DENISE & STEPHEN ADAMS
Sharing a deep affinity for the art and culture of France, Denise and Stephen Adams honeymooned in Saint-Emilion, where they immersed themselves in the region and its magnificent wines. After many years of returning to Saint-Emilion to repeat their wedding vows, they discovered Château Fonplégade. When the Adamses acquired the estate in 2004, they embarked together on a process of revitalization and renewal that has been one of the greatest privileges and joys of their lives.
Stephen earned a degree in American studies from Yale University before receiving an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. As with everything he has done in his career, Stephen has dedicated himself to achieving the highest standards of excellence for Château Fonplégade.
Denise earned her undergraduate degree in art history and art education from Kent State University, and an MFA from Connecticut University. After several years of teaching art, she established her own successful design company. Applying this experience, Denise helped to oversee a complete renovation of Château Fonplégade and a comprehensive renewal of the vineyard.
Denise is a truly hands-on proprietor, and has taken charge of daily operations at Château Fonplégade. A lifelong organic gardener and consumer, she feels that her greatest contribution to the estate has been spearheading its conversion to certified organic and biodynamic farming practices, which not only benefit the land, but play an essential role in elevating the quality of the wines. She is active in all areas of operations, and led the development of Château Fonplégade's pioneering hospitality program. She is also intimately involved in all decisions that shape the quality of the wines. From approving new plantings to blind tasting with Michel Rolland and Stéphane Derenoncourt to assess the quality of every lot, Denise has established herself as a committed and steadfast vintner.
Together, Stephen and Denise have collaborated on all big-picture and business decisions with an eye toward underscoring the distinctive purity of Château Fonplégade's terroir. In addition to Château Fonplégade in Saint-Emilion and Château l'Enclos in Pomerol, they are the owners and caretakers of ADAMVS on the slopes of Napa Valley's Howell Mountain.