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Best of 2016: Game Changers of The Year – Andrea & Robin McBride @McBrideSisters

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I’ve had the pleasure of learning so much about Robin and Andrea McBride over the last few months. As a woman of color, I was motivated, inspired and touched by the story of how these ladies created their powerhouse brand. Below, we discussed the shared passion for wine, overcoming challenges in fulfilling your dreams and more. Check out our conversation below.

 1. You and Andrea grew up on complete opposite sides of the world, ironically in regions well known for wine. Once you reconnected, how did you both discover your passion for great wine?
When we met, we wanted to share with each other where we grew up, what it was like for each of us and to our surprise we both grew up in similar environments, heavy in agriculture, that were becoming renown wine regions.  When I drove Andréa around the coast line of Monterey and down the valley along the vineyards she was stunned at how much it looked like home to her.  Once I had a chance to experience New Zealand, it just seemed beyond coincidence to me, and that’s when we really bonded over the fact that these two places, as far apart as they may have been actually tied us together in a way we were just starting to understand.  Our new found Sisterhood grew over experiencing wine and ultimately we were driven to create great wines
2. What inspired the idea for you both to decide to start your own joint venture? What was the most valuable lessons you learned starting out?
Our inspiration is noted above :)  The most valuable lessons we learned early on really came from the fact that we were “outsiders” if you will.  In every sense, new to the industry, not your typical wine professional, in age, sex, race or any other category and we were made well aware of that.  We learned that our drive and our passion had to be strong and come from within and not to expect immediate acceptance or support.  We learned that our hustle had to be harder.  We know everyone things they are hustling :)  But I’m talking about that no pay 20 hour day grind.  You have to be prepared to sacrifice, if you can’t see yourself sacrificing for an extended period of time you may not be as passionate as you think.
3. In 2010, you started EcoLove which sources grapes from New Zealand. EcoLove offers a Riesling, Pinot Noir and Sauvigon Blanc what do you feel gives EcoLove the ability to stand out in those specific flavor profiles compared to others from that region?
eco.love was our first self produced wine.  Up until 2010 we were fortunate to have amazing family wineries in New Zealand that we imported and distributed here in California, which allowed us get behind the curtain and get really dirty on the geeky side of wine.  Being in both worlds, the producer side in NZ and the consumer side in CA, we felt we had a clarity about what could be created in the region and what people back home (CA) would love most.  Having that multicultural position and insight helped us to really curate a wine that resonates with our wine lovers. All of our wines are created to be outstanding representations of where they come from and to be accessible by everyone.  eco.love is now available as our reserve wine, only through our McBride Sisters Wine Club and offers Pinot Noir, Riesling, Pinot Blanc and Rosé from the magical Otago region of New Zealand.
4. As two women of color in what is well known as a male dominated industry, what has the process been like for you both? How were you able to overcome the challenges that have come your way while becoming rising stars?
Once we started to realize just how antiquated the industry had become overall, we realized that was our mission.  To diversify, to re-imagine what wine can be and to introduce it to the millions of potential wine lovers who think it’s not for them because of the stereotype that wine is pretentious and boring.  Once our mission became more that creating and selling great wine, the barriers that come from navigating an industry that is not diverse became opportunities to 1) call people out on their biases and 2) to open up a new way of thinking that benefits the wine community as a whole. We’re doing everything we can to stay focused and make permanent change that’s much needed.
5. Last year you started Truvee which offers wines from the Central California region, what inspired the decision to launch this new line?
Well all of this love for New Zealand had me feeling like what about California where I grew up??  We can make some great wines!  So the plan was to add a line that showcased the beautiful wine styles of the central coast.
6. What’s next for the McBride Sisters and what can we look forward to from you all in the near future?
We have a LOT of things in the works.  2017 is going to be a very busy and fund year and we will be making a lot of announcements (can’t speak on some yet) but I can share that we will be starting a national, celebrity chef/winemakers dinner tour at the first of the year.  We will announce cities and dates this fall, so look out for that.  We will be adding some new selections to our wine club and hosting events with each release in order get to meet club members and wine lovers.  We are also booking wine education seminars and speaking engagments around the country which is something that we’re excited we have the chance to do more of. Expect lot’s of travel and more adventures that you can follow along with, yes that is a teaser for something I can’t talk about yet lol But good times are ahead so we hope everyone follows us!
7. What is the best piece of advice you have received along your entrepreneurial journey that you would want to pass along to our readers?
Listen.  Entrepreneurs are passionate people, passionate people tend to talk too much.  They need to “hear” things that can help them achieve their goals and understand they don’t know it all…yet :)  Gramma always said, you have two ears and one mouth, listen twice as much as you speak.
8. How can our readers find out more about your brands and where to buy and news on your company? (Social media and websites)
@mcbridesisters on IG, Twitter and McBride Sisters on Facebook
9. Last words to our readers?
 Cheers!
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About Goldyn

Goldyn
Publisher, Founder and EIC of Xposure Magazine. Creator of organized chaos, passionate about all things Karl Lagerfeld, 007 and Kanye West.

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