The kick-off of Girl Walks Into a Bar, a LUSHiouslife series looking at women in the spirits industry.
The McBride Sisters
In the wine industry there are few origin stories as unique as that of Truvée Wine. It’s not just that Truvée is produced by sisters Robin and Andrea McBride, who are two of the small but growing number of Black women in the wine business, but they are also among the first Black women to own their label.
Behind the Label
Launched in February 2015, Truvée, French “to find,” and the name is truly fitting. Robin and Andrea grew up nearly 7,000 miles apart, completely unaware of the other’s existence. The pair were born in Los Angeles, nine years apart. “We have the same father but different moms,” says Robin. “Both our moms had tumultuous relationships with our dad and they each split from him when we were young.” Robin’s mom left to move to Northern California when Robin was 15 months old. Andrea’s returned to her native New Zealand when Andrea was five.
As it turned out, both sisters grew up in wine-making regions. Andrea was raised in Marlborough, New Zealand, the main wine-producing region of the country and she was raised, in part, by an uncle who was a grape grower. Meanwhile, Robin grew up in the small winemaking towns along the coast of Northern California.
When Andrea was about 13 years old her father, who was dying, contacted her and told her she had a sister living somewhere in California. A few years later, in 1999, Robin received a letter from her father’s sister, informing her that her dad had passed away and that she had a sister living in another country. “I was wondering how I would ever meet this person in New Zealand but when I called my aunt, it turned out Andrea had traveled to the U.S. to meet her family and was sitting right there,” Robin recalls.
The next day the sisters met for the first time. “Once we started to talk about our history and how we grew up, we realized we had so many similarities,” says Robin. “We both grew up in these really beautiful, small coastal towns that were based around win, only they were in different countries on opposite sides of the Pacific.”
Andrea moved to California to attend college, and she and Robin made plans to start a wine importing business after her graduation. They began by importing boutique wines from New Zealand to restaurants in California and their business was a success…until the economic downturn of 2008 saw their biggest clients going out of business. Rather than give up their vision, the sisters decided to double down and focus on their dream of producing their own wine.
So, how does Truvée taste?
The result of all that serendipity and hard work are Truvée’s first two releases, a Chardonnay and a Red Blend made primarily with Grenache grapes mixed with Syrah, Merlot and Zinfandel. On the nose, the Chardonnay reveals pear, pineapple, green apple, honyesuckle and citrus. On the palate there is tropical fruit, white peach and a hint of vanilla. Now I usually find chardonnay’s a bit too oaky, but the Truvée tastes light and refreshing, perfect for warm weather sipping.
The Red Blend has the aroma of blueberry and blackberry with cherry notes. On the palate, these berry flavors are mingled with caramel and cocoa and a pleasing, slightly peppery finish. Both pair well with food, the red works particularly well with meat, and both also work solo.
For now, Truvée has just two varieties under its label, but the McBride sisters are looking toward the future. As Robin says, “Our goal is to launch this as a heritage brand, build a base and expand from that.”
Truvée is available nationwide and retails for $16. For more information, check out Truveewines.com