The Amazing Journey of the McBride Sisters


The wine industry has become more multicultural, younger and female-friendly, and sisters Andréa and Robin McBride have become early leaders and tastemakers in this rapidly-evolving market. Born in LA but separated at an early age, both are smart, elegant and easygoing entrepreneurs. They were connected in 1999 and had discovered that they had each separately grown up in beautiful wine regions—Robin in Monterey, California and Andréa in Marlborough, New Zealand.

It only took them a handful of years together to embark on their first journey where they launched Wines, their New Zealand label made in the first CarboNZeroTM winery in the world. Now their second project, Truvée (derived from the French word for “to find”) will be a return to their California roots, but this time on the Central Coast.

Truvée will launch its first two labels in 2015: a white and a red. Their red wine, a blend of Grenache, Syrah, Merlot and Zinfandel gives notes of rich blueberry, blackberry and red cherry on the nose, while also offering a silky texture on the palate that combines hints of caramel and cocoa influenced by French oak.

Their white, a surprisingly fresh and crisp chardonnay, expresses light butter and fruit elements that highlight notes of stone fruits with a touch of citrus and tropical flavors.

By applying sustainable practices to ensure the greatest quality and reducing the use of oak to optimize fruit expression, their goal with Truvée is to delight experienced wine drinkers with the complexity of their wine. For their newer drinkers, providing an approachable velvety smoothness, as they learn to unwind the layers of the Central Coast characteristics. SOMA sat down with these innovative women to learn more about their outlook on business, sustainability, and the future of the wine industry:

What made you fall in love with wine?
Vineyards are a peaceful place for me. Being in them working with my sister makes me feel complete. I just feel calm and connected with nature, which makes me feel really good. The entire ecosystem in the vineyard is parallel to many philosophies, love, people, wine—everything is about balance and that’s unique and very attractive to me.

How did you start with this business idea?
We jumped into the wine industry in 2005 as U.S. based importers of boutique wines from New Zealand. As our business grew, so did we personally and professionally through all the different experiences we were having. In 2008 we decided we wanted to start a company. The opportunity presented itself to us. We took it, ran with it, and have never looked back!

What do you think makes you different from other wine makers?
First off, we’re friends, sisters and we’re approachable winemakers. Second, I think we represent a large demographic of people that are rarely seen in the wine business, so when people find us and discover our wines, they seem to feel comfortable having a conversation, they’re usually intensely curious and not intimidated at all, which they tell us, is usually not the case!

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Why did you decide to call your American label “Truvée”? Andréa: Truvée is derived from the French verb “to find.” We found each other, now we want people to find a wine that matters to them.

What is your perception about the current wine industry? Andréa: Wine drinkers are becoming younger and more cultured and the wine industry has already started to pull down the shade of snobbery. Wine is more approachable and easy to access. People are more eager to learn and want to know about wine.

Why do you think wine has become more multicultural? Is it because of the Internet or social media?
Absolutely, I think it is all about communication and access to information, education and about wines in general. You can do your own research before you buy anything. Prices are also becoming a little bit more accessible. People experiment a lot more; everything is at our fingertips.

What is the vision for Truvée and wines? Andréa: We want to be “the” next generation wine company. The older folks had Robert Mondavi and Gallo wine – which is great for them. But our generation wants the confidence that they’re getting an authentic, excellent quality wine, for a great price, with an offering that isn’t limited to one region in the world. We know that they also want to be connected to us during the process and that’s what the McBride Sisters wine brands will provide.

What do you envision with your two labels wine and Truvée? What will be the connection of them? Robin: Our wines are like our kids. Sometimes one wine needs more attention than the others—right now we are focusing our attention on Truvée. wine will be still available for those loyal to the brand but we really look forward to seeing Truvée grow and get a great reach. 2015 will be the year of Truvée and we will see where that takes us.

Can you tell us about your sustainable practices? Andréa: When we’re getting close to harvest Starlings are a problem because they eat the grapes on the vines. We use a Falconer to launch falcons and scare away the Starlings and sometimes they catch them and eat them! It’s better to use natural predator vs shooting them. We also release yellow jackets and other bugs to take care of any pesky insects that might be eating our grapes!

What is your advice to women that want to be involved in the wine industry?
You always have to believe and stay true to yourself. As long as you believe in what you are doing and bring value to the industry… hell yeah you can be involved!

Text by Joa Bohorquez
Photography by Liz Caruana