the perception of wine being elitist and exclusive.”

Where It All Began

“We’ve been in this business now for 18 years, and we’ve seen a lot of changes during that time,” she told AFROTECH™ in an interview. “And we think that we were able to help in some ways with the positive changes that we see today, just by breaking down some of the stereotypes — and not just from a wine perspective necessarily, the product itself, but also in who makes it, who enjoys it, how they enjoy it.”

Robin added, “That’s been the focus of everything we’ve done over the last 18 years, and we feel that we see a positive shift and that’s part of our legacy. And not to say that we did that on our own, but we do think that because it’s been a significant driver in how we built our business and gone to market with our business, we’ve had a positive impact in that way.”

As previously reported by AFROTECH™, not only do the McBride sisters have a unique narrative for how they entered the wine industry, but their discovery of one another was just as nontraditional, which Robin admits worked in their favor in the end.


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Rooted In Sisterhood

“I think it worked in our favor, not that I wouldn’t have wanted to have my sister my whole life, but the fact that we did come together later in life, and then we quickly started a business together… We had a shared business, but also a shared mission and vision for what we wanted to do, and we were learning together. So we were learning about each other and building our relationship as sisters, while we were building our business in a very close and tight way,” Robin recalled.

“And when you learn things together with people, it’s bonding, right?” She continued. “So even though we had missed each other for a good portion of our lives — because we met when I was 25 and Andrea was 16 — we don’t get that time back. But as young adults, we were able to have so much intense time together over the last 20 years, really building something meaningful that we’re proud of. And we did it together.”

What’s more, Robin says that because they had to navigate two new relationships, the business and their sisterhood, simultaneously it pushed them to have more patience, which isn’t always the case when families who were raised together, so to speak, decide to launch a company.

Despite it all working out in the end, Robin does admit that there were some early frustrations such as when investors couldn’t pinpoint why her sister had a New Zealand accent and she did not.

“Everybody was so curious when we entered the room being the way that we were, and it bothered us at first because we were like, well different than what people usually expect to see in terms of a wine company owner or sales rep or whatever, that we kind of created this comeback, this little elevator pitch to kind of blurt out the story quickly based on what people had asked before so we could move on to the business at hand,” she shared.

They did so reluctantly but soon realized that this vulnerability of being different in more ways than one in the wine industry worked to their advantage.

Now, it continues to work in their favor, Robin says, as they have the largest Black-owned wine company in the U.S. and are now the owners of a 12-acre vineyard that they are currently cultivating to take their business to the next level.

A Place To Call Home

“It’s very much a milestone in our career,” Robin said. “We make our wines in New Zealand and the central coast of California, which from a production standpoint, includes many different production facilities and grape growers that we work with, and contracts and things like that, so we haven’t had a ‘home.’ A home, which could be our property.”

Their company’s new home, located in a region called Carneros, resonated with them from the very beginning because it’s very close for people to come and visit, with both sisters coming from Oakland, CA, in the East Bay. It is also a family estate, which is something that means the world to the McBride sisters.

“This property was already planted with 20-year-old Chardonnay vines,” Robin said. “It’s amazing and has guest houses and a pool and pool houses, along with a horse barn and stables. Just all of these things that were developed and built by a family more than 100 years ago. And we actually sort of had to interview with the seller, with the family, because they wanted it to stay family-owned. It all came together beautifully. We were able to acquire the property last year. We got the keys on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which we felt like was another sign, because yes, we did have a dream.”


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A dream that has now manifested itself into something beyond their wildest dreams. The latest imprint in the McBride Sisters Collection includes the Legacy portfolio, and Robin says there’s more where that came from!

The McBride Sisters Legacy

“It’s a collection that we’ve been working on for five years now, and there are three sorts of ultra-premium wines in the portfolio. All of the grapes are from Paso Robles, an area in central coast California, which is where our winemakers headed. It is a culmination of all that Andrea and I have worked for and towards over these many years.”

Moreover, the new grapes are a nod to their ever-evolving legacy.

“I think it feels a little funny to talk about our legacy because we don’t feel like we’re done yet,” Robin concluded. “We want this product and our life’s work to showcase connection and the synchronicity of life and what you can create when you are in balance and in touch with that.”