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BY Abu Mubarik, 3:01pm April 06, 2023,

Biggest black-owned US wine company is helping more women to break the industry’s glass ceiling

Photo credit: McBride Sisters, Facebook

In 2015, sisters Robin and Andréa McBride decided to venture into the wine industry because it was overwhelmingly White and male-dominated. Only one percent of wine firms in the US are owned by black people.

Living across the world from each other – Robin in Monterey, California, and Andrea in Marlborough, New Zealand – the McBride sisters, with different mothers but the same father, grew up without knowing the other existed until they got united through their love for wine and family.

“We had no idea the other existed for nearly half our lives. Despite the 7,000 miles that separated us, we eventually found our way to each other in 1999. Our story is proof that a bond can form over a bottle of wine; a truth that comes to life with every McBride Sisters’ wine”.

Upon meeting, the sisters quickly discovered that they both shared the same passion for wine because they both grew up in areas thick with vineyards, and subsequently spent time traveling to wine regions around the world to fine-tune their craft.

This led them to create the McBride Sisters Wine Collection, which the sisters say united their parallel lives and passions because inclusivity was key for them; their employees are people of color, and 93 percent are women, including the entire winemaking team, Bloomberg reported.

Now the largest African-American-owned wine company in the United States, McBride Sisters Wine Collection includes Chardonnay and Red Blends from Robin’s home state of California, as well as Sauvignon Blanc and Brut Rosé from Andréa’s native, New Zealand.

The sisters combined the love of their environments and their passion for wine to create the collection crafted in the McBride Sisters’ signature style – a blend of old-world elegance with new-world finesse.

Now, Robin and Andréa McBride want to help other women to break the glass ceiling in the wine industry. In 2019, they launched the She Can Development Fund, which mentors women in the industry and offers scholarships and grants.

Since then, the sisters have contributed over $400,000 to the fund, while Meta Platforms contributed $2 million, and other companies supported with smaller amounts, according to Bloomberg.

The fund has so far provided more than $3 million to 3,000 women in spirits, hospitality, consumer goods, and more. “We got to a place in our business growth where we felt we can help other women,” Robin says.

“There is definitely a generational change happening, with more women and people of color in middle management positions,” Andréa said. Her sister Robin added, “Success will be when the industry fully represents the world around us and isn’t dominated by one gender or race, but represents the consumer.”

Last Edited by:Annie-Flora Mills Updated: April 7, 2023


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