Kiwi's incredible tale of how she met sister she didn't know existed

Andréa and Robin McBride run McBride Sisters wines.
Andréa and Robin McBride run McBride Sisters wines. Photo credit: Supplied

A mutual love for wine that spans across two continents is what brought two sisters together in a remarkable story. 

Andréa and Robin McBride did not realise each other existed growing up. 

Their joint biological father, who wasn't much of a presence as they grew up, split from Robin's mother and lost contact with them from an early age, Andréa says. 

Robin, who grew up around vineyards in Monterey, California, didn't even know her father had remarried and had another child, Andréa says.

Andréa lost touch with her father and was raised between foster care and her uncles in Blenheim after her mum died of breast cancer when she was six.

She hadn't heard from her father in years - until one day, in 1996, he got in touch telling her he was terminally ill with stomach cancer and that she had an older half-sister. 

Three years later, after his death, Andréa made a visit to the US.

She was at her auntie's house in Alabama when the phone rang, with long-lost sibling Robin on the other end.

Robin had received one of hundreds of letters sent out to every Robin McBride in the country in the hope of tracking her down. 

"She [Andréa's auntie] was screaming, calling Jesus, like you can imagine a black woman from the south would."

The next day the pair met at Laguardia Airport in New York; Andréa was 16, and Robin was 25. 

Now the pair have carved a name for themselves, growing wine produced in the best regions of New Zealand and California.

"It is really is unique; most wine is made and grown in one region but because of our story, it spans two continents - it's really unique and authentic," Andréa says. 

"There's only one place where sauvignon blanc is amazing [and] delicious - it's Marlborough, it's New Zealand - and same in California with our red wine.

"It's a lot of blood sweat and tears... we feel like we have an amazing wine, we are one of few where the name of the people on the bottle really are the ones that make it." 

They both live in the US now, but were in Marlborough in March for this year's harvest. 

The wine is currently only available for sale in the US, but the duo plan to expand here, making it available for Kiwis to buy off the shelves and in restaurants this year.