Only 1% of all wine companies are black-owned and New Orleans native Kim Lewis just joined the exclusive bunch after the launch of her own company, Ole Orleans Wines, in April of 2019. Created as a “tribute to historic New Orleans”, Ole’ Orleans offers up high-quality, hand-crafted wines made with both French and Spanish heritage in mind. While the taste is one that embodies elegance and worldly sophistication, it was something that happened close to home that sparked Kim’s need for a fresh start.
In the interview with Travel Noire, she expressed that it was the dissolution of her marriage and already-running healthcare businesses that pushed her toward something new:
“After my divorce, I just wanted to start fresh. I knew that I wanted to shut down my healthcare businesses and create something just for me that I could build for my children.”
While Lewis admits that she was only going off of her own knowledge of what “good wine tastes like,” she surely handled the business side of things like a true expert. She conducted research, hired a consultant, endured and overcame a few rejections, and developed a plan that would ultimately leave her with a $20,000 budget and strong determination to make her vision come to life. And that’s exactly what she did.
With a Presco, Merlot, and Moscato on the way, Ole’ Orleans already has two white wine blends under their belt: Ole Carrollton and La Villiage des Chapitoulas Tchoupitoulas. Lewis’ goal is to produce 12 unique beverages in the coming years, but most importantly—give us a little taste of New Orleans.