It’s a sweet sixteen of sorts for the McBride Sisters who have an interesting backstory about their entrée to the wine industry.
“We didn’t know each other growing up,” starts the elder sister Robin McBride. “We lived on different continents. We are half sisters with the same father and two different moms. Our dad was a rolling stone. Both of our moms had passionate and fiery relationships with him. We were both born in Los Angeles.”
The sisters grew up 7,000 miles apart. Both Robin and Andréa McBride were reared in wine regions, in Monterey, California, and Marlborough, New Zealand, respectively. “We grew up in these really coastal wine regions with no clue about each other,” says Robin.
Andréa adds, “Before our dad passed away he asked his brother to connect us. Our uncle watched an episode of ‘Oprah’ that featured private detectives who helped people find people who owed them money and displaced loved ones. This was before Google and before people were one click away. In 1994, he took pen to paper and sent letters to anybody in the country with the name Robin McBride.”
“I had just moved to Atlanta from Los Angeles. I received a letter from our aunt in Selma, Alabama, that read ‘I am sorry to tell you your dad passed away but you have a little sister in New Zealand I want to connect you two.’ I called her and told her I was in Atlanta. She went crazy because Andréa was visiting her from New Zealand at the time. We were just three hours apart. The stars lined up for us. Andréa was traveling to New York the next day to visit more of dad’s family. I took a flight to New York the next morning and we met for the first time at LaGuardia Airport and that was in 1999.”
Their life as sisters began 16 years ago.
Andréa shares how grateful they are their dad’s dying wish was granted. “We went through this really intense bonding experience. We talked through some similarities growing up. One, we were these two Brown girls growing up in a pretty homogenous area in New Zealand and California and we [discussed] maybe making wine one day. We felt the world brought us together; we were powerful and invincible – and could do anything.”
The sisters bonded of course because they have the same father, but it’s the mutual love of wine that has made them business partners. The co-owners of McBride Sisters this year unveiled Truvée Wines, a Red Blend and a Chardonnay.
Robin is credited with having a really good palette so they started as importers, importing wine from New Zealand to California. They sold their wines to the top 50 fine-dining restaurants in California and have “built a great business.”
They launched their first business in 2011 in New Zealand, eco.love Wines. Launched in February 2015, Truvée Wines come from the Central Coast of California: San Benito, Monterey, Edna Valley and Paso Robles. The name Truvée is French for “to find.”
“It brings our story to life,” shares Andréa.
“The vineyards where these grapes are grown are very prestigious. What adds to the quality is that we are very big on sustainable farming. We believe if you sustainably farm grapes you get a higher quality wine. What sets us a part is that we’re women of color. We have a full staff of women, which is very unique,” explains Robin. “We partnered with Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines which is a dream come true.”
Ten percent of those in the wine industry are female winemakers and less than one percent are people of color, two percent of those are women of color. There aren’t a lot women of color, which makes the McBrides Sisters story even more exceptional.
The proof is in the tasting.
“We definitely didn’t want to make that standard, super oak-y style of Chardonnay that has been really been standard for quite a long time. We appreciate the old world style of winemaking where you showcase the grapes. The grapes have a gorgeous tropical fruit flavor; it’s such a pretty fruit that makes it really refreshing. It has really pretty aromas, flowers, and pear, and is really feminine. Why would you want to cover that with oak?” Robin educates. “We used a little bit of French oak which gives it a little bit of body and finesse. It balances it from front to finish.”
Andréa introduces the red blend, “It’s a combination of four grape varietals, with a Grenache base. We paired this with Syrah to add structure, Merlot for richness, and a little bit of Zinfadel to add spice. Again we use a little bit of French oak. When people talk about their dislikes when it comes to red wine, they say it can be bitter, dry. We try to smooth this wine out and showcase the nice fruit flavor.
The Truvée wine and packaging over delivers on quality, sophistication and authenticity.
“Robin and I chose the packaging and our overarching theme was to be the best-dressed at the party. We wanted to create a gorgeous and stunning label that is really personalized for both of us. I have my crest in there. All of the designs around the label are flowers and plants from Monterey and New Zealand. Our star signs are in there. The elements are all us.”
Suggested retail price for the Truvée wines is $15.99.