Get ready for an amazing long-lost sister story with a really happy ending! Sorry if that was a major spoiler but I get excited. It goes like this:
Robin and Andrea McBride each grew up thinking they were only children. Then in 1999, the sisters met for the first time.
They had grown up on different continents — Robin in the United States and Andrea in New Zealand — not knowing they had the same dad — who by the way the McBrides told me was a looker and a bit of a ladies man, which at least partly accounts for their amazing good looks! In the mid-90s, Andrea’s family caught wind that sadly their dad was terminally ill. The family was in on the secret of her sibling and luckily had recently seen an Oprah episode about “how to find anyone,” (which is apparently the 22nd most-watched Oprah episode ever) and totally found Robin.
Both sisters had reservations about the meeting: would they like each other? What if they didn’t? Would they have anything at all in common? Throwing caution to the wind, the sisters met in Manhattan on a freezing winter day in January 1999 when they were 25 and 16, respectively. It turns out they needn’t have worried one bit.
“We had the same curly hair,” Robin said. “It was so odd looking at somebody and feeling like I could see my own mannerisms.”
Beyond the superficial and despite their age difference, they had a ton more in common including, and perhaps most importantly, wine. In New Zealand, Andrea’s uncle was a grape-grower where she grew up in the Marlborough region, which is famous for its delicious sauvignon blanc. Robin grew up on California’s Central Coast, which as we know is home to all sorts of high quality grape growing and wine making. They’re also both self-described “sustainability freaks.”
“It was more than just mannerisms and the way we laugh, it was the way we think,” Andrea said. “Which is why we’re good business partners.”
Andrea is a 6’1″ athlete who was pursued by numerous American universities for volleyball and track when she finished high school. She chose USC — the best university in the country at the time for women’s volleyball — which brought her to California in 2001 to train and study international relations and business.
Robin is a mother of six-year-old twins and a 17-year-old daughter, and when Andrea graduated from college, they were both ready to pursue their admittedly romantic ideas of going into the wine business together. Their first venture was importing and distributing eco wine brands from New Zealand. But when the recession hit in 2008, they needed a new business plan.
The result was their own wine-making operation, eco.love wines. Their three varietals: riesling, sauvingon blanc and pinot noir are delicious — yes I have tasted and thoroughly them! I also felt pretty smug about drinking them because they’re made at the world’s first “carbon zero” winery in New Zealand, meaning their carbon emissions are a big fat zero. They also silk-screen their labels with organic inks instead of using paper, and use a mixture of lightweight glass and a high percentage of recycled glass for their bottles, which means lower emissions associated with shipping. All of the emissions they do produce, they offset by buying carbon credits.
So if you want a wine with a super-pretty bottle (which we all know is 75 percent of what makes a good wine) that you can feel good about drinking because making it didn’t hurt the environment and that comes with an amazing story attached to boot, eco.love would be a fantastic choice. You can buy it on their site and at select wine shops.