A Burgundian by birth and upbringing, Stephane grew up in Meloisey, a village of about 300 in the canton of Ladoix-Serrigny, near the ancient Burgundian capital of Beaune. There, Stephane was first introduced to wine and winemaking at the feet of an elderly neighbor whose family had been making wine for centuries.
After obtaining degrees in viticulture and enology from Université de Bourgogne in Dijon, Stephane worked in Switzerland, Sonoma and New Zealand. There, he discovered the difference between Old World and New World winemaking. The vineyards were young, as were the winemakers, giving free rein for them to put their own stamp on the wines they crafted.
Returning to Napa, in 2002 Stephane joined Hyde de Villaine as winemaker. HdV is a joint venture between Aubert de Villaine, one of France’s most respected vignerons and part owner of the famed Domaine de la Romanee-Conti; and their cousins the Hyde family, which has deep roots in Napa.