How These Long-Lost Sisters Launched The Largest Black-Owned Winery In The US

Taiia Smart Young
·2 min read

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In the latest episode of Go Off, Sis, the podcast from Refinery29’s Unbothered, the hosts welcome two certified bosses to the booth: Robin and Andréa McBride, the vinters behind McBride Sisters Wines. In 2010, the duo became the first Black sisters to start a winery. But their backstory is incredible, too: They were raised in different households on opposite sides of the world — California and New Zealand — under the assumption that they were only children, until they connected as adults (read more about it here). And now, they’ve graduated to owning the largest Black-owned wine company in the U.S. Period.

Robin and Andréa are experts at making things happen, especially when folks refused to fund their business. “People talk about intergenerational trauma and things that get passed down. But there’s so many positive things that I think have been passed down, through our lineage, through our ancestors,” Andréa says. “It’s like having nothing, making something out of nothing, and figuring it out.”

Their favorite acronym is FITFO, which stands for “figure it the fuck out.” After making mistakes and correcting them along the way, they started the McBride Sisters She Can Professional Development Fund to provide an “entrepreneurial suite for women” to help them save time, money, and heartache.

Mentorship is also key. “We Googled because it’s free. But we didn’t find Black women who had founded and led successfully businesses to where we were trying to build ours,” Robin says. “Find someone, even if it’s not specific to your business, who has the insights into different facets of business that relate to yours.”

For more on how the McBride Sisters used Blackout Tuesday to create “macro advocacy” by pushing retailers to stock shelves with their products and other Black vintners, listen to the full episode, below.

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