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The co-founder of the biggest Black-owned wine company in the U.S. says bias is killing businesses

The co-founder of the biggest Black-owned wine company in the U.S. says bias is killing businesses
Photo by Kym Ellis / Unsplash

McBride Sisters Wine Company, which sisters Robin McBride and Andréa McBride John founded in 2005 in California, is breaking down barriers in the wine industry, first as importers and then as winemakers. Its still, sparkling, and canned wine collection has recently taken the industry by storm.

"My curiosity for wine started as a child," Robin McBride, co-founder and president of McBride Sisters Wine Company, told Entrepreneur in an interview. "I recall trying to ferment Welch's grape juice in baby bottles under my bed! My sister and I always had a passion for wine that we wanted to share with the world, in an industry where very few people looked like us."

In an interview with Wine-Searcher, published on Entrepreneur, Phil Long, president of the Association of African American Vintners (AAAV), said, "About one percent of one per cent of all winemakers are Black. So if you're looking at winemakers and brand owners, there are over 50, but if you're looking for African Americans who are both the winemaker and the brand owner, there are just a few dozen."

The size of the U.S. wine market is approximately $63.69 billion, with an expected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.8 per cent (from 2022 to 2030). The sparkling wine segment, my favourite, is predicted to grow the fastest at 7.7 per cent, driven by prosecco and Champagne, according to Entrepreneur.

The McBride Sisters have ignited the movement to change that. "My sister and I are on a mission to transform the industry, lead by example and cultivate community," Robin McBride told Entrepreneur. "One delicious glass of wine at a time."

Here are the three most important lessons McBride and her sister have learned as they've built the largest U.S. Black-and women-owned wine company:

Source: Entrepreneur