Château Ausone vies with Cheval-Blanc to be Saint-Émilion’s most prestigious estate. Named after the Roman poet Ausonius who once resided in this area, Ausone is one of four Premier Grand Cru Classé (A) wines in the classification of Saint-Émilion (along with Angélus, Cheval Blanc and Pavie). Only three families have ever owned Ausone, and Alain Vauthier (who manages Ausone with his daughter Pauline today) are direct descendants of the c17th owners.
The tiny 7ha vineyard of Ausone is 65% Cabernet Franc and 35% Merlot and is located at the southern edge of Saint-Émilion atop a steep south-facing slope. The steep, hillside terroir is clay with limestone and limestone over Asteria limestone in the soil. This is what gives Ausone its intense mineral character. Ausone has some of the oldest vines in Saint-Émilion. There are Cabernet Franc vines that are more than 100 years of age (planted 1906).