The Largest Black-Owned Wine Company’s Plans to Break the (Wine) Glass Ceiling

The Largest Black-Owned Wine Company's Plans to Break the (Wine) Glass Ceiling

The McBride Sisters Wine Company is the largest Black-owned wine company in the United States. Check out their story of finding one another and building a company that’s breaking all the rules – starting with: which wine you should pair with tacos.

After building a thriving wine business, the McBride sisters are trying to improve equity in spirits and hospitality.

For almost half their lives, the McBride sisters didn’t know each other existed. Robin McBride had grown up in California and Andréa McBride-John in New Zealand, and the two only met in 1999, after the death of their father. One of his last requests to his family was to find his daughters and tell them about each other. The family located Andréa after a long search and invited her to visit them in Alabama. While she was there Robin called. Speaking for the first time, the sisters immediately made plans to get together—the next day, in New York. “As soon as we met, we recognized each other immediately and hugged,” Andréa recalls. “There was an instant bond.”

Andréa began studying at the University of Southern California, and in the coming years the two met frequently. Both had grown up in areas thick with vineyards—Andréa in Marlborough, at the northern tip of New Zealand’s South Island, and Robin in Monterey, California—so wine was typically on the table and on the list of things they talked about. One point they kept coming back to: The industry was overwhelmingly White and male, with only 1% of US wine producers owned by Black people. As Black women, they thought, they could begin to change that. “We had a lot of pushback as to whether or not Black women even drank wine, or if Black women could run a wine business,” Robin says. “This fueled our passion and our mission.”

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